by Britta Kantzer
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Not everyone has the talent to make a living as an artist. However, each one of us is imbued with the same seed of talent for the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts: the art of living — the art of LIFE. It seems as if life itself has an innate urge for the widest possible dissemination of its blessings as its goal in man.
Much has been said and written about the purpose and meaning of life. In the end of all the searching for a satisfactory answer to the mystery of life we arrive at the conclusion that life cannot be explained and understood in any other way than by consciously saying "Yes" to it in the actuality of the here and now at every moment and within all circumstances.
A man once travelled to India to meet a celebrated Guru. The old Master received him with the typical introductory words: "Do you have a question?" The teacher in this tradition always answers questions. He doesn't tell you anything you are not yet ready to hear.
The man answered: "Yes, I have a question. Since everything in the universe is a manifestation of divinity itself, how should we say 'No' to anything in the world? How should we say 'No' to brutality, to stupidity, to vulgarity, to thoughtlessness?"
The Master answered: "For you and for me, the way is to say 'Yes' at all times."
It is easy to affirm life when things go well according to our own wishes and desires. But how do we joyously affirm life when things apparently go against us? In short, how do we master life? The secret to mastery of life begins with the radical new insight, usually gained only after repeated suffering, that life is not what you thought it was!
The affirmation of all manifestations of life is the recognition of the eternal dimension, the divine essence, as the only essence of all that is. Our challenge is to see "through" the transitory world of appearances and recognize this eternal divine essence which IS and IS NOW the only reality that ever was, is, and ever will be — where all things just ARE. Thereby spiritual consciousness is realized by recognizing that there is just ONE DIVINE LIFE manifesting as your true SELF, your neighbour's SELF, and all other SELVES.
The sayings: "Let Go and let God", and "Just breathe and believe", imply: "Let God and let LIFE.....BE!"
The more you co-operate and accept the gift of life with gratitude, the more harmony and beauty you will perceive behind all manifestations, and realize in your own life. Then your life will bear fruit and start to prosper. The wholehearted AFFIRMATION of LIFE from you in answer to the gift of life marks the most important step on the path of mastery of the art of living.
Has there ever been a time when you felt as if there was a magic force weaving the threads of your life's events more harmoniously into a pattern of meaning? Did it seem as if there were invisible helpers guarding and guiding you along your path and helping you in a situation when you were most desperate and had given up all hope?
The appearance of these "miracles" in your life is the realization of the fact that you are attuned to the Cosmic Harmony, that you have united yourself with the rhythm of life's flow. It proves that you have accepted the truth that you are not a separate life squeezed into a limited life-span between birth and death, but that instead you are an inseparable part in the chain of the ONE LIFE, the ONE BEING, whom we all are. This is the proof that you have let this ONE LIFE live itself and be manifested through you.
Once you have allowed this to happen and realized the benefit of doing so, it must naturally occur to you that this is the way it should be all the time. A little honest introspection will reveal that you must have been habitually preventing it from happening all the time. The obvious goal then becomes the total abandonment of the attempt to manipulate life to conform to your ideas of what it should be like. Total surrender equals total freedom. How simple the whole thing really is!
The news media constantly bombard us with rumours and tidings of wars, suicide bombings, disease epidemics, and other catastrophes. Yet every minute, somewhere on the planet, life is newly affirmed by the unheralded arrival of a newborn child. Children are the real act of daring in a dangerous world. St. Paul wrote: "Ye must be as little children to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven". Dare to live! What a great affirmation of life is the birth of a baby born into a troubled world — a reminder of life's continuous everlasting flow beyond the human grasp of understanding.
As the sun rises is the morning, so the human child arises from the nocturnal sea of unconsciousness and looks upon the wide, bright world which lies before it in a steadily expanding field of action caused by its own appearance. If the sun were endowed with human feelings and consciousness, it would see as its fulfillment the widest possible dissemination of its blessings. So too the child pursues its unforeseen course to its zenith: unforeseen because its career is unique and individual. Its culminating point cannot be calculated in advance.
In the poem "Reflections" by the German author Hermann Hesse (1888-1962) the maternal principle is the expression of permanence and eternal rebirth; the paternal principle represents "the spirit". The poem begins with the line "Divine and Eternal is the Spirit" and continues:
"But nature does not satisfy -
The paternal spark of the immortal spirit
Breaks through its mother-magic
And leads the child to manhood,
Extinguishes innocence and arouses us to arms and conscience.
Thus between mother and father
Thus between body and spirit
Dallies creation's most fragile child,
The trembling soul of man, capable of suffering
As no other being, and capable of the very highest;
Of believing, of loving hope."
Spirit and Nature in constant alternation and tension ever create new forms in LIFE's limitless ventures and experiences.
When man accepts his own indestructible SELF, the seed of LIFE within himself, as an inseparable part of the ONE DIVINE SELF, the ONE INFINITE LIFE, then his life is in harmony with the LAW of LIFE. The art is perfected. Man has mastered the rarest of all arts — the art of LIVING. His life is the fruit of one branch which is connected to all the other branches which grow on the magnificent tree .... The TREE OF LIFE.
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