THE MYSTERY OF DEATH
'Life' and 'Death' are correlative terms. In the realm of relativity we cannot think, speak and act except by putting one thing in juxtaposition to another. This is the way to understand what is phenomenal. In multiplicity, we are confronted at every step with complex jigsaw puzzles, and have, therefore, to follow an analytical process of sorting out the component parts in each case, to name them individually and to put one in relation to the other, so as to comprehend something of it on the plane of the senses and the intellect. Thus by the very nature of things, and by the nature of the cognizing faculties with which nature has endowed us, we live by the knowledge of the parts only and never get a true picture of anything in its totality. Since we have no knowledge and experience of the noumenon, we are content all the while with forms and colours of the things we see, their attributes and characteristics which may be apparent on the surface, without penetrating into the depth, the central life-principle which is the self-same in all in spite of the differences in the mass, the density, the volume, the weight and the shape of what we see and observe. Like the Lady of Shallot, we live all the time in the world of shadows as reflected in the reflecting mirror (of mind and intellect), with our back turned, as it were, even upon the objective world around us, what to speak of the subjective world in each one of us-the world of reality with wonders greater, vaster, more gorgeous and more glorious than anything in the physical.
With the dawn of first flicker in man, of Divinity, the All-controlling and All-sustaining Power behind everything organic or inorganic, developed the consciousness of some principle which was the life and soul of the universe. This gradually led to the founding of various religions, each according to the insight that its founder had, regard being to the needs of the time and the people and the level of racial understanding and capacity to accept, digest, and assimilate the teachings of the Apostles , Messiahs and Prophets who came from time to time for the material, mental, moral, social and economic upliftment of the multitudes.
All religions spring from the best of motives. The leaders of religious thought are as much the product of the time as the conditions they create for the amelioration of the masses among whom they preach. This being the case, it may not be far amiss to say that for the majority of the people, the superb teachings of the enlightened teachers, formed what may be said socio-religions, codes of social and moral precepts so as to make people live in peace with one another, rather than in a state of perpetual unrest, and fear of war - war of one against all and all against one.
All good and virtuous thoughts, like
other thoughts, proceed from the mind. In the case of world teachers such
thoughts had their origin in the life of the spirit they lived. It is,
however, very few who rise to their level, and profit by their intrinsic
teachings, the practical aspect in each religion - mysticism - constituting
the core of what they taught. Thus the practical central theme was imparted
to the chosen few - the elect - while the masses were given the theoretical
aspect of the teachings in the form of parables as might, in course of
time, enable them to grasp and understand the true import of what they
actually taught. Thus as one probes the bottom of all religions, one gets
glimpses of the reality no matter how faint and vague at times they appear
because we have not yet developed the eyes which their founders had. For
man, religion remained, for the most part, a theory, a rationalised theory at the most, to improve his lot in life and make him a better man, a better member of the social order to which he belonged, a true citizen of the state, clothed with civic rights and obligations, social and family responsibilities, for the healthy discharge of which he was thus equipped.
All virtues, all acts, all arts, all sciences and all crafts including statecraft, priest-craft, the gentlecraft have their basis in the lowest common multiple in varying degrees, of the underlying universal truth, as conceived by their progenitors; hence we see an amalgam of religion with social and moral trappings to make it presentable and acceptable to the generality of mankind. This is the aspect of religion that provides a firm basis to the social order of the race.
If we move a step further, we come to other stratum in religion. It is one of moral virtues, arising, at different levels, as rites and rituals, forms and formularies, austerities and penances, humanities and charities, incantations to tame and reconcile irreconcilable powers that be, and invocations to friendly powers for aid and succour in times of need.
Last, but not the least, come the yogis and yogishweras well versed in yogic disciplines as we shall presently see.
At the apex of the hierarchy, are Master-saints, Perfected beings or God-men who not only speak of the Power and Spirit of God, but make It manifest in their initiates and consciously link individual souls with It. It must be said to their credit that theirs is the true religion, truly religious, etymologically and practically, binding men back to the Creator.
