Paul Zwollo – the Netherlands
What do we mean by Regeneration? Regeneration of the personality? Or our thinking and our emotions, so as to be no longer subject to the influences of the world? Such a total reversal of our attention may never happen, until we have purified our physical, emotional and mental bodies. There is no mutation and emancipation, no transformation and regeneration, without proper preparation. In this sense every serious person is preparing himself for regeneration, simply by doing his work in daily life and fulfilling his responsibilities to the best of his ability. There is no other way. However, side by side we should learn to see beyond these seemingly simple duties and trivialities and look for the reality. In proportion to our earnestness, regeneration is slowed down or quickened.
One sometimes wonders can there be a day in our lives when we are not regenerating ourselves, be it ever so slightly? Don't we learn every day from our deeds and contacts with others? A day without learning anything is a lost day. Time is fleeting. Life is short.
Only by paying full attention to what we do, see and think will we be led to realize our possibilities.
Yoga is skill in action, says the Bhagavad-Gita. Action should be at the right time, place, and extent. It all seems so very easy, but it is not. Every day is a new beginning, a new adventure, after the short pralaya of the night before, necessary to give the physical body the needed rest. So every day is pregnant with possibilities and new initiatives. It could also be a day when we can undo past wrongs. “Try” is a keyword in the Mahatma's letters. If lived in the right way, life is continuous spiritual regeneration, beginning to end. Regeneration means renewal, looking at things in a different way, exploring unknown qualities in ourselves, and at the same time letting go of all our prejudices and preconceived ideas.
We find some guidelines in the “Golden Stairs” by Madame Blavatsky: 'A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect and an unveiled spiritual perception.'
The “inner journey” has to do with the inner qualities which do not shine out in the outer world, at least not in a showy way. These qualities must be translated into outer actions of loving kindness and practical help. These qualities must become part and parcel of our moral character. Let us pay attention and listen to our inner voice, the voice of the silence. The Mahatmas have advised us to listen with our inner ear, to see with our inner vision, and to feel with our spiritual T. Regeneration pursued to the end leads to spiritual enlightenment and unfolding that J. Krishnamurti called “Inner Flowering.”
Is the well-known mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, “Om Jewel hidden in the Lotus”, not also connected with this inner flowering? Buddhas and Bodhisattvas often depicted as seated on an open lotus flower symbolize that all their inner qualities and inner potentials have been developed. It refers to the shining Self, the splendor within: the higher Self or Divine Monad in each one of us. HPB called it the Diamond Soul, indicating it is indestructible, incorruptible and eternal.
Regeneration does not mean craving for new sensations or experiences. All Masters have lived a very simple and sober life. Tapas was their keynote, desirelessness their watchword. Our secret opponent is all our shortcomings and failures, all the sins of our lower nature. It prevents us from taking any step towards Self- realization, without practicing altruism and universal brotherhood.
Regeneration is not just a theory. Taken seriously, it is occult science, seeing behind the veil of matter, exploring new horizons, being pioneers and volunteers in the domain of Truth. Endless are the experiences we can undergo in this objective world of ours, the world of causes, the world where we have to use our talents. It is only here that regeneration can take place, for after death we enter into the world of consequences, or effects, not of positive directed action. Therefore postponing regeneration to a future life, not realizing its necessity and urgency, is immature.
[The article was published previously in The Theosophist,y2000 v121 September p466]