The Kingly Mystery
From a Talk by Robert Crosbie
Theosophy, November, 1920
The “kingly mystery” is Life itself. We all have Life. We all are Life. Every being everywhere is Life—expresses Life. To know what is Life itself is to know the mystery. But there is a condition precedent to this mysterious knowledge, stated by Krishna, in the opening of the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: “Unto thee who findeth no fault I will now make known this most mysterious knowledge, coupled with a realization of it, which having known thou shalt be delivered from evil.” When the one who desires to learn is not in a critical attitude, when he has sensed in one way or another that truth lies in a certain direction and gives all his attention to it without quarreling with terms or the ideas put forward, his is the attitude of the true student. The one who desires to know must set aside for the time being all preconceptions, pride, and prejudices which he may have held, and then he is ready to begin his studies—to take the first step in the right direction.
The world is full of false ideas, false religions, false philosophies which must be thrown away. We of the Western peoples have been taught that we were poor miserable sinners who could do nothing of ourselves. We have assumed that we are poor miserable sinners and have acted as such. Our whole civilization is colored and steeped through with this falsity. Our theologies, our sciences, our commercial, social and political conditions are all based on this false idea, which in its turn rests upon another equally false—that man is here on earth for once only. Hence, that his entrance on this physical scene was through the act of others, and we believe that whatever of merit or demerit is his was handed on to him by his forebears. As a consequence, man constantly shifts his responsibility, and acts as an irresponsible being. The whole falsity of our existence is centered there, for we are responsible for every ill that exists among us; every kind of suffering on every hand has been brought about through a false idea, and the false action which followed. What are sin, disease, sorrow and suffering but the result of our own thoughts and actions?
Again, we say “we cannot know;” or, “this life is all there is.” Therefore, the whole force of our consciousness is directed in the line of that one false idea and inhibited in the expression of any other; whereas all directions lie absolutely open to us, if only we understand our own natures. Man circumscribes his own conditions by the false ideas he holds in regard to life. No one holds him back. He holds himself back. Yet, even with his narrowing, limiting ideas and conceptions, he is able to accomplish wonderful things. Whatever he sets out to do on the purely physical, material plane of life, he accomplishes in a shorter or greater length of time. If his ideas of religion are all concerned with the physical aspect of life, however, how can he know more? All the conquests that he can make will be physical conquests. What could it avail him in the direction of real knowledge, if he continued similar conquests from civilization to civilization, age to age, planet to planet, solar system to solar system? He could gain nothing but a small sum of possible combinations and correlations, and in all that search and effort would not have gained the first fundamental of true knowledge, of true thought and action.
The kingly mystery of Life can not mean physical existence, which is merely one aspect of the Great Life. We have to go deeper into our own natures, and into the natures of all beings, in order to grasp what that great mystery is. Then the lives of all beings become clear Unto us; we understand what all phases of existence mean; we see the causes for all the difficulties that surround us; we know how to bring about better results, and we perceive from the very first that the power lies in us, and in us alone, to bring about all future changes for ourselves. Looking at all existence from a universal point of view, we become able to exercise the power which lies in the essential spiritual basis of every being, high or low. The One Self appears only to be divided among the creatures; in reality, It is not divided at all. Each being is That in his essential nature. In It is the foundation of all power; in It lies the power of unfolding, of evolution, which makes possible for each being—representing one ray of that One Life—the attainment of a full knowledge of Life in his own true nature.
Each one of us stands in the midst of a great and silent evolution. Each one of us sees many expressions of different beings—those of the same grade as ourselves and beings of grades below us. We find relations with other elements, the power of which we do not see, the source of which we do not grasp, yet the effects of which we feel. On every hand we are getting effects from different beings of different grades, each one receiving those effects differently. The beings below us in forms of the mineral, vegetable, and animal world are all working, just as we are working, toward a greater and greater realization of the whole. Sparks of the One Spirit, of the One Consciousness, they have begun their little lives in forms, or bodies, by which they may contact others. As they have need for better and better instruments, need for further and further contact, they evolve, from within, a better instrument. Such is the whole course of evolution, always from within outwards, and always with the tendency to an increasing individuality. From the one ocean of Life there finally tends to arise—Divinity.
Divinity is always acquired. It is not an endowment. It does not exist of itself. If we could be made good, if we could be made to turn around and take a righteous course, life might seem very much easier to us. But there is no escaping the law; no one can get us “off” from the effects of our wrong-doing; no one can confer knowledge on another. Each one has to see and know for himself. Each one has to gain Divinity of himself, and in his own way. We think of this as a common world. But it is not so. There are no two people who look at life from the same view point, who have the same likes and dislikes, whom the same things affect in exactly the same way. No two people are alike either in life or after the death of the body. Each makes his own state; each makes his own limitations; each acquires his own Divinity. Divinity lies latent in each one of us; all powers lie latent in every one, and no being anywhere can be greater than we may become.
What is Divinity but all-inclusive knowledge? True spirituality is not a hazy condition. It is not something that denies any portion of the universe, nor any kind of being. A hazy abstract condition would mean no men, no principles, no opposites; but Divine spirituality is the power to know and see whatever is wished known or seen; it is an intimate knowledge of the ultimate essence of everything in nature. Such knowledge would not mean seeing all things at once, nor being everywhere at the same time, but it is the power to see and know in any direction—the power to grasp whatever it wishes, the power to shut out whatever it wishes. Otherwise it would be no power at all; there would be no use in having power and wisdom, and such beings as the Masters could be afflicted with all the grief and misery in the world, unable to help where help is needed and possible.
All-inclusive knowledge lies before every living being, if lie will but take the necessary steps. What prevents him are the false ideas he holds; for thought is the basis of all action, and wrong ideas in regard to life inevitably bring about wrong actions. We have thought we are all different, because we have different ideas, but, in essence, we are One. The One Life is in each of us. Each one of us stands in the same position, looking out; all the rest are seen. Starting from this point, we begin to find ourselves, to see ourselves, to feel ourselves, and, in feeling ourselves, feel all others. All that a man can know of God is what he knows in himself, through himself, and by himself. Never by any outside presentation can that realization be gained. All the great saviors of all times have never asked man to rely on some outside God, to fear some devil, to go by this or that revelation, to believe in any book, church, ‘ology,” or ism” of any kind. They have asked him to take the step that the height of his calling demands—to know himself, to know his own true nature, and the nature of every other being. They have shown that the Real Man must assert himself, and must act in accordance with his own nature, and the responsibility which the oneness of all nature demands.
Man occupies the most important place in the whole scheme of evolution. He stands where Spirit and matter meet. He is the link between the higher beings and those below. He has so to act, so to think and act, in and upon and with this physical matter that he raises it all up, and gives it another tendency, another trend. By the very constitution of his nature, by reason of his being connected as he is in a physical body with all nature, the Secret Doctrine states that man can become greater than any one of the Dhyan Chohans and equal to all of them put together. That is the goal which lies before him—the goal of the ‘Kingly Mystery”—the seeing and knowing and feeling and acting universally. For there is a power in man which enables him to judge aright; he has the all-seeing eye—the all-encompassing sight which permits him to see the justice of all things. And always there is present the power of choice in one direction or an other. The questions before each human being are: Whom will ye serve? Will you serve the higher spiritual nature, or the body of flesh? WHOM CHOOSE YE THIS DAY?