The teachings of Masters do not form an institutional religion as it is ordinarily understood to be. It is a regular species of science - the Science of Soul. Whosoever faithfully practises this science as enjoined by the Masters, gets the same experiences and arrives at the same conclusions; irrespective of the social religion to which he belongs and the Church; High or Low, Papal or Anglican, Episcopal or Presbyterian, to which he owes allegiance.
The Science of Soul is the kernel and the core of all religions. It is the foundation on which all religions rest. The Masters teach that there are seven planes - Pind, Und, Brahmand, Par Brahmand, Sach Khand, Alakh and Agam. And above all the cosmos, there is the eighth plane, called differently by the Saints as Anami (Nameless), Maha Dayal (Lord of compassion), Nirala (the most wonderful) or Swami (the Lord of all). The initiates of the Masters are given an account in brief of the distinguishing features of each of the first five planes and the characteristic sounds and lights prevailing in each; and the names of the presiding powers.
The initiate who successfully crosses the first plane is called a sadhak (disciple). And the one who traverses the second is known a Sadh (a disciplined soul). He who is washed clean in the Par Brahmand of the lingerings and longings in him is called a Hansa (a purified soul) and he who goes further up is called a Param-Hansa (an immaculate soul). He who reaches the fifth plane (Sach Khand) is called a Sant or a Saint. And a Saint who is commissioned by the Supreme Being to teach Truth (Shiksha) and to demonstrate Truth (Diksha) is called a Sant Satguru (or a Perfect Master) having authority to guide jivas (human souls) into the realms beyond, to their ultimate Home (the Kingdom of God).
Yoga means union of soul with the Oversoul or God-power. There are so many forms of yoga - Mantra yoga, Hatha yoga, Ashtang yoga, Karam yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, Raja yoga, Laya yoga and the like. These yogic disciplines, more or less, deal with the training of the physical body, the outgoing faculties, the mind and the intellect. They aim at securing a healthy mind in a healthy body, so as to achieve health, physical fitness and longevity. Each has its own scope and purpose. But all these different yogic forms do not constitute watertight compartments but together they serve to integrate man to make him whole or an undivided individual. (For a detailed account in this behalf, reference may profitably be made to the study of "Crown of Life" wherein the subject has been dealt with at some length).
There is yet another form of yoga - the Surat Shabd Yoga or Communion with the Holy Word (Sound Current). It is at the root of all religions and yet it is not properly understood by the theologians. It takes one to the ultimate goal - Anami or the Nameless Absolute Who is at the back of the entire creation both as its material and efficient Causeless Cause. As the Ocean of Pure Consciousness heaved, the Formless and Nameless Absolute came into expression, in many different forms with many different names by the Power of Its own heaving vibrations; the Sound whereof came to be called the Holy Word. How to get into direct touch with the Spirit and Power of God, the Primal Creative Principle (the Light of Life) is the subject of mysticism. While all philosophies deal with the manifested aspect of the Unmanifest and the creation of the Uncreate; mysticism, on the other hand, deals with the first Creative Principle itself, the vibratory force characterised by Sound and Light (Sruti and Jyoti).
The process of Communion with the Word starts with a conscious contact with the God-into-expression- Power (the Naam or the Holy Ghost) and it grants one an actual experience of ineffable bliss of the higher planes, not on credit to be experienced in the hereafter (after death); but right here and now, while yet living in flesh in the material, physical world.
These vibrations, resulting into various types of sounds, guide the initiate through the different planes of varying densities, material and spiritual, and ultimately lead the spirit into a purely spiritual world of Sat Naam. (the Kingdom of God), from where the Divine Harmony emanates which becomes the means of leading back the world- weary souls to the True Home of the loving Father - the heaven of bliss. Tulsi Sahib says: "A Sound from afar is coming down to call you back to God." Similarly, we have the testimony of Shamas Tabrez when he, addressing himself, says: "O Shamas! Hearken thou to the Voice of God, calling thee unto Him." Guru Arjan likewise says:
He Who sent you into the world, below, is now calling you back.
In the Quran we have: "O thou soul! return to the Lord, well pleased and pleasing Him."
