THE PURPOSE OF THE ORDER OF THE STAR
Ommen, Holland, 1928
In welcoming you all to Ommen, I should like to say how happy I am to see once again so many familiar faces, from so many different countries.
I hope that at the end of the Camp you will go away more certain of yourselves, able to distinguish between that which is lasting and that which is fleeting. To find out the eternal you must consider, not the effects, but rather the cause of all things.
I hope that you will follow my thought fully and with consideration, because I have much to say and I want to epitomize it for you as tersely as possible. I want you to think carefully, because the time has come when you must all make up your own minds, when you must become as tempered steel, when you must be as the white fine so that you will change the course of thought and feeling in the world, and not merely meander smoothly along, as you have done up till now.
As you have come from all parts of the world to listen to me, and are returning to your various countries to take back your understanding, you must be certain in your knowledge, you must be firm in your conception of the Truth, and you must no longer be concerned with reconciling, conceding and trying to adjust one thing to another. I have made up my own mind never to yield to things that have a purely momentary value, but always to concern myself continually and without wavering, with the fundamental cause of things. For the building will be perfect, will be lasting, only if the foundation is deep and strong.
Before I go further, I want to make it perfectly clear to each one of you that I do not desire to put myself on a pedestal to be worshipped, that I do not desire to form a new religion, that I have no disciples, and that I do not wish to enforce by authority that which to me is knowledge, which to me is the beginning and the end of life.
If you merely twist what I am saying to suit your own thoughts and effect reconciliation with your own beliefs, it will be a waste of effort. I say that what I have to give will cure, will heal all wounds; and when you understand this you will no longer be wounded in your minds and in your hearts, you will no longer be caught up in the wheel of sorrow. But in order really to understand, do not take what I put before you and try to mould it and twist it to your old conceptions of truth. I am talking about the tree top, and do not in any manner confound this with the green blade of grass.
Do not think that liberation, happiness and Life can be twisted -and utilized to suit your old ideas. If you do not agree with me, I do not mind. If you are violently in disagreement with what I say, so much the better, because then you will be willing to contend, to discuss, and try to understand my point of view. But if you merely say "I agree with you" -and then twist those words of mine to suit your old ideas- the new ideas will break you.
The Truth I set before you is much too lovely to be rejected and much too great to be accepted without thought. If you would understand, you must come with the intention, not of bringing the Truth down to your understanding, but rather of climbing to the great heights where it is to be found.
You can truly perceive only when you have yourselves climbed to the great heights.
Now we come to the consideration of the Order of the Star and its purposes. Many people have approached me -both here and elsewhere- with the request that I abolish the Order. "Such an organization," they say, "is unnecessary". I have always listened, and I have tried to find out the reason for their desire. Because they have seen organizations usurp authority and become dominated by personalities, they wish to abolish the Order. The Order of the Star should be a bridge for new ideas and should not be the embodiment of those ideas. It should act as a bridge across which those who have caught a glimpse of the Truth may talk of their understanding to the world at large. Looked at from that point of view this organization is useful, but if its members make of it an end in itself, then it should die.
No organization of any kind holds the Truth. To find the Truth it is not necessary to belong to any organization whatsoever. We must not make of the Star a crystallized organization. If you say to the world, "You must pass through the organization of the Star in order to understand the Truth," then you are perverting the Truth. Consider the organizations, which already exist in the world and say: We hold the truth, and in order to understand the truth you must come through our portals. Truth does not abide with any organization, nor is it at the core of any movement. Organizations and movements should only exist as bridges to the Truth. To claim authority as the vessel of Truth is to `step down' the Truth. I am using `step down' in its technical sense -as in a power station electricity is generated and there stepped down for utilization.
I hold something more precious than any ointment, more lovely than any jewel, and for the understanding of that you must help people by awakening in them the desire to search, to break away from their old traditions, habits and customs and let life flow through them.
Now, in order to keep Life -which can never be bound- this organization must be flexible, must encourage people who will disagree with it, who will not believe in the idea of the World-Teacher but who may have a longing to find that balm which will give tranquillity to an aching heart and to a confused mind. You can only keep an organization full of life when it is not narrowed down to a particular form of belief. Organizations become barriers when beliefs become more vital than life itself, when they are more concerned with their own growth than with the understanding of the Truth.
I have been asked why I do not concern myself with certain movements. Am I antagonistic to them? I am not antagonistic to anyone or any movement. I am only concerned with the ideas which will set life free in each one. It is more important to break the bondages that constrain life, than to create new forms, new fantasies, and new phantoms to be worshipped. If we are not careful in the beginning, careful in the middle and careful at the end, we shall destroy the very thing for which we are searching, we shall misguide our desires, we shall pervert our very longing to attain.
