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The Inner Life V

WE have already seen that the cultivation of the inner life is the only way to harmony and peace. But even of greater importance is the fact that without this we can never overcome all that wars against our spiritual growth and progress, neither can we “grow” our spiritual body without which, when our “earthly” body is cast off, we should be found naked. No one, of course, can manufacture his own spiritual body. Like Eternal Life itself, it is the gift of God, but the spiritual body grows and develops only to the extent that we cultivate our spiritual character. While salvation is of God through Christ, we have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The spiritual body is a Divine growth or development, but it needs care, attention, and cultivation. No gardener, it does not matter how clever be may be, can make a flower grow of itself. He cannot give it life, for this is from God, but he can cultivate it. He can remove the weeds, water the flower, see that the sunshine reaches it, and give it extra nourishment. As a result of his care a beautiful and healthy plant is produced, but the life and inherent beauty come from God.

It is the same with our spiritual body. it is the gift of God, but it comes to us only as we cultivate the inner life.

Therefore, the cultivation of the inner life should be our principal aim. All the experiences of life should be looked upon as helps to the development of a truly spiritual and Christ-like character. Our aim should not be our own comfort, but rather to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, which are: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. So long as we seek merely for comfort, trying at all times to make life easier and pleasanter for ourselves, we make life more difficult and delay our own spiritual growth.

Life is the great initiator. Life’s problems are the stepping stones which lead to attainment. Each problem is perfectly arranged to provide us with the experience that we need in order to make the next step upward along the spiritual path. When we have overcome our immediate problem, we have built something permanently into our spiritual character—we have added something to our eternal spiritual body.

Character is the only thing that endures. Our spiritual body is the objective expression on spiritual planes of our spiritual character. Therefore, by developing character we build up our spiritual body—the body which alone can supply us with a vehicle of expression on spiritual planes, through the aeons, or eternity.

Problems and difficulties, then, instead of being looked upon as evil or as nuisances, must be met as friends who have come to help us into the Kingdom of God—to the wedding feast, at which we have to wear the wedding garment (spiritual body). Whatever our problem, grief, perplexity, difficulty or painful experience may be, it is the best thing for us at the time. Some lack of character within has called them into being and we can get rid of the problem or difficulty only as we ourselves become inwardly changed.

Our aim, then, when meeting difficulty, should be not to overcome in order to have a pleasant and enjoyable time again, but in order to develop the special quality of character that is demanded of us. Therefore all problems and difficulties should be taken into the Silence and spread out before God, so that the Spirit who is guiding us in our journey towards Divine Union, can show us where we are wrong, what weaknesses must be overcome, or wrong attitude of mind changed.

By looking upon life’s experiences as helps in the life of spiritual attainment; by seeking within for wisdom; by devoting a set time each day to meditation; by connecting ourselves up to the Spirit throughout the day by means of affirmations of Truth; by these means we build up Christian Character, thus preparing for our use the spiritual body—which is the gift of God, nevertheless—that shall be the vehicle of expression for our use through the aeons on celestial planes.
of test and discipline. And it is well that it is so.


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