A Perfect living Master is a 'must' on the path Godward. In the Gospel of St. John, we have: "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (14:6). All the Masters say that there is always in the world a Master or a 'Murshid' who functions as a Qibla Numa, or a pointer to the Qibla or the holiest of the holy, sanctum sanctorum, worthy of our adoration and worship. In the Sikh scriptures we have: "The teachers come in succession from age to age." St. Luke likewise tells us: "As He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began." (1:70).
The Law of Demand and Supply is always working in nature. There is food for the hungry and water for the thirsty. Where there is fire, oxygen of its own comes to its aid. But each Prophet and a Messiah works out his mission for the time he is sent into the world. Jesus said: "As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world." (John 9:5). But when one fulfills his commission, he is recalled, gathered up and passes away from the scene of his activity on the earth-plane. In nature, there is no such thing as vacuum. The Power-of-God cannot but continue the work of the regeneration for it is a ceaseless task. While withdrawing from one human pole, the said Power chooses another human pole for Its manifestation and work in the world. Such a human pole may be said to be the vice-regent of God. He steps into the breach, fills in the gap and carries on the work. It is just like replacing a fused bulb with the new one, to ensure continuity of Light. The Christ Power or the Power-of-God continues to shine undiminished from one pole or another; may be in the likeness of Zoroaster, Confucius, Jesus, Mohammed, Kabir, Nanak, Tulsi Sahib or Soami Ji.
As stated before, the world is never without a Master. After Soami Ji, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji carried on his Master's mission in the Punjab and then his illustrious spiritual son and successor, Hazur Sawan Singh Ji whose grace continues to shine, even now, more than ever before, all over the world through 'Ruhani Satsang' with its Headquarters in Delhi - a common forum where religious heads of the country and from abroad meet, from time to time, and work in cementing mankind into one brotherhood as children of God, irrespective of the social religious orders and the countries to which they belong.
When the Saints leave the world, accounts of their valuable experiences in the course of their search for Truth are compiled and they add to the sacerdotal literature of the world, as extant today. In the twentieth century we are fortunate to have several scriptures coming down, from ages gone by. We have Zend Avesta, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the great epics of Ramayana, and Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, the old and new Testaments, the Al-Quran, the Ad Granth and many other books like Sar Bachan and Gurmat Sidhant. All of them deal with the self-same Truth which is one, and only one, but approach to Truth, is in a variety of ways each having its peculiar terminology and mode of expression. But most of us sticking to the teachings of the one or the other of the sages, find it hard to comprehend their import for lack of knowledge of the inner meaning of key-words employed and the language or dialect pressed into service. Unless a man of realisation who has himself experienced the truths propounded by the writers comes to our aid and explains them to us and in a way intelligible to us, we cannot get at the real meanings. In the hands of such a competent Master, the past records come alive and become a source of inspiration for the aspiring souls. It is, therefore, said:
The scriptures are tools in the hands of a Master
and do help in ferrying across the sea of life,
But the scriptures become intelligible only when
some God-man comes to interpret them.
At initiation, the seeker after Truth is consciously linked with the Holy Word, the God-into- expression Power in the form of Light and Sound emanating from the vibratory motion in the depth of the Ocean of Love as God is. He is given a direct demonstration of the Power and Spirit of God and begins to see the Light of God and to hear the Music of Spheres, vibrating unceasingly everywhere, in space and out of space, for there is no place where It is not. Of Guru Nanak, fully dyed in the colour of the All-pervading Naam and always living in a state of continuous ecstasy, it is said that once in his travels he, while in Mecca (in Arabia), was one day found lying in the sacred precincts with his feet towards the sacred shrine 'Qaaba.' The attendants of the shrine could not tolerate this apparently sacrilegious act. They rebuked him for the affront saying, "How is it that you are lying with your feet towards the House of God?" Guru Nanak who was conscious of the Spirit of God surging everywhere and in every direction, meekly asked, "Please tell me where God is not so that I may turn my feet in that direction." This is how God-centred Saints look at things. They see God everywhere and in all directions as an All-pervading Life-principle pulsating in all that is.
Similarly, in Al-Quran, the Prophet has declared: "The Kingdom of God extends from east to west and the faithful can find Him in whatsoever direction they may turn their face towards Him, for God is sure to meet them in that very direction; as He is not confined to any particular space and is All-knowing, knowing the heart of each."
