The Essence of Love

In rare moments of clear vision, we are able to observe ourselves dispassionately from an altitude of spiritual contemplation. We desire truth ardently, and in good time it dawns with the clearness of light upon the mental vision.

In these calm periods of hindsight, the truth about ourselves and of life, of our growth and the meaning of the years, all become focused in this present hour, so that we may make a right assessment and formulate wise resolutions for the future.

One of the first things we realise is that the Spirit within is the only true guide.

We realise that under its influence, life is a process of revelation and reconstruction. Truth comes, and all the past is transfigured by its coming. We too, are changed. The significance and relationship of that which had once seemed detached and meaningless is now illuminated and understood.

Thought and emotion have ascended to superior levels and have acquired new power and dignity. In a word, we see the wonderful blending of the human with the divine.

It is by virtue of these revelations of truth to the unfolding soul that love attains its most exalted state.

Love is a divine mystery; its quintessence, its ultimate realisation, appears to be the object of all our incarnation.

Little do we suspect this in the earlier stages of the soul’s growth. We only realise it through the many different transformations of love that we encounter on the soul’s journey towards maturity.

For example, how wonderful it is when the sweet, silent, understanding communion between souls is gradually transformed by the power of the Spirit within into a deep, solemnising all-inclusive humanity: an all-inclusive humanity that blesses wherever it touches.

It is only at this stage that the glory and the purpose of love are revealed to us, and the soul discerns something of the spiritual nature of the Masters who guide it. It is only then that the soul sees the possibility of the surrender of its personal life and the blending of itself with the Cosmic life and love divine.

The denial of love is love’s crucifixion; and to crucify love is to abrogate the law of life, which decrees the growth of love.

You cannot discount the law of life, and live. Love is the divine fire in the heart of every human being, and must be recognised and nurtured. It is true that only a spiritual love can reach the most elevated state; but that dawns only after long probation.

To reach this perfection, love must realise itself in every phase of its manifestation.

It is not by denial, but only by complete and unfolding realisation that we reach the summit. The experiences of the relations of love in its personal aspect are the appointed ministers, and they provide the necessary probation.

These experiences humanise, enrich and sanctify us as we pass on to the higher recognition and relationship.

No outpouring of the heart’s immortal treasure is unfruitful, however trivial and unsatisfying it may be, and regardless of whatever pain may accompany it.

All such experiences are instrumental in effecting that conscious detachment of the soul from love’s limitations and the fulfilment of its complete cosmic expression within us.

The dawn of spiritual love works a revolution in the life of any human being. Glancing back along the eventful path we have trodden, we survey the changes brought about in our constitution with tranquillity and quiet joy…perhaps even with some degree of humiliation.

At this dawning, we recognise that we have lost much, but the gain has been infinite. The child heart which knows no fear, is finally ours. We have passed, if only for an interval, within the sacred precincts of ineffable peace and experienced the true rest of the soul.

Harmless and incapable of offence or injury, we receive the power to read the hearts of others and to minister to them. This eventually becomes the only true life for us and we will come to desire no other.

Our one prayer will be that the old self may be utterly transcended and forgotten, with all its conscious pride, its feverish ambitions and restless antagonisms.

May the will of love be done in and through each of us.


What is there in the world that can be compared with this sanctifying rebirth? How often is it mistaken and misconstrued, and taken for weakness when it is purely strength. Little wonder has it been said that the power of the disciple appears as nothing in the eyes of the world.

When the summit is reached, the compassion of the Masters is no longer just a word we use unthinkingly; we come to know it as a living force which animates and drives our very own personality. We are then automatically freed from many laws that hitherto circumscribed our life and we come to recognise but one law: the law of sacrifice. We give of ourselves.

That statement looks simple enough, but it means nothing less than the birth of Christ in us. How rarely we encounter, even among occult students, the divine, active quality of true self-effacement.

Yet no-one can become a real saviour of humanity without it. Only the true aspirant will  conceive it to be the highest goal of his or her endeavours.

Think of what this means for the millions of souls upon Earth, constrained by the bonds of the numerous limitations of love, which give rise to turbulent and fluctuating passions, bewildering psychic complications, and the eternal hunger of bleeding hearts continually broken.

And now think of what it means to be a true and sincere aspirant, with the light of the highest consecration of love upon one’s brow and its deep peace in one’s heart.  Glancing across the sea of human life, gathering all sorrow and chaos into one’s heart; dedicating one’s soul to the service of all humanity!

That love has spiritual power. It is the only key to the human soul, because it is invested with a divine magnetism that nothing in the personal life can resist. Moreover, it is the far-off dream of every soul.

The love that has been tried in all the furnaces of life and that has become radiant, is the one priceless treasure which all souls are instinctively searching for.

Nothing but a true self-effacement will give you this vision of the world’s need, or enable you to rightly dedicate yourself to it. Nothing but a sincere self-effacement will provide you with the means to respond to the world’s need effectively.

As we unfold in spiritual knowledge, finer adjustments to truth and to our fellow humans become ever necessary. Far-reaching responsibilities are entrusted to us. The one, driving passion will be to give of oneself, whether it signifies gain or loss. The ultimate in love’s expression having been attained, there is one precious gift derived from it: it is that of shedding its glory continually around itself.

It becomes wonderfully potent and fulfils its purpose effortlessly in countless ways in the common lives of men and women.

There is no ostentatious announcement of its benign influence.

It passes silently into the human heart as strength, calm and lofty aspiration. It is an atmosphere of prayer; and where it settles, a sweet resignation possesses the soul and the burden of life is mysteriously lightened.

In the Masters of Life, the grand alchemical process of transmutation is seen in its perfection.

How familiar to our ears is the everlasting praise of the compassion of the Buddha and the Christ. We are apt to think that examples of divine blessedness are for some reason incompatible with our time and features of a bygone age.

This is a mistake. Not every glorious soul stands before the world as a teacher of men and women. There are with us those who perform such sacred works of quintessential love as would stagger the credibility of the uninitiated.

Few people were able to recognise the Masters in bygone times, and it is precisely the same today.

Again and again the Master passes by; but not a sign of recognition will be made to you, unless as his devoted disciple you have sought him unconditionally through years of silence of the heart.




Reprinted from the original ‘The Apotheosis of Love’  December 1929 edition of the Rosicrucian Digest.
Also published in the September 2002 issue of the Rosicrucian Beacon.

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