Marvels: Letters from an Elder, Part 18
Letter # 11, January 9th, 1949 continued
About spiritual maturity, there is little to be said. But perhaps that statement itself needs some explanation.
A truly mature spiritual person exists in a calm understanding with the environment, like a swimmer at peace in the water through which he moves. It is only immaturity which prompts anyone to reach for some kind of assurance or stability outside of that peaceful understanding, just as it is only a lack of confidence in an ability to swim which would lead the swimmer to grasp for external support. The mature swimmer simply swims; he does not think about the water or his own movements in it, he just moves through it. To where does he move? To wherever he wishes, in effect.
But just as a swimmer might seek to calm the waters around him by assisting those less capable than himself, so we find the spiritual masters at work in the bulk of humanity, helping those ‘swimmers’ who have not yet achieved a point of continuing confidence in the water.
Masters realise that, to calm the ocean, one must calm everything in it. This is because the lack of calm, the disturbances, the disruption and the ripples in the pond, as it were, are created by those who are panicking. If the earth were a lake of placid water, then much of humanity enters it in a state of discomfiture — disturbed, fearful, lacking in serenity — which inevitably throws the waters into disorder and creates waves. Those waves in turn threaten those who cannot swim, making matters worse; the threatened individuals, flailing around in the waves, create more waves, placing even more people in peril. This is your situation in the mortal world right now: millions of souls, in the absence of basic spiritual competence, agitate and upset the environment for others. Into this scenario come those who have mastered the skills of swimming even in dangerous waters — first they engage in direct rescue where needed, and second they teach, where things are quiet enough for them to do so, so that more and more people become competent in basic skills. As the competence spreads, so the waters calm down and the task is made easier — but, as is clear from any even cursory examination of your society, such calm waters are readily disturbed again by the activities of the incompetent and disruptive. Thus the work is ongoing, until a point is reached when the seas are tranquil and unruffled overall.
I will preempt your likely question by asserting that the condition of mortality itself, being subject to numerous unknowns of many kinds, is part of the excited and upset waters of the world as a whole. Broadly, the cosmos is not agitated; reality as a whole is mature and poised, at peace with itself. Only when too many unknowns and too much obscurity and lack of confidence enters into a zone, can that zone become so disrupted in itself as to be disruptive to those around it. In other words, once a certain degree of foolishness benights a region, that region can collapse into darkness and unconsciousness, just as a storm might convulse the surface of a lake until it becomes a tossed and perilous sea. In that state, the lifesaving forces are expedited and messengers travel forth, spreading knowledge and encouraging maturity.
Hence these letters.