The study of Theosophy soon begins to open the doors to the treasures of the Ancient Wisdom within Philosophy and Religion. They can help us to solve some of the riddles of psychology, particularly the nature of fear. It is impossible to experience desire without co-equally experiencing fear. Desire for the objects that attract our senses, including our thirst for existence, is accompanied by fear for the impending loss of whatever it is that we may have attained. Some mistakenly try to punish or kill out their inherent capacity to desire, and to fear.
However, we learn that nothing in nature is wasted—everything has its use, including desire and fear. To kill only the sensation of desire is as difficult as would be the destruction of all forms of matter. And to fear Fear only helps to enshroud the true cause, which is selfishness. Theosophy teaches that selfishness, desire and fear are necessary steps for the development of the individual over many lifetimes. At the midpoint of that development, one begins to seek to use the individuality, imperfectly at first, for the benefit of others.
Similarly, we gradually learn that instead of killing out all desire, which subdues the means but not the motivation, a wiser course is to transmute that desire into the most elevated and sublime love. Turning desire, from the acquisition of things for the personal self, to the acquisition of things for the use of the higher Self, and the benefit of all, is to acquire the treasures in heaven that do not rust, as has been said, rather than the earthly treasures that do.
One of these treasures is the inner realisation that there is perfect justice throughout the World. In the Mahatma Letters it is said that: “Nature is destitute of goodness or malice; she follows only immutable laws when she either gives life and joy, or sends suffering and death, and destroys what she has created. Nature has an antidote for every poison, and her laws a reward for every suffering.” (italics added) Her laws, though completely impersonal, are based on the essence of goodness, compassion and benevolence, and this is proven by the fact that the one result is the growth and progression of the inner Life, and the acquirement of Divine Wisdom.
Sometimes this is fairly obvious as the personality benefits almost immediately from an increased sense of guiding conscience and insight, while at other times the benefits may not be apparent until long into the future, reflected in later lives through a deepening and pervading wisdom that appears as a beacon to others. Therefore, for one who takes the longer view over many lives, there is every reason to be cheerful and full of hope, even in the worst of moments, when it really seems ‘darkest before the dawn’, and the inner light temporarily covered over.
And what is hope? It is the inner certainty that the divine laws gradually shape and improve the individuality, and that no matter how great the outer challenges, all is ultimately well. Hope is ‘desireless expectation’ , filled with a genuine peace, and is found through wisdom.
Materialists may wonder if this is not a kind of ‘false hope’. However, ‘expectation’ is one of the natural abilities of human intelligence, and seems to be a bridge standing between the limited consciousness of the animal kingdom, confined largely to the present moment, and the spiritual kingdom, cognisant of the Eternal Now, in which past, present and future are one. Theosophy shines through the past like the sun through holes in a veil, and so it was that Philo Judaeus shone two thousand years ago. He said; “And the one who is full of good hope is likewise holy and praiseworthy; as, on the contrary, the one who has no hope is accursed and blameable, being always associated with fear, which is an evil counsellor in any emergency; for they say, that there is no one thing so hostile to another, as hope is to fear and fear to hope, and perhaps this may be correctly said, for both fear and hope are an expectation, but the one is an expectation of good things, and the other, on the contrary, of evil things.” Therefore, if the materialist is forced into the future without ‘hope’ then that journey’s companions will be ‘trepidation’, ‘worry’, ‘anxiousness’ and ‘fear’.
One of the consequences of hopelessness is a loss of vitality and energy, an almost paralysing lethargy, perhaps leading to a depressed nature. The practical and experiential study of the seven principles of the human constitution may help. As a Master once suggested, “reach nearer to the centre of Life (which is the same in the Universe and in yourself) which makes you careless whether you are strong or weak, learned or unlearned.” (From K. H. in “Daily Meditations”, November, compiled by K. Beechey).
Therefore, from that centre of Life, from Atma, the Higher Self, comes the universal ray of will and pure intention; from Buddhi or Wisdom and universal Love comes hope; from Manas or abstract Mind comes selfless joy and affection for its own sake; from the lower Mind comes peace and equipoise; from the Emotional or Astral vehicle comes cheerfulness, from the Etheric Double, the vehicle of prana, flows the physical sensation of happiness; and from the body, restfulness and the enjoyment of health.
Begin to draw on Hope, as cheerful and desireless expectation, found in Wisdom and universal Love, and the rest will follow—so as to allow the inner Sun to shine.