Harmlessness and Initiation
Even the most tender, the most compassionate
heart should not be lacking in courage.
The heart is a rock on which strongholds can be built. Heart, par. 476
Harmlessness (AHIMSA, NON-INJURY) is the right direction of energies through the conscious recognition of divinity in all life. It is the skillful means employed in maintaining and increasing the divine circulatory flow. As consciousness expands, so too does the recognition of divinity in all life, along with a corresponding increase in responsibility to live harmlessness as fully as possible.
In this second solar system, the keynote of which is RELATIONSHIP, harmlessness may be considered as a dynamic aspect of the will as it impels all lives forward in the evolutionary process through an increasingly fused heart and mind.
Living a life of harmlessness requires constant courage, for the sensed and known spiritual truths of the divine SELF (or Abstract Mind) must be lived in the day-to-day life. As such courage is expressed, the misuse, harmfulness and wrong direction of energies are correspondingly eliminated. In deed and in truth, harmlessness increasingly renders the heart as "a rock on which strongholds can be built." Such courage in living harmlessness is the courage to continually evolve and to ever more fully live the spiritual life. It is, in reality, the initiatory process through which realisation becomes identification as is poignantly expressed by Jesus in The Gospel of Thomas: "(2) Jesus said, 'Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished and he will rule over the all."1
With deep reverence may it be considered that through the "trouble" of subordinating and gaining willing cooperation of the personal self to the divine SELF, the "astonished" individual finds that truly the kingdom is both inside and outside. It is "the all" of existence. Thus, through the continuous courageous practice of living harmlessness, or right human relations, the Kingdom of God is increasingly manifest on Earth.
Harmlessness is thus more than the commonly understood Hindu lifestyle of abstaining from taking life. It is a lesson the Ageless Wisdom has offered humanity down the ages and throughout the various wisdom philosophies and religions. Each recognizes the interconnectedness of all life and, in doing so, expresses harmlessness.
In the "Little Books" or Libellus, Hermes Trismegistus offers many discourses on God, the universe and nature. In Libellus VIII with his son, Tat, Hermes advises: "Speak not of men as perishing, my son. Think what God is, and what the Kosmos is, and what is meant by a living creature that is immortal, and a living creature that is dissoluble. The Kosmos is made by God, and is contained in God; man is made by the Kosmos, and is contained in the Kosmos; and it is God that is the author of all, and encompasses all, and knits all things together."2
As humanity evolves, stage by stage, we learn the needed lessons of co-operating with God in knitting all things together. Through our continuing quest from the outside world to the "inner world divine," we increasingly live harmlessness as we direct the available energies for the benefit of others.
Perhaps no system of thought so beautifully expresses the expansion of consciousness and the corresponding expansion of responsibility to others as Buddhism. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in translating and explaining the Bodhicharyavatara (The Way of the Bodhisattva) first transmitted by Shantideva in the eighth century, offers the following translation and explanation of a verse on meditative concentration:
"108. The oceanlike immensity of joy
Arising when all beings are set free-
Is this not enough? Does this not satisfy?
The wish for my own freedom, what is it to me?
"For a Bodhisattva who wears the armour of determination, the joy he has from alleviating the pain of infinite beings is sufficient on its own, even if he suffers a little himself. How could achieving liberation for ourselves alone, while abandoning our promise to liberate others, be better than that?"3
Courage. Determination. Compassion. Harmlessness. As the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, indicates, "in an ability to hear the voice of the 'formless One'...comes the opportunity for the aspirant to escape from the dominance of matter. This is the true magical work, brother of mine, the understanding of the sounds of all beings, and the ability to speak the language of the soul is the clue to the work....for all the varying aspects of the life of God are interdependent and not one proceeds onward into fuller realization without benefitting the entire group."4 ¨
Gospel of Thomas, Introduced by Helmut Koester,
Translated by Thomas O. Lamdin, in The Nag Hammadi Library,
James. M. Robinson, General Editor; Harper Collins, 1990, p.
2 Hermetica, edited and translated by Walter Scott; Shambhala, Boston; 1993; p. 179
3 A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night, the Dalai Lama; Shambhala, Boston and London, 1994. p. 104
4 The Rays and the Initiations by Alice A. Bailey, pp. 10-11