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Adyar Pamphlets

Authority

No. 178

Authority
by: George S. Arundale
Published in 1933 Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, hennai !"adras# $ndia The Theosophist %&&ice, Adyar, "adras. $ndia '%"( years ago, His Holiness the late Pope )enedict declared that there are &i*e plagues a&&licting humanity at the present time. +our o& them are, &irst, an abnormal a*ersion to -or., second, an unprecedented hatred bet-een man and man, third, an e/cessi*e thirst &or pleasure as the great aim o& li&e, and &ourth a gross materialism -hich denies the reality o& the spiritual in human li&e. Then comes the &i&th -ith -hich this article is concerned 0 1the unprecedented challenge to authority2. No- -hat does His Holiness mean by the -ord 1authority2 3 4oes he mean authority -hich does not permit itsel& to be challenged, or -hich there are no means o& challenging3 %r does he mean authority -hich is unchallengeable because it is demonstrably authoritati*e, because its sources are *isible to, though not necessarily appreciable by, the a*erage intelligence3 Presumably he -as re&erring mainly to the &ormer type o& authority, and in any case to authority -ithout, not to authority -ithin. He -as probably re&erring to authority -hich must not be challenged because some person or body o& persons declares that it must not be [Page 2] challenged. $n other -ords, he -as re&erring to an authority -hich must be regarded as such because it is declared to be such by another authority, the latter either being sel&5 constituted or itsel& depending upon yet another authority6 so that o& authority there is no end. $n &act, authority thus becomes a circle -hich many people might regard as not a little *icious. )ut -hy should authority not be challenged 3 7hy should not authority continually be challenged as to its truth &or us, and no less as to its respect and re*erence &or us3 $s there anything -e ought not to be constantly challenging so as continually to be sure that -e are ali*e to it and that it is ali*e to us3 $& anyone say that it is not re*erent to challenge this or that, are -e necessarily bound by his declaration, by his 8udgment 3 $s his 8udgment sacrosanct, in&allible 3 %n -hat authority is it so sacrosanct or in&allible3 7hat can be sacrosanct sa*e that -hich is true &or us, real &or us, sublime &or us3 (*en this cannot, in the nature o& things, be in&allible3 %nly in&allibility can gauge in&allibility. %nly the -hole can .no- the -hole6 and is there a -hole to .no-3 That -hich is sacrosanct today may not be sacrosanct tomorro-, at all e*ents so &ar as -e are concerned, though no doubt all is sacrosanct &rom the larger standpoint. $n any case, that -hich -e are challenging is not Truth Absolute, -hate*er this may be, &or -e can .no- nothing [Page 3] about Truth Absolute. $n all cases -e are challenging our understanding o& Truth. 7e are challenging conception, belie&, tradition, con*ention, attitude, -hether our o-n or those o& others. 7e are challenging the mas.s o& 9eality, -hether mas.s made by oursel*es or made by others. And unless -e do so challenge -e shall ne*er penetrate into that -hich the mas.s *eil, -e shall ne*er pass &rom the outer court into the inner sanctuary. :nprecedented challenge to authority is surely right. 7hat authority can be abo*e challenge 3 ;od 3 )ut He stands re*ealed to us, in so &ar as -e may thin. -e .no- -hat -e mean by the -ord 1;od2, only in interpretation &rom belo-, not in re*elation &rom abo*e. 7here -e ha*e 1;od said2 -e ha*e in &act but a translation, an impression, a stepping do-n, and these &rom sources it -ould be enormously di&&icult both Page 1

