Theo. – As I understand it, any seeker, whether an aspirant or a disciple, may at any time join the Ultimate through his Master’s divine heart?
The Elder – That’s it! The Master’s heart is just as a gate opening onto eternity, and as I usually say to you, the best key to that gate is Love.
Theo. – Now what if the aspirant can’t open that door, supposing he doesn’t like the Master’s personality, for instance? How could he develop love, then?
The Elder – That is why you must focus on Master’s heart rather than on the individual and the specific physical person you can see. But you are forgetting that, most of the time, the very personality of the aspirant is what constitutes the major obstacle.
Theo. – Indeed we sometimes carry such heavy karmic luggage that it prevents us from moving forward as we should.
The Elder – The Master will know that and be kind. His work only consists in helping the aspirant to be better prepared for the moment when his/her heart, by the grace of God, can be co-opted for the journey to eternity.
Theo. – Can the preparation take a long time?
The Elder – Many lifetimes… or just an instant! That remains a mystery, but the one who is spiritually prepared is certainly closer to that blessed moment.
Theo. – Have you ever observed at what moment of his/her yatra (spiritual journey) it may happen?
The Elder – Each point, each chakra may represent a gateway, as it gives the being an opportunity to let its soul (atman) be really touched. At each door a courier will take care of the soul and help it reach its inner Ultimate. That is what I have observed, at least.
Theo. – I know one of those already, Jesus Christ, who stands at the chakra of Love.
The Elder – That’s right. There, Lord Jesus Christ may take the aspirant’s soul to God provided it has completely surrendered. Quite a few Christian mystics have followed that way and still do it.
Theo. – I can imagine that spiritual beings such as Buddha or Lord Krishna will do the same. But where do they wait for us?
The Elder seemed to be pondering over it, then he pursued:
– What really matters is that a Lord will take you to God.
Theo. – But are there many Lords and what are their characteristics? I’d like to know more about it.
The Elder – He who has merged with the Supreme Lord is called a Lord. But since he or she does not exist as an individual anymore, we call them Lord.
Theo. – It looks more like a state of being or rather non-being within God, doesn’t it?
The Elder – It is the same for God’s avatars.
Theo. – Such as Lord Krishna?
The Elder – An avatar is a pure expression of God. It has not had any human incarnation before it became manifested. God created it for a specific need, for guiding humanity.
Theo. – To remind us that we have a dharma (a sacred duty)?
The Elder – To have everyone of us remember that, as a human being, we have originally concluded a pact with God and remember our divine origin, to remind us of our swadharma (our personal destiny) and our sahajdharma (the individual and collective destiny), for instance.
Theo. – And what about Lord Jesus?
The Elder – He followed the path of humankind, the path of evolution. He had prepared himself during many lifetimes when he started being an aspirant, first, then a disciple, and finally a Master when, completing his rise, he became Lord Christ, a guide for humanity.
Theo. – Like Lord Krishna, who will take to God any pure and loving heart.
The Elder – All the Lords can do that.
Theo. (feeling perplexed):
– And what can you say about spiritual Masters, the incarnated Masters of wisdom?
The Elder – Some of them may become Lords, too.
Theo. – How do they do it? Do they choose the Lord they want to follow? How can they discern the way that is right for them?
The Elder – It is the same as when two persons get married. They each know they have met the right person and don’t need to meet anybody else.
Theo. – Why?
The Elder – Because their hearts have to be given to that very person and to no one else. Actually, that person is the Master or the Lord coming to you to take you to God. It does not mean that you have found him or her, though you may think you have.
Theo. – Finally, a disciple belongs to one single Lord who has been attending to him or her for a very long time.
The Elder – At the next step, the disciple will understand that Lords and Masters are one with God and that only God ultimately counts.
Theo. – What do human beings do once a Lord has identified them?
The Elder – Generally, they will agree.
Theo. – Do you mean that some of them may decline the opportunity?
The Elder – It may happen. Don’t forget that God has blessed us with the gift of free will.
Theo. – And with an intellect, too! Even at that stage, there must be some further interference of our wretched ego which is wracked by its numerous tendencies.
The Elder smiled, as he saw that Theo was getting nervous. So, he used his favorite weapon … silence.
Theo soon felt the effect of transmission. He refocused and said:
– Once more I let my emotions carry me away, but thanks to you, my ego did not take over.
The Elder – Your ego is actually quite happy to cooperate. It appreciates being fascinated by the Divine more and more. It makes it feel that it has fallen into place.
