Developing the Indigenous Soul for Happiness
It is the indigenous instinct of every human being to be happy and to escape all the miseries of life. Happiness is the normal condition, as natural as the landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to suffer and it is only because of our ignorance that we do suffer. Happiness is the product of wisdom. To attain perfect wisdom, to fully comprehend the purpose of life, to realize completely the relationship of human beings to each other, is to put an end to all suffering, to escape every ill and evil that afflicts us. Perfect wisdom is enlightened joy.
Why do we suffer in life? Because in the scheme of nature we are being forced forward in time too quickly and we lack the spiritual illumination that alone can light the way and enable us to move safely among the obstacles that lie before us. Usually we do not even see or suspect the presence of trouble until it suddenly leaps upon us like a black bear. One day our family circle is complete and happy. A week later death has come and gone and joy is replaced with agony. Today we have a friend. Tomorrow he will be an enemy and we do not know why. A little while ago we had wealth and all material luxuries. There was a sudden change and now we have only poverty and misery and yet we seek in vain for a reason why this should be. There was a time when we had health and strength; but they have both departed and no trace of a reason appears.
Aside from these greater tragedies of life innumerable things of lesser consequence continually bring to us little miseries and minor heartaches. We most earnestly desire to avoid them but we never see them until they strike us, until in the darkness of our ignorance we stumble upon them. The thing we lack is the spiritual illumination that will enable us to look far and wide, finding the hidden causes of human suffering and revealing the method by which they may be avoided; and if we can but reach illumination the evolutionary journey can be made both comfortably and swiftly. It is as though we must pass through a long, dark room filled with furniture promiscuously scattered about. In the darkness our progress would be slow and painful and our bruises many. But if we could press a button that would turn on the light we could then make the same journey quickly and with perfect safety and comfort.
The current method of education is to store the mind with as many facts, or supposed facts, as could be accumulated and to give a certain exterior polish to the personality. The theory is that when we are born we are a completed human being and that all that could be done for us is to load us up with information that would be used with more or less skill, according to the indigenous native ability we happened to be born with.
The theosophical idea is that the physical man, and all that constitutes his life in the physical world, is but a very partial expression of the self; that in the ego of each there is practically unlimited power and wisdom; that these may be brought through into expression in the physical world as the physical body and its invisible counterparts, which together constitute the complex vehicle of the ego's manifestation, are evolved and adapted to the purpose; and that in exact proportion that conscious effort is given to such self-development will spiritual illumination be achieved and wisdom attained. Thus the light that leads to happiness is kindled from within and the evolutionary journey that all are making may be robbed of its suffering.
Why does death bring misery? Chiefly because it separates us from those we love. The only other reason why death brings grief or fear is because we do not understand it and comprehend the part it plays in human evolution. But the moment our ignorance gives way to comprehension such fear vanishes and a serene happiness takes its place.
Why do we have enemies from whose words or acts we suffer? Because in our limited physical consciousness we do not perceive the unity of all life and realize that our wrong thinking and doing must react upon us through other people a situation from which there is no possible escape except through ceasing to think evil and then patiently awaiting the time when the causes we have already generated are fully exhausted. When spiritual enlightenment comes, and we no longer stumble in the night of ignorance, the last enemy will disappear and we shall make no more forever.
Why do people suffer from poverty and disease? Only because of our blundering ignorance that makes their existence possible for us, and because we do not comprehend their meaning and their lessons, nor know the attitude to assume toward them. Had we but the wisdom to understand why they come to people, why they are necessary factors in their evolution, they would trouble us no longer. When the indigenous nature's lesson is fully learned these mute teachers will vanish.
And so it is with all forms of suffering we experience. They are at once reactions from our unfortunate misgivings and instructors that point out the better way. When we have comprehended the lessons life teaches we are no longer necessary and disappear. It is not by the outward acquirement of facts that we become wise and great. It is by developing the indigenous soul from within until the Great Spirit illuminates the being with that flood of light that is unnamable!
All the parts of the human body work together, although each one has its special part to do. The stomach must have a time to rest between meals. The other parts of the body require rest, too. This usually takes while we are asleep. We must not be neglectful and fail to give the entire body enough rest, or they will soon get worn out and give us trouble.
Sometimes, when people are not well or are "all tired out”, they find they cannot sleep well at night. There are a number of little things that can be done to induce sleep. A warm bath before retiring, followed by a gentle massage, especially along the spine, often will, by relaxing the nerves and muscles, produce very good results. A hot foot bath, which draws the blood away from the brain, frequently will be found beneficial. A glass of hot milk or cocoa, taken just before retiring, often will have the same effect. If the sleeplessness is a result of indigestion, a plain diet will relieve. Sleeping upon a hard bed without any pillow sometimes produces the desired effect. Always have plenty of fresh air in the room. Keep the mind free from the cares of the day. If they will intrude, crowd them out by repeating something else some soothing sentence or bit of poetry. One good plan is to close the left nostril by pressing on it with the finger, then take four deep breaths through the right nostril. Then close the right nostril and take four deep breaths through the left one. Repeat this about four times. Then breathe slowly through both nostrils, but count your breaths. You seldom will count very many. Never take any sleeping medication except upon the advice of a physician, for they usually contain drugs that will injure the heart.
A lack of sleep, you will find, that could cause a number of individuals to be nervous, which means they do have not control of their nerves, but the nerves run away with them. Sometimes this is shown in palpitations of the heart, headache, backache, and many other disorders. There may be a tendency to cry at trivial things, or a feeling of having "the blues." The cause usually can be found in the surroundings or occupation, loss of friends, or real or imagined troubles. Whatever the cause, it should the cause should be removed, if possible, and measures taken to restore the worn out nerves that are crying for rest or food.
Natural herbs help, so does nourishing food, also a change of scene and occupation, if possible. A person who is nervous frequently does not realize what the cause of his condition is, and considers only the symptoms. So when he or she has a headache, resorts to medicine. In taking these, he or she only is deadening the pain and not removing the cause, so the pain is liable to return.
The world is a whole, with humans as part of the picture.
The Indigenous way of living refers to the lifestyle of those that inhabited the earth many years ago. Specific ways varied among original man, but all indigenous living is based on the understanding that man is part of the world as a whole and it is a matter of balance. The natural world thrives when its interrelationships is honored, nurtured and kept in harmony. The Indigenous way of philosophy recognizes aspects of the natural world which can be experienced directly and intuitively. Just as each human has an immeasurable inner life which powerfully influences well-being, so does nature include forces which must remain integrated for true balance.
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