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to de&ine and to trace. 7e do not challenge ;od, but it is as re*erent as it is necessary to challenge our understanding o& ;od, to challenge the -ord itsel& and all its implications &or their precise signi&icance to us. $t is sometimes regarded as blasphemous to re8ect ;od, to be able to attach no meaning to the -ord. )ut because -e set up an image and -orship it, are those -ho do not -orship our image guilty o& blasphemy 3 At best -e possess but a poor and distorted image o& ;od, be our conception o& this -ord -hat it may. There is only one real blasphemy, and that is the blasphemy [Page 4] against <i&e, -hich is to li*e untruly to onesel&. )ut to li*e out o& accord -ith the image o& another is surely not blasphemy, any more than it is blasphemy to disagree -ith someone. $t is not -ell to be disrespect&ul to the images o& others, but -e ha*e the right and the duty to -orship -here -e -ill. $s any teaching to be abo*e challenge3 Teaching, too, must needs be an interpretation &rom belo-, ho-e*er much it may also be a re*elation &rom abo*e. The Absolute tempers the -ind o& its absoluteness to the relati*e, -hich must needs be shorn o& its absoluteness. $n other -ords, &rom the e/cess o& the ;lory o& Truth our youth&ul and there&ore ignorant eyes are *eiled. 7e .no- but in part, and the utmost -e .no- at any time must needs be but a &ragment o& that -hich is .no-able. Hence, that the relati*e may gro- in absoluteness, that our eyes may gro- strong, that the part may gro- to-ards the -hole, challenge 0 -hich is change 0 is imperati*e, lest -e imagine the part to be the -hole, and oursel*es to be &ull5gro-n. All teaching, by *ery reason o& its being teaching, in*ol*es limitation6 and hence must be challenged, though &or a time it may use&ully be ta.en as a -or.ing hypothesis, as an interpretation -hich must be tested by reali=ation. A Person 3 The same is true o& Persons. "ost teachers are in&initely greater than their messages or teachings. All teachers must needs *eil their [Page 5] <ight &rom the -ea.ness o& their pupils> eyes. $& -e -ould .no- our teacher -e must challenge 0 not the teacher, but our understanding o& him. 7ho are -e to challenge the teacher 3 $& at any time he ha*e helped us to-ards the Truth, our gratitude must be eternal. And may it not be that -hen -e doubt him -e are not understanding him3 "ay it not sometimes be that -hen -e decide to lea*e him -e are lea*ing one o& -hom -e still ha*e need 3 )ut i& -e ha*e other lessons to learn -hich are not his to teach then may -e ha*e to enter other class5rooms and sit at the &eet o& other teachers, not &orgetting him, but &or the time learning else-here, and able to learn else-here partly because o& him. 7e need not -aste time in challenging teachers, but -e do -ell to consider the applicability o& their teachings to oursel*es. This is right challenge. A hurch3 7hat is a hurch but a repository3 Ho-e*er hurches may ha*e been instituted, and -hate*er may ha*e been reposed in them as instituted, they gro- to be man5maintained, and to recei*e &rom man additions to and modi&ications o& the original contents, until, it may be, these original contents are almost i& not entirely lost in that -hich has accrued a&ter-ards. And -here there is alleged re*elation &rom abo*e -e are bound in re*erence to challenge the accuracy o& its presentation belo-. The greatest re*erence to the hrist is to stri*e to disco*er -hat really is the [Page 6] nature o& His <ight, and not to be content -ith its appearance a&ter passing through the coloured glass o& some hearer or o& some recorder o& hear5say. No doubt this has its *alue, but it has a de&initely challengeable *alue. 7e see through a glass darkly. 7e must learn to see &ace to &ace, and to this end -e must needs challenge, change. $n all such challenge, let it be repeated, -e are not challenging Truth. 7e are not challenging actualities, -hate*er these may be. 7e are challenging the <ight as it appears to us a&ter passing through the distorting and dar.ening media o& the outer -orlds. 7ho are -e to challenge Truth 3 7ho are -e to challenge ;od 3 7ho are -e to challenge the )ringers o& <ight to the -orld3 7ho are -e to challenge Page ?

