ADVANTAGES GAINED FROM THIS KNOWLEDGE
When this knowledge is fully assimilated, it changes the aspect of life so completely that it would be impossible for me to tabulate all the advantages which flow from it. I can only mention a few of the principal lines along which this change is produced, and the readerÌs own thought will, no doubt, supply some of the endless ramifications which are their necessary consequence.
But it must be understood that no vague knowledge will be sufficient. Such belief as most men accord to the assertions of their religions will be quite useless, since it produces no practical effect in their lives. But if we believe in these truths as we do in the other laws of nature, as we believe that fire burns and that water drowns, then the effect that they produce in our lives is enormous.
For our belief in the laws of Nature is sufficiently real to induce us to order our lives in accordance with it. Believing that fire burns, we take every precaution to avoid fire; believing that water drowns, we avoid going into water too deep for us unless we can swim.
Now these beliefs are so definite and real to us because they are founded on knowledge and illustrated by daily experience; and the beliefs of the Theosophical student are equally real and definite to him for exactly the same reason. And that is why we find following from them the results now to be described:
We gain a rational comprehension of life, we know how we should live and why, and we learn that life is worth living when properly understood.
We learn how to govern ourselves, and therefore how to develop ourselves.
We learn how best to help those whom we love, how to make ourselves useful to all with whom we come into contact, and ultimately to the whole human race.
We learn to view everything from the wider philosophical standpoint, never from the petty and purely personal side.
The troubles of life are no longer so large for us.
We have no sense of injustice in connection with our surroundings or our destiny.
We are altogether freed from the fear of death.
Our grief in connection with the death of those whom we love is very greatly mitigated.
We gain a totally different view of life after death, and we understand its place in our evolution.
We are altogether free from religious fears or worry, either for ourselves or for our friends, fears as to the salvation of the soul, for example.
We are no longer troubled by uncertainty as to our future fate, but live in perfect serenity and perfect fearlessness.
Now let us take these points in detail, and endeavour briefly to explain them.