It depends on each one of you in what manner you envisage the Truth. Do you desire to set up another form, another religion, another god, and another belief? I hold that all these are a bondage to life. Do you need a crutch to carry you to the mountain top? A weakness, unless you have conquered it and thereby strengthened yourself, will always be a hindrance. Religions, beliefs, forms, dogmas are barriers between people; and in breaking down those barriers you free life. Most people in the world are concerned with creating new rites, new religions, new dogmas and new gods. They are inviting people to leave their old cages, in order to come into new cages. Of what value is a new cage to a bird that wishes to be free, to a life that is made miserable in bondage?
It will depend on you whether Truth is again betrayed by your attempts to reduce it to the level of the understanding of the multitude, as has ever been done by religions and their votaries. They say, "as the people do not understand the Truth, we are going to help them by bringing the Truth down to their level". This can never be done, for Truth is free, unlimited and beyond thought, beyond all the forms and the paraphernalia of religions. Truth cannot be held in bondage, any more than life: and in the fulfilment of that life, which is Truth, lies happiness. If you understand that Truth can never be reduced, stepped down, conditioned, then you will encourage people to seek the Truth and not try to bring Truth down to them. When a child is beginning to walk, if you are a wise parent, you allow it to fall, and in that very falling it will gain strength. You cannot bring down the beauty of the mountain top; you cannot gather the winds in your fist, you cannot hold the waters in a garment. So to those who are in sorrow, who are struggling, who are trying to understand, you should say, "Go, towards the Truth, struggle, break through all barriers; instead of trying to bring the Truth in a conditioned, limited form down to your particular understanding". In limitation, in bondage there is always sorrow; and in the breaking away from bondage, in setting life free there is happiness.
So I say again, do not pervert what I am saying to suit your particular ideas. I am talking about that which is eternal, that which can never be changed, or captured and held in bondage. And if you merely repeat my words, with a mind that is limited and conditioned and a heart held in a cage, you will not understand. If you are not seeking, if you have not rejected everything in order to find the Truth, you will merely be repeating words through a mask.
A man who has to fly in an aeroplane is concerned about his aeroplane and the way to fly. If a man on a bicycle comes to him and asks him in what way he can utilize a bicycle in the air, he will say, "There is no connection between an aeroplane and a bicycle. Though they both are capable of motion they are different."
Before you can create understanding in the world around you, you must be certain of yourselves. You invite people to come into your cage of the Star -to ask them to have new sets of beliefs, to impose new conditions on life, new limitations? Because you yourselves are in bondage, though perhaps in a somewhat larger cage, you want others to come into your cage. That is not the way to find happiness, that is not the way of the Beloved, that is not the way of the Truth; these are far away from all limitations, and not through bondage shall you find but through freedom. I do not want to convert any of you to my point of view, for, as I have often said, to try to convert another is a gross form of prejudice. I am certain for myself that that of which I speak is eternal; I am certain of my attainment, I am certain of my union with the life which is the Beloved; hence I am that life which is the Beloved. To that life no one can add anything or from it take away. By saying that, I do not want to create an emotional whirlpool so that you may believe in what I say. By my understanding of Truth I do not want to add to your bondage -and it will become a bondage if you yourselves have no desire to break away from all that binds. If you are not certain -not because of what I say, but because the Truth itself is so vital, so immense that it must call to itself each one of you- if that certainty is not all-powerful, then all your beliefs, all the words that come out of your mouths, will be as the chaff that is blown before the wind.
Because you have been carried along on the smooth waters by doubtful authorities -I am using the word with great care, for all authority is bound to be doubtful in the end, because all authority can be cut down and destroyed as a tree- if a new authority speaks, you will again accept him without thought, since you have been accustomed to obey. You believe by authority and disbelieve by authority, not concerning yourselves with Truth. It is that Truth which I want to establish in your minds.
I want you to be certain, without any condition whatsoever, that what I am saying is the Truth, not because you have been told that I am this or that, but because of the intrinsic value of the Truth I bring.
As I said before, I do not want a following, I do not want disciples, I am not ambitious, I do not want to create a huge organization, in its narrow sense, throughout the world. If I did, then I would ask you to obey, then I would ask you never to question; but on the contrary, I ask you to invite doubt so that your beliefs can be tested, your anxieties, your desires can be questioned, so that out of that shall be born the lasting, the eternal. If you do not understand, then what you create in your different countries will not be based on the lasting but on something that will decay and perish away. I assure you, I would much rather have one or two persons who really understand, who will be adamant, who will never concern themselves with things that have no value, than a thousand who have no understanding, who yield to the unessential, unimportant.
So, find out for yourselves whether your understanding is based on belief, established by authority, or whether your own longing, your own desire's urging you to come towards me for the finding of the Truth. This is much too serious to play with, much too important to make crooked by the lack of understanding. We have come to a time when each one must make up his mind to put away the things that are unessential, the things that have no value in freeing life, and must be adamant in holding to the things that are vital and necessary to set life free. If you are free, then you will help others to be free. If you are a slave, you will help others to become slaves, and you will make this organization slavish, conditioned, a bondage to life, by your lack of understanding. But if you understand truly, you will create greatly and for eternity.
THE PURPOSE OF THE ORDER OF THE STAR
Ommen, Holland, 1928
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