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any person as to himsel&3 7ho are -e to challenge any teaching as to its actual *erity3 7ho are -e to challenge persons and teachings, churches and &aiths, as to their *alue to others3 )ut -e ha*e the duty, out o& *ery re*erence &or these persons and teachings. these churches and &aiths, these treasured conceptions o& <i&e, and no less out o& *ery re*erence &or oursel*es, to challenge our o-n 8udgment o& them, our o-n pictures o& them, our o-n relations to them, our o-n understanding o& them. 7e must challenge their truth to us, &or <i&e abhors moc.ery, hypocrisy and blindness, as it abhors a *acuum, -hich indeed these are. $nasmuch as Truth is in part understanding, true re*erence [Page 7] must also be understanding. And the process o& challenge is the process o& ta.ing constant stoc. o& the contents o& oursel*es, that -e may be sure -e are li*ing increasingly in the depths o& <i&e &rom out the shallo-s, that -e are increasingly mo*ing a-ay &rom those -hich are &or us the greater dar.nesses into the lesser, &rom da-nings into days. 'urely, too, may -e challenge authority as to its respect, nay as to its re*erence, &or us and &or -hat -e are. Authority -hich &orbids search, and demands unseeing compliance -ith its assertions, and -ould en&orce such autocracy by recourse to &ear, is, to say the *ery least, a dangerous authority, and should be to many an authority all the more challengeable, by reason o& the means it adopts to secure unchallengeable s-ay and dominion. $ndeed, it may -ell be doubted i& such 1authority2 is true authority &or the ma8ority, e*en i& it be so &or a &e-, i& it be authority at all in the true sense o& the -ord, as -e shall see -hen -e proceed to a de&inition. $s not re*erence, a sense o& the more, a ma8or @uality o& Truth3 7hate*er else may be in Truth such as -e .no- Truth in these outer regions o& <ight *eiled, it must at least con*ey to us the sense o& 1moreness2. the sense o& ma8esties and splendours beyond our .en. Truth may satis&y and cause to re8oice. )ut Truth also calls to depths and distances by the *ery &act o& this inherent [Page 8] @uality o& re*erence. True authority must, there&ore, be re*erent, and -e ha*e the duty to-ards oursel*es to challenge it as to its po-er so to call us. $t may be true authority and yet not call us. Then is it not true authority &or us, though it may -ell be such &or others. True authority must be re*erent o& oursel*es, e*er see.ing to aid us to disco*er oursel*es, to li*e in our o-n &reedom and in our o-n po-ers and purposes, as these un&old themsel*es to us. ;od made man to be immortal and made him to be an image o& His o-n eternity, nothing short o& this, nothing less than this6 not an image o& an aspect in time, but an image o& eternity. To such an end, ho- great a need &or re*erence in all things, to all things, in all relationships. +or -hat is re*erence but the *ery sense o& eternity in the midst o& time. To this must true authority call us. To this must -e call oursel*es. No- let us consider -hat authority really is. <iterally, that -hich increases. <iterally and truly, that -hich does not increase, cause to gro-, is not authority, e*en though it be called authority. The essence o& authority is thus its &ructi&ying po-er. Authority is a &ructi&ying agent. And the acid test o& its genuineness, o& its reality, is its po-er to cause increase, to cause to gro-, to &ructi&y. $ts nature is o& less importance than its &ruits. That -hich in some causes increase, gro-th, may ha*e the re*erse e&&ect in others, or at least may ha*e no such e&&ect [Page 9] at all. That -hich is literally authority to some may be the re*erse o& authority to others. )ut true authority, reliable authority, dependable authority, is the po-er -hich &ructi&ies. Hence, one man>s authority may -ell be another man>s destruction. Authority is relati*e and not absolute. <et us no- see -hence authority is deri*ed. $n the &irst place, since etymologically authority is a &orce -hich causes to increase, -hich causes gro-th, it must be omnipresent, since gro-th is uni*ersal. Page 3