Al-nisai, a Muslim darvesh, elaborating this point goes on to explain: "For me the whole earth is but a tabernacle of God and a holy place for offering prayers. My followers are free to say their prayers wherever they may happen to be, when the time of prayer dawns."
In the Acts of the Apostles (17:24), we have: "God is the Creator of heaven and earth and He dwelleth not in temples made by (human) hands."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, therefore, lays more emphasis on devotion than on anything else for loving devotion sanctifies the place, the time and mode of prayer. He says: "All is holy where one kneels in devotion."
The Power and Spirit of God is All-pervading. It is ever-present and ever-vibrating. By attuning to the Divine Melody, the soul is spontaneously lifted, as it were in an electric lift, to higher and higher regions and one proceeds on and on in the wake of the tuneful Music which gradually becomes more and more subtle until it gets absorbed into the Source whence it proceeds - the Absolute, the Anami or the Nameless and the Wordless.
We all are in search of God according to our own lights. The souls after passing through a long and wearisome evolutionary process of self-discipline and self-purification, are ultimately led by the God-power to the feet of a Master-saint for journey back to God. "No man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him at the last day." (John 5:44). The 'last day' here means the day when one leaves the dross of the body, may be voluntarily in one's lifetime by rising above body-consciousness by the practical process of self-analysis; or involuntarily at the time of death when the sensory currents are wrenched out of the body by the Angel of Death. Guru Arjan says: "He that sent you into the world is now calling you back. Turn ye Homeward with ease and comfort."
The inventions of radio and radar have now proved, beyond doubt, that the atmosphere around us is full of vibrating sounds which can be picked up and drawn down to be heard from any distance whatsoever provided there is an instrument well-equipped, well-adjusted and well-attuned to catch them. This is exactly what a competent Master does at the time of initiation when he tunes in individual souls and makes the Sound principle audible to them.
The outer earthly music has great impact on man. The soldiers on the march are roused by the martial strains of bugles and trumpets. The high-landers in their tartan kilts march triumphantly with the sound of pibrochs or the bag-pipes. The sailors and seamen tug and pull at the sails and work at the oars with rhythmic shouts. The muffled drums play the funeral march to the sorrowing mourners accompanying a bier. The dancers dance in unison with the accompanying music and the jingling of their bracelets and anklets. Even the animals, like the chiming of the bells tied to their horns. The fleet-footed antelope is enticed from the hiding thickets by the beating of drums, The deadly cobras are charmed by the snake-charmer by the music of vina. The outer music takes the soul to the end of the material plane and raises emotions which otherwise lie too deep for tears. Such indeed is the power of music. John Dryden, an eminent English poet of the seventeenth century, speaks of it eloquently:
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell,
His listening brethren stood around,
And wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a God they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell,
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When such is the power of the earthly music, one may well imagine what would be the power of the celestial Music? How inebriating and exhilarating it would be when one would begin to rise above body-consciousness and be in tune with the heavenly Harmony. The Word is the God-power come into expression. God is Symphonic Love, all bubbling out and brimming over. He is the Source at once of Love, Light and Life.
The way to the Absolute leads through many mansions (planes and sub-planes) lying on the way from the physical to the Father's Home. The journey is fraught with danger. The mental planes are altogether impassable without a guide fully conversant with the turns and twists of the path. Hence the imperative need for a Guru (torch-bearer) or a competent Master, a regular traveller on the way, fully cognizant of the difficulties and hazards that beset the path. He alone who is conversant with the way Godward, can safely take the spirit through slippery regions of blinding light and bewildering shadows and through delusive siren-charms and the terrors of the unknown. Maulana Rumi therefore exhorts us:
Find thou a traveller of the path for without such a traveller,
The path is full of untold pitfalls and inconceivable dangers.
