PARADISE ISLES (Honolulu)
Millions of pale pink blossoms wafted into the jade green sea, were being thrown up on the golden sands in great festoons of white foam. For days the gentlest of breezes had been carrying them in rose colored clouds from the groves of flowering trees. In the distance purple points of land ran far out into the water, and black silhouetted coconut trees shot out against the magic of color, like giant skyrockets. Great phantom ships of gold tinted clouds moved lazily about the sapphire skies, as if drawn landward by the incoming tide.
Riding the crest of an incoming wave, on a surf board, was a young Hawaiian god, as golden as the very sun itself, his fine young body sparkling with spray, his arms raised, his head thrown back, white teeth gleaming and eyes flashing. From the beach his companions, flower laden, called out to him. They sprang into the water with infinite grace, giving full play to the fine muscles, visible beneath their covering of bronze. The gorgeously colored leis about their necks and heads floated on the water, as though to spread a flower-perfumed path for the arrival of the young god.
One might have thought this a page from ancient mythology, at first sight, only to learn that this sort of thing was habitual among these people. The soul that is starved for beauty sees beauty as an occasional thing, just as he sees good as an unlooked for event. He cannot even imagine the continuity of it.
We have all been so starved for beauty and goodness, that sometimes we remain looking among the husks of our world of belief, seeking for a last grain of substance.' So rarely do we find one, that we consider it wonderful and unnatural when we do. We talk about the wonderful time when we made a demonstration, or the magic of knowing the Truth, not recognizing that goodness should not be unusual, and that healings, happiness and peace, should not be the "once in a while" event in life, but should be the natural order.
If a man can remember the isolated periods when he did good or saw good manifested, he must admit that the time between these realizations must of necessity have been of the opposite nature. When man begins to see even in a faint way the present possibility of God, he ceases to remember good as an unnatural unusual thing. It happens with such ever increasing rapidity that it becomes the order of life.
We are so busy with the "making" of things, that we have no time to see that which is already made and has been pronounced "good and finished"---yes, "very good," and sustained by a changeless
Power, which we choose to call God.
The business of prayer, has so long been in the keeping of those with long, sad faces, physically unfit bodies, and repressed minds, that it seemed almost sacrilegious to imagine that this youth, landing on the beach with a shout of joy, and dancing about with his flower bedecked playfellows, had come with the express purpose of telling them of prayer.
We who watched with our false values garnered from civilization, hung about with false modesty, felt a little shy in our very decent attire. And yet, "I came that your joy might be full," has been said many times. How could our joy be full if we were to be burdened with a body that was aging and getting ugly under our very eyes. We might have said, "Ah, yes, but the joy is mental, and so what care I for this body?" But that is only the juice of sour grapes, for we do care, and we do recognize that that which is truly in mind must come out into expression.
A cloud of incense from the heavily scented flowers blew seaward from the land. The surf board rider tossed a wreath of purple flowers over his golden shoulders and spoke:
"As natural as breathing, so is life, natural---no hoarding nor saving necessary. Always a recognition of life as everywhere. It is not a conscious effort---it has long since ceased to be that---one never thinks of the air or the mechanics of breathing, until he recognizes a certain limitation along these lines. That of which he takes no thought is in order and right. There is something higher than thought---there is the thinker of the thought---God. It is interesting then, that the Way-shower, Jesus, should have said on certain occasions, `take no thought.'
"To the one who is taking much thought about the acquiring of things, the `take no thought' command of the Great Master, means nothing. In his effort to get things by taking much thought about them, he unconsciously denies the Master's injunction. He does not remember 'If ye deny me, I shall also deny you;. 'Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature.' This is a blast upon the trumpet which should awaken us to the Truth of being.
"There is something infinitely higher than taking thought, and that is the recognition of God as everywhere present. It will stop the endless effort to demonstrate a little of God in a certain part of the body, and enable us to feel life surging through every part of the temple-body-washing it clean of the 'dove sellers' and 'thieves' of belief.
"We do not put on health like a garment, nor Truth as a mantle. 'I am the Truth and 'the Light and the Way'---this needs recognition and not demonstration, in the old sense of the word. We are beginning to follow, in part at least, the way which eventually leads to this understanding. Judging from appearances, we are on the outer rim of things, forgetting that within the new and ageless substance of Spirit is awaiting the recognition of this principle, to bring out a new and beautiful manifestation.