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Authority, there&ore, must be an aspect o& <i&e. )ut, as authority, it must necessarily be a speciali=ed aspect o& <i&e. Authority is <i&e *ie-ed in a certain light. Authority, by its *ery etymological nature, must be <i&e ob8ecti*i=ed. Authority must be a *ision o& gro-th, and i& it be true authority must cause gro-th. $t must ha*e these t-o characteristics, not absolutely, o& course 0 no authority can, -ithin the terms o& our e/istence, be absolute 0 but relati*ely6 relati*ely, that is, to an indi*idual. Authority is inconcei*able -ithout indi*iduality, 8ust as the idea o& sub8ect necessarily in*ol*es the idea o& ob8ect. Authority is ob8ecti*e, and indi*iduality is sub8ecti*e. Authority, i& true, is a *ision o& a larger indi*iduality. $t is a larger indi*iduality ob8ecti*i=ed. $t is the less ga=ing upon the more. $t is the less remembering the more. $t is the less recogni=ing and reaching out to-ards the more. 'uch is the &unction o& [Page !] true authority, that is to say o& authority -hich &ul&ils itsel&. )ut it is not to this .ind o& authority that in all probability His Holiness re&ers -hen he deprecates 1the unprecedented challenge to authority2. He is concerned -ith a *ery subtle &orm o& authority, -hich perhaps ought not to be called authority at all, an authority -hich ought to be accepted because it actually does that -hich those -ho are to be sub8ected to it may not .no- that it does. He is probably thin.ing o& his hurch and o& its &undamental dogmas and teachings, o& that -hich is essential to membership o& his hurch. 'uch 5 and 5 such doctrines cause gro-th, e*en though the indi*idual may be insensible o& gro-ing by reason o& them. There&ore they should be belie*ed. 7hich is to say that there must be harmonious accord bet-een the indi*idual and the teaching, or, shall -e say, the truth. 'o &ar, perhaps, so good. $& there be such harmonious accord, then the authority is true, at all e*ents &or the indi*idual, &or it causes him to gro-, or, i& -e must be meticulously accurate, it causes him to &eel that he is gro-ing to &eel that he is increasing. <et us hope that -hen an indi*idual is conscious o& gro-th he is actually gro-ing. )ut there is a di&&iculty -hich in*ol*es great danger. The hurch and its doctrines must be belie*ed. They are the only authority, because they are the only means o& [Page ] gro-th 0 o& grace, the -ords mean the same thing. $& they are not belie*ed there is no gro-th. There is no gro-th outside them. They are gro-th. $& there be not harmonious accord -ith them, then the indi*idual is not gro-ing, and he -ho is not gro-ing is dying, is to all intents and purposes dead. Here -e ha*e authority o& the most dangerous .ind, &irst because it arrogates to itsel& omniscience, second because, in proportion to its strength, it may create &ear and hypocrisy. %n -hat basis does it arrogate to itsel& omniscience3 %n the basis o& man5made standards. 7e must belie*e because -e are hearing the *oice o& ;od. 7ho says -e are hearing the *oice o& ;od 3 People li.e oursel*es, men li.e oursel*es. 7e are thus not in &act relying on ;od but on human beings more or less li.e oursel*es, and upon distinctly human interpretation o& certain e*ents and circumstances -hich may be superhuman, but -hich -e ga=e upon through human agencies. (*en i& -e could recogni=e the *oice o& ;od, be our de&inition o& the -ord 1;od2 -hat -e -ill, -e ha*e yet ourselves to hear it declare that such and such teachings and doctrines are e/pression o& the <i&e o& ;od. And e*en i& they are, -e ha*e yet ourselves to learn that reali=ation o& them is sal*ation, and non5reali=ation o& them damnation. 7e may be told these things through intermediaries, interpreters, -ho may call themsel*es ;od5appointed though -e must be at [Page 2] liberty to call them sel&5appointed6 but -ho has seen them &ace to &ace -ith ;od3 This is surely not true authority, but tyranny and coercion mas@uerading as authority. Not necessarily male&icent tyranny. Probably not. $n the case o& the hurch, surely not. No doubt it is bene*olent tyranny. )ut can it be true authority, sa*e as regards those in -hom it causes increase and gro-th3 +or the rest it cannot be authority, not e*en &or those -ho gi*e it lip5acceptance. Authority, to be authority, must ha*e at Page A