We, on the other hand, are deeply engrossed in the world. Kabir gives us a vivid description of our helplessness in the fearsome sea of the world. He tells us that the way to real happiness is long and dreary; and we are snoring deeply on the plane of the senses. He asks us to wake-up and start on the tortuous uphill journey. We all are in the deadly grip of the steely tentacles of life carrying a heavy load of delusions on our head. Our so-called friends and relations are mostly our creditors and debtors and they are mercilessly pulling us to pieces in devious ways. The wonder is that we lovingly hold on to them and hug them to our bosom little knowing that they are bleeding us white. What we consider as our very own is just a mirage and is very often taken away from us in the twinkling of an eye. Again, the poor soul has, after death, to tread the solitary path to the judgement seat of God (Dharam Raj, the Divine Dispensing Power) all alone. With the worn-out boat of the body, we are floating rudderless like weeds in the treacherous streams, continuous prey to chance winds and stormy waters. How then are we going to cross over to the other shore? For a mere pittance we are constantly engaged in a losing game; and in the end pass out like a hunted quarry, and know not whither we go. We have no knowledge of the life beyond the grave. How can we be saved? This defies our understanding and we feel baffled and helpless.
The Master promises to be with us all the time, both here and in the hereafter into the beyond. He gives a demonstration of it to the initiate by manifesting his Radiant Form within each one of the initiates. And he assures us in no uncertain terms: "Where I am, there shall ye be also."
The initiate is taught the esoteric way to rise into the Kingdom of Heaven which lies within him. The inner journey starts with the opening of the single eye or 'shiv netra'. It opens when the sensory currents are withdrawn and gathered up to the seat of the soul at the eye focus behind and between the two eyebrows. On entering into the beyond, the initiate can talk to the Master within and come back with a fully conscious recollection of the experiences gained on the inner planes. In the Kingdom of Heaven there is neither the chain of endless cause and effect nor is there space nor time. There is nothing but one continuous present in which one lives in a world of his own. The communication between soul and soul is through etheric thought-waves or vibrations.
All this, and much more, can be achieved by daily and prolonged loving devotion to the spiritual sadhanas or practices. In this way, an initiate attains conscious contact with the Master on the higher planes and by degrees gets absorbed in Him, so much so that he becomes one with Him; and Paul-like begins to say:
I am crucified in Christ: nevertheless I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life
I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the
Son-of-God, who loved me.
The Master is 'Word-made-flesh', he is all the time in direct and constant communion with the Divine Word in him nay, he actually revels in It and often proclaims: "I and my Father are one," or as we read in Gurbani, "I and my Father are dyed in the self-same colour," or "I and my Father are in working partnership with each other" (so as to run together the spiritual administration of the world). In short, it may be said that the Master is a conscious co-worker with God of the Divine Plan.
At times, the Master takes the initiate 'under cover' far beyond certain planes which are bewitchingly beautiful so that he may not get entangled therein and be lost in the wonders of the way. Maulana Rumi therefore says:
If you intend going on a pilgrimage (into the beyond)
then take thou a pilgrim for thy companion,
It matters not whether the said pilgrim is a Hindu,
a Turk or an Arab; but see that He is a real pilgrim.
A living Master is such a pilgrim. "Type of the wise who soar but never roam; True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home." To have a living Master is a great blessing. He never leaves nor forsakes the initiates even unto the end of the world. When one is initiated, the Master lives in him in His astral or luciform body and ever remains with him till the end of journey to Sat Naam or Sat Purush; and absorbs himself in Him and also makes the initiate-soul get absorbed in Him - the two becoming one in Him. Even if at any time the disciple goes astray or is led astray, he is brought back to the path of rectitude either in this very life or in succeeding ones.
Again, Christ and other Masters have, in course of time, to pass away from the earth-plane and yet they live in Shabd form within, but out of space and out of time. Bound as we are with one or the other of them, we naturally wish to live and die for them. But little do we know how to contact them within our own self. Such a contact is possible and well within our reach if we but find a Shabd swaroop or Word personified teacher competent to link us with the Word, nay transform us into the Word in which all Masters of ages gone by eternally live.
I am reminded of a lady who met me in America during 1955. She used to greet Christ within herself and was thus self-satisfied and did not like to make further attempt to advance further on the spiritual path. One day I casually suggested to her to ask Christ as to what further steps He would prescribe for inner progress. The following day she came and warmly pressed for initiation, remarking that Christ had directed her to seek the guidance of the living Perfect Master if she desired to further advance.
The Powers within never obstruct the seekers after God; and if one is in contact with an ancient Master, he readily and gladly tells his devotees what to do for the next steps on the spiritual path.