"We fail to see the lesson in nature, that as soon as a thing has reached its maturity, it is cast off quickly, in order that a new idea may come into expression. This truth has been discovered by the physicists, who recognize that '-the body is renewed yearly; but through our hypnotized beliefs, we fail to recognize this in practice and hold only to it in theory. Yet this being true, no part of the body---temple---could envisage age.
"As each wave is a part of the ocean, yet' individual, so is it with man. No sooner does the wave reach perfection than it is lost again. Man, the highest manifestation of God, has not yet learned this beautiful lesson. He cannot let go, but hangs on to a demonstration. He talks-about the time he made the Power work. He collects the rags of memory about him and tries to hide behind them.
"Small wonder that the Master told us to consider the lily. It is so free-growing, so easy into expression, so sure of success, so impersonal in the giving, so ready to release the flower once it is perfect, knowing full well that nothing is lost. Within the heart of the lily lies the possibility of infinite reproduction. Past manifestations are not lost, but cast down around the roots to furnish richness and substance for future use.
"None of our past manifestations are lost, and yet they must all be lost in the wonder of the ever increasing manifestation. To lose your life in the infinite is to find it; to hold it is to lose it in a maze of beliefs.
"A flower severed from its stein is dead. The moment it is cut from the parent stalk it is finished. Man who believes himself separate from God, is dead, and every man who thinks he has to struggle and beg and beseech God to come down to him, is living in this separation. He has not yet recognized the utter impossibility of being separate from Life."
The boy was smiling at his hearers now; there was a radiance of recognition shining in his eyes.
The group suddenly rose and rushed off into the sea, diving, plunging and shouting for joy. Out into the clear deep water they swain. It was so transparent and light that a depth of forty or more feet was visible. Below lay the gorgeously colored marine gardens, with the giant trees of green kelp, red seaweed, great abalonie shells, and lace-like coral, making a place of enchantment, full of highly colored fish, which flashed like moving jewels in the clear waters. Amethysts, rubies, canary diamonds, sapphires, and sun-bursts, darted about among the sea flora, or floated listlessly through the giant sea anemones with their long fringe of orchid and pink. Magic---color---beauty---life.
Everything was alive with beauty and vitality; everything called to the oneness of life; man was instinctively in his real element---he was one with it all.
Many times had Adanorah, the teller of ancient legends and stories, told of the time when her people had so perfectly harmonized with all life that the animal kingdom was unafraid of man. She had seen her grandmother place strings about her body, go into the woods and come back with a mantle of what seemed to be fur. She had heard her speak a word and seen the soft lines of fur break up into a thousand caterpillars and crawl away. She had heard her grandfather call to the brightly colored fish and seen them flock about him in the water as he swam. But Adanorah's grandparents knew that life was One and that everything was united with the one great stream of life.
Later she heard a white man tell of a great Teacher who knew that "we are all members of the same body," and that one part of the body was no more important than the other.
All is one body with the same great floods of life--sustaining ideas flowing through it. All is the same life, never aging, never dying, never disturbed. Man can only be disturbed when, in belief, he separates himself from this life. He can in reality never be separated. Because he has come to believe that substance is in the symbol, instead of understanding that the symbol is the shadow of soul, he has become prodigal. The reflection in a mirror is lifeless, has no power of itself, cannot change, unless the changes take place in that which stands before it.
Once Adanorah met a very ancient man who was unhappy and she told him to pray to God, to which the old man replied: "The good God is much too old to pay any attention to me." Judging from appearances, to what other conclusion could one come? Man, the highest idea of God, seems full of years; then God too must age. Man refusing to understand the law of Spirit has strayed from his Garden of Eden, out into the land of belief, the place where he believes life to be in the reflection or symbol.
But always there come to mind the words "Be ye transformed"; "His youth was renewed like the eagle." Renewing the mind transforms the body. "Turn ye even unto me." Where was this me? and what was it? If it were a god that could not know age, how was it possible for an aged manifestation, full of years and also sins to approach him, "who was of too pure eyes to behold iniquity"?
Adanorah swain on with her joyous companions diving through the great breakers. It was like being in the sea of life, being one with it all, like a great wave that formed into manifestation and then melted into the sea again. Life was like that, finding itself by losing itself. "He that loses his life (personal separate idea) shall find it."
Walter C. Lanyon