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least heart acceptance, and in due time head acceptance too. Authority is li&e. 'a*e as it e*o.es life it does not cause to gro-. +rom mere -ords, &rom mere &orms, empty o& li&e, it shrin.s a-ay and is not. No one truly belie*es -ho does not know in his heart. True authority generates heart5.no-ledge, e*en though it may not be able to generate head5.no-ledge. 7e may .no- -ithout .no-ing ho- -e .no-. 'ome day -e shall .no- how. )ut to .no- is o& in&initely greater importance than to .no- ho-. 7isdom is born in the heart and d-ells in the heart. $t ta.es shape in the mind. That it should be born, and d-ell, matters in&initely more than that it should ta.e this or that shape. Time shall gi*e it shape, but a Po-er &ar greater than Time is needed to gi*e it birth. True authority causes us to become a-are o& more o& oursel*es, or, i& you -ill, more a-are o& oursel*es. [Page 3] True authority causes us to become more ali*e. True authority gi*es us 8oy and peace and -ill and -isdom and discontent. )y these tests -e may distinguish bet-een true authority and that -hich mas@uerades as such, that -hich in &act ensla*es though it may appear to &ree. )e it remembered, ho-e*er, that the same authority -hich is one man>s meat may be another man>s poison. Again let it be repeated, Authority is not, and cannot be, absolute. $t is relati*e to the indi*idual. Hence that -hich to us is mas@uerade may be to others truth. Hence that -hich to us may be tyranny and coercion may to others be true authority, causing increase and gro-th. <et us 8udge &or oursel*es, but be-are o& 8udging &or others. 7hat -e ha*e to be sure about is that -e are growing. 7e must be immensely true -ith oursel*es in this regard. 7e must be sure. 7e must know -e are gro-ing. Then is our authority meat. %ther-ise it is poison mas@uerading as meat, so &ar as -e are concerned. <et it no- be said that no one can do -ithout authority, and i& Pope )enedict be deploring the non5 recognition o& this &act, then -e are in hearty agreement -ith him. )ut i& there be today an unprecedented challenge to authority, is it not in reality a challenge to any stopping short at the initial processes o& authority3 Authority induces *ision, *ision o& splendid things, o& splendid hope, o& -ondrous possibilities. )ut authority itsel& does [Page 4] &ar more than this. This is only the beginning o& the -or. o& authority. And today -e are saying that *ision is not enough. Today -e are saying that to ga=e is not enough. Today -e are saying that *ision, ga=ing, must be &ollo-ed up by mo*ement, by achie*ement, by e/perience. This is -hat 4ean $nge presumably means -hen he tells us that in this age o& ours -e are mo*ing &rom authority to e/perience. At all e*ents this -ould seem to be -hat he ought to mean. :ntil no- religion has been largely a matter o& *ision, largely a matter o& the *ision5hal& o& authority, o& the ga=ing5hal& o& authority, obli*ious, neglect&ul o& the e/perience5hal&, ignoring that mo*ement to-ards the ob8ect o& *ision -hich is the &ul&ilment o& authority, o& true authority. Authority has &ailed sa*e as the indi*idual achie*es. Authority has &ailed sa*e as the indi*idual becomes. Authority has &ailed sa*e as the indi*idual has a sense o& achie*ing, o& becoming, so that authority, -or.ing in him, causes him to sense an increase in stature, in po-er, in -isdom, in understanding. Authority is e*ery-here, &or authority is the intimation o& the larger li&e, and -here is such intimation absent sa*e to the eyes o& those to -hom it is *isible only in speci&ic &orm. Authority is e*ery-here. Authority is in tree, in grass, in &lo-er, in roc., in sea, in ri*er, in e*ery creature, human and subhuman, in the *ery air, in &ire, in [Page 5] earth, in s.y. Authority is e*ery-here because e*ery-here is there the intimation o& the larger li&e -hich -aits upon our entry into it. Authority is in oursel*es no less than -ithout. 7e need not to go -ithout &or our authority. 7e need not to go to persons. 7e need not to go to things. 7ithin oursel*es shall -e &ind all the authority -e need. Perhaps -e must become our o-n authorities. Bet authority -ithout may arouse the authority -ithin 0 the ;od -ithout .noc.ing upon the door-ay o& the home o& the ;od -ithin. And -hen -e truly become our o-n authorities, then shall -e recogni=e all authority, -hether -ithin or -ithout.