Theo. – You are right. It did not respond, indeed. But why should I have become so emotional?
The Elder – It is a reflex reaction. Not too much importance should be attached to such emotions. Then, they will naturally subside.
Theo. – Just as thoughts usually do while we meditate? We should ignore them, shouldn’t we?
The Elder – Any personality has its own habits and reflexes. That is what makes us specific, unique and original. Could you imagine a mountain being covered only with flowers of a single species? It would soon be boring and tiresome.
The Elder mentally projected the image of a mountain slope covered with different colours of flowers and grass, on a bright sunny day.
Theo closed his eyes and caught sight of the image the Elder had created.
The Elder – So, you see, when you are immersed in the One, in God, you can only perceive what makes life varied and beautiful.
– And then you can only express your gratitude… Theo continued, as the beauty of the landscape dazzled him.
The Elder – And grace flows down… on pure hearts.
A shower of grace flowed indeed on both friends, who quietly enjoyed it and gave thanks to God. A virtuous circle had been opened for a significant moment. Never had silence been inhabited that way…
– Thanks my Lord, Theo whispered imperceptibly.
After such a long pause, Theo stared at the Elder’s still and gentle face, and he asked calmly:
– How can I realize God within me?
The Elder – Get the best odds and disregard nothing. Practice regularly until the day when your Master says that you can stop. Above all, stop thinking that practice alone will help you realize God.
Theo. – What if I let God practice for me?
The Elder – Then the work would soon be completed. You would immediately be treading the Path to Eternity.
Theo. – Do you mean that the soul’s journey would end to give way to the Path to Eternity?
The Elder – That is the next step indeed.
Theo. – I have a feeling that, within me, such a way already started a long time ago. The issue is only that the person I am was not aware of it. I can now feel that my soul is chaffing at the bit.
The Elder – In your previous earthly life already, you had offered your heart to God.
Theo. – I’m not surprised. I have always been conscious of God’s presence. When I was a boy, I would go to Him and complain that I was being constrained unfairly.
The Elder – Being impatient, as usual…
Theo. -Nevertheless, I soon met our Master then.
I know that everything will come in its own time, but there is within me a spiritual restlessness that makes me feel I am running short of time. I know, of course, that God has an unlimited time and that, if I may say so, He has one foot in time while the other foot is out of time, but I still bear within me that sort of spiritual restlessness.
The Elder – I know how it feels. You know that everything is already there, though you cannot have a real access to it. It is a powerful driving force for the aspirant. The ego will show reluctance as often as it will be itching to have a go!
– Sometimes, I have the feeling that my ego looks more like a donkey than like a horse.
The Elder (adding to it):
– A thoroughbred endowed with the consciousness of a pack-saddled donkey.
– I thought you would buck me up!
The Elder (smiling):
– I enjoy helping others. I always resort to humour, as it helps looking at tricky situations with a detached lag. As I used to tell Chariji, life is a coin, one side of which makes you laugh whereas the other side makes you cry, though the situation is the same. But I admitted I’d rather laugh than cry, since it is all in the name of the same issue.
Theo. – So, what did he say?
The Elder – He said that there, too, moderation was a must.
Theo. – And since then?
The Elder – The coin got lost at the bottom of my pocket.
Theo tried to have his friend tell him a little more. Half serious and half playful, he went on challenging him:
– Do you consider I am an odd difficult case?
The Elder got back to being serious and quietly answered:
– Trust yourself and, above all, trust Him and only Him.
Disappointed, Theo added:
– Would it be a tragedy if occasionally you could reassure me just a bit?
The Elder – You don’t need that. You are asking for the most direct and fast track. Well, take it now. You don’t need crutches, do you?
What is your heart telling you?…
Theo. – It says that it’s all going well, very well indeed.
The Elder – And what does your intuition say?
Theo. – That I am on the verge of jumping in at the deep end.
The Elder – What does your soul say?
Theo. – It says that it’s already there.
The Elder – What does the Lord’s voice say, within your heart?
Theo. – It says that I am His and that I have been His from all eternity.
Silence, within Silence.
– Now, what about you, my friend, what do you say to me? Theo asked in turn.
The Elder – I say that we have a further long way to travel together, dear brother… the old man concluded as the evening darkness was surrounding them and swamping them within a deep silent familiar communion… a taste of eternity…
Theophile the Elder
An excerpt from Dialogs with Theophile the Elder
Theophile the Younger’s Initiation