The heart of man pants for many things. Desire moves man more than anything else. Passions may lash up the lake of his mind into a thousand pulsations; grief may burn the iron of despair right into his brain, and make him feel as one stranded; all his emotions and feelings may play upon him; the world outside may fasten its grip upon him, toss him up from pillar to post and beat him flat; yet the impress left by these is sooner or later wiped out and man rises to his feet once more. But not so the iron grip of desire. It holds on to him like grim death. It drags out the soul minute after minute of our existence, electrifies the unwilling hand to exertion and stimulates the brain to accomplish its ends.
There come moments in our lives, when even the greatest money-spinners; the most persistent pleasure-hunters, turn aside from their usual occupations to listen to a voice within them which is constantly asking, “Man, where art thou from? Where art thou drifting along? To what end is all this?—Money, wife, children, and all that you hold next to your heart. “What has a man gained, if he has gained the whole world and lost his soul?“
These and similar other questions beat upon our brains in spite of all our contrary partialities, our thorough worldism. All this unrest and discomfort is quite in the nature of things. Man cannot always be building mud-pies and swallowing “goldpills.” Something more abiding, more permanent, is wanted. This yearning after the Eternal makes us call a halt upon the pursuit of blind passions, the hunt after pleasure which is the vanishing point between satiety and reaction.
The son wants to be united to the Father, his primal source. God becomes an indispensable necessity. Without Him, life seems to be a dance after fleeting shadows. Each word of advice, of guidance and of spiritual help comes as a cup of cold water to the thirsting soul. Man is not a finished product of nature. He is a developing creature. He has to master all these sheaths and realise the spirit within—Himself. It is a long and serious task. Those that take it up consciously, undertake the most trying task of life. Yet we are all going that way.
Man is not a sack of flesh, blood and bones. We are all of us traveling God-wards. We have not been born to dance to the orders of others; nor is enjoyment the aim of life. Some people who have developed a little intellect, regard themselves as the créme de la créme of the universe. “We are of a higher stuff and can dictate to others how to lead their own lives.” Such is the blindness of their conceit. Those that cultivate such ideas will find the ground cut from under their feet.
Let us pick out our line of action carefully. Let us not go into society an expect everyone to dance to our fancies. Selfish, grasping men are the most unhappy of the whole lot of us. Harm watch, harm catch. Wisdom and an understanding of our place in the vast cosmic evolution alone can lead to freedom. The warm, living impulses of the heart, if carried out, will surely work for our upliftment.