A few of the initiates are taken up by the Master and shown the glory of the fifth region (Sach Khand) and most of the initiates are guided on to that plane. But as said before, there are in all eight regions, and the eighth is the ultimate goal which is reached by those who attain complete perfection.
It is after transcending Sat Lok that one gets to
know the ineffable and incomprehensible,
It is in the region beyond all these that Saints
reside and Nanak the lowly one also rests
St. John, the Divine, in the Revelations, gives us an exposition of his inner experiences:
I was in the spirit on the Lord's Day and heard
behind me a great voice as of a trumpet,
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last;
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.
He was one like unto the Son of man.
His eyes were as a flame of fire;
His voice as the sound of many waters;
His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength,
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet dead and
he laid his right hand upon me saying unto
me - Fear not, I am the first and the last;
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith:
To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the fruit of life.
He shall not be hurt of the second death,
To him will I give to eat the hidden manna, and
will give him a white stone and in the stone a
new name written, which no man knoweth
saving he that receiveth.
And he shall be clothed in, white raiment and I
will not blot his name out of the Book of Life,
And I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire
that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment
that thou mayest be clothed;
And anoint thine eyes with eye salve that mayest see.
- Ch. 1, 2 & 3.
In Ch. 12 of the second book of Corinthians, St. Paul speaking of his visions and revelations tells us of the third heaven when he says: "I knew a man caught in the third heaven (Brahmand), whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell, God knoweth. How that he was caught up into the paradise and heard unspeakable words which is not lawful for me to utter."
All the Masters stop short when it comes to revealing the innermost secrets. Shamas Tabrez says: "When it comes to telling the tale of the Beloved, my pen falters and the page is torn." Maulana Rumi also forbids the giving out of the inner secrets: "Thou mayest tell thy vision, not a jot this or that even. Else He will blot out all that thou hast seen, as it had never been." So does Kabir emphatically declare:
I beseech thee with all the force at my command,
Be careful that the inner secrets do not go out.
We may as well close this with the memorable words from the famous Masnavi wherein the great Rumi says:
It is not fitting that I tell thee more,
For the streams' bed cannot hold the sea.
This then is the way that the Masters of yore kept hidden to themselves the Secret Doctrine of Divinity, as a sacred trust, and imparted something of it only to their trusted and tested disciples (gurmukhs). Indeed it is not a subject that can adequately be discussed in mere words. The proof of the pudding, however, lies in its eating. It is a practical process of self-analysis, tapping and inversion; and whosoever by the grace of a Perfect Master gains an access into himself and delves deep within is sure of find the pearl of inestimable value. A touch of reality makes one real beyond all relativity; and the mortal man is at once transmuted into an immortal spirit, dissolving the Gordian knot between the inert matter and the living soul. Thus is solved the mystery of 'life' and 'death,' for life alone exists through the passing shadows of all that is transitory, swallowing death in victory at every step.
In the following pages, an attempt has been made to tell something of the Secret Doctrine in the three dimensional language at our disposal which is highly inadequate to express the ineffable. May the Power and Spirit of God help the readers to a better understanding of the subject at the feet of some Competent Master, capable of delivering the spiritual riches here and now in this life, for who knows whether the Truth will dawn or not in the hereafter as it is so solemnly and seriously held out and promised by so-called teachers with whom the world abounds. In this context Christ has given a solemn warning: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Math. 7:15). If a blind leads the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
It is, therefore, of paramount importance
that one must make a thorough search for a Competent and Perfect Master
and satisfy oneself of the genuineness before accepting and adopting him
as an unerring guide and an unfailing friend on the God-way. It does not
matter if one may have to spend his entire life-span in this momentous
quest rather than be taken in by pseudo Masters and lose one's only chance
in life. A quest like this will not go in vain. 'Seek and ye shall find.'
I died as mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was a man.
Why should I fear? when was I less by dying?
Yet, once more, I shall die as man, to soar -
With angels blessed, but even from angelhood
I must pass on; all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I shall become what no mind e'er conceived.
Oh! let me not exist, for non-existence
Proclaims in organ-tones, "To Him we shall return."