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Thus is authority -ithin oursel*es no less than -ithout. <et us see. authority, and &ollo- it. <et us learn to .no- authority, so that -e may be able unerringly to distinguish bet-een that -hich is authority &or us and that -hich is not authority &or us. <et us &ollo- recogni=ed authority in persons. <et us &ollorecogni=ed authority in teachings. <et us &ollo- authority in -hate*er garb, so that it gi*e us the sense o& gro-th, o& increase6 &or to &ollo- such authority is to &ollo- our o-n higher, our larger sel*es e/ternali=ed. And to &ollo- is to become. )ut let us not hesitate re*erently to discard authority i& perchance it ceases to induce in us such sense o& gro-th and o& increase. 9e*erently, because the authority has helped us. 9e*erently, [Page 6] because that -hich once has helped us is in &act al-ays helping us, though -e .no- it not6 and shall e*er help us, though maybe -e cannot concei*e this. 9e*erently, because our discarding is in reality the *eil o& an illusion o& our ignorance, ho-e*er needed the *eil &or the time may be. 7e are not in truth discarding. 7e are not discarding in terms o& eternity, but only in terms o& time. 9e*erently, because it may -ell be that our discarding is by no means as necessary to our -ell5being as -e may deem it to be. Perchance it -ere better that -e did not discard. (/perience -ill tell us in due course. )ut, -hile irre*erent discarding is in any case regrettable, in&initely regrettable because gro-th is adding and not subtracting, in&initely regrettable -ill be a discarding -hich some day may be seen as loss and not as gain, as a dri*ing a-ay o& that still able to ser*e us, as a dri*ing a-ay o& that -hich has ser*ed us -ell and has there&ore deser*ed -ell o& us, deser*ed our gratitude. <et us stri*e to be sincere &riends -ith authority, &or authority in its true nature is the birth o& the greater -ithin the less, is the intimation o& the -hole -ithin the part, is the seed o& truth&ulness -ithin truthlessness, is the *oice o& ;od the "an -ithin ;od the child. <et authority be &ul&illed, not ignored. <et authority the intimation be sought -ithin and -ithout. <et authority the intimation be sought e*ery-here, &or such authority [Page 7] e*ery one needs. <et each indi*idual &ind such authority -ithin and see. it -ithout. $t is both -ithout and -ithin, and no one is there &or -hom it does not e/ist both -ithout and -ithin. And let such authority be &ul&illed in due time in e/perience, in the merging o& sub8ect and ob8ect. 4o not be a&raid o& authority 0 be it the authority o& yoursel&, o& another, o& some teaching or theory, o& some boo. or music, o& some colour or &orm 0 pro*ided you gain &rom these a sense o& constant gro-th and increase. To &ear authority is to be its sla*e. 4o not e*en be a&raid o& the authority o& the letter. <et the letter ha*e its s-ay. The letter is the approach to the spirit, though there be many -ho seem to remain in the letter and mo*e not to-ards the spirit. To remain in the letter -hen the letter has &ul&illed its &unction, to remain in the letter -ithout mo*ing in the direction o& the spirit, -ithout desiring to mo*e in the direction o& the spirit, is to die. )ut each must decide &or himsel& as to -hen the letter has been &ul&illed, as to -hen he should be restless to pass beyond the letter, and e*en more as to the nature o& the spirit in*ol*ed in the letter itsel&6 so that -hile obeying the letter, i& letter there be, he gets ready to pass to the spirit -ithin and to &ind a spirit in&initely di&&erent &rom the &orm in -hich it has garbed itsel& to -in his notice. The letter .illeth, truly. To li*e in the intimation, and ne*er to stri*e to proceed to that to -hich it calls, is surely [Page 8] to decay and -ither a-ay. )ut to re8oice in the &orm so truly, so completely, as to gain *ision o& the substance o& -hich the &orm is but a &eeble shado-, and to pass on-ards, as it -ere &rom the &orm, &rom the letter, into the glories that it hides as it proclaims, this surely is to li*e, and to li*e in e*er5gro-ing abundance. $t is to pass &rom &orm to &orm, &rom &orm to li&e, &rom letter to spirit, and &rom li&e to li&e, &rom spirit to spirit, unceasingly, &rom an in&inity o& intimations to an in&inity o& e/periences in an ascending crescendo o& 8oy, o& peace, o& -isdom and o& po-er. There is no &orm -ithout its glory, li&e. There is no dar.ness -ithout its light. There is no shado- -ithout a shining substance. There is no letter -ithout its -ord. 7e may not stay, but -e may rest a-hile. 7e may not d-ell in prisons, but these may be gardens &or us until -e reach their limitations. And then -e pass beyond the prison5-alls, and as -e Page D

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Authority

No. 178

pass these disappear &or us 0 lea*ing us &ree o& erst-hile prison and o& the garden into -hich -e ne-ly enter, until once again -e reach its limitations and pass beyond to add another garden to our .ingdom. 4o not be a&raid because authority is not at &irst e/perience. Ne*er is it e/perience at &irst. +irst it is intimation. 7isely 8ourneying in authority, -e reach e/perience. )ut &aith and hope and trust, belie& and con&idence ha*e their place in li&e no less than .no-ledge. [Page 9] ;rasp this aspect o& authority -ith courage and -ith po-er, and dri*e it home6 &or -hen you dri*e it home you reach e/perience. )ut you must dri*e it home, blo- by blo-. %ther-ise it ceases to be true authority &or you. $t becomes &alse &or you. +or -hen authority ceases to &ul&il itsel&, to cause increase and gro-th, to lead to-ards e/perience, it does not merely lea*e you -ith your gro-th arrested, but ta.es a-ay &rom you e*en that -hich you ha*e and causes you to shri*el and d-ar&en into li&elessness. Authority is ne*er negati*e. (ither it increases stature, or it decreases stature6 $t ne*er lea*es stature the same. $ts nature matters little. $t may be person or thing, boo. or music, idea or action, &orm or per&ume. 7hat matters is -hat it does to you. And remember that its *alue can ne*er lie in -hat other people may say it does to you. +ace your authority, or any authority, yoursel&. <et there be no inter*ention sa*e that o& challenge to you, Are such authorities true &or you3 4o they cause you to gro-3 4o they lead you on the path-ay o& or to e/perience, that is, to reali=ation o& that o& -hich they treat, identi&ication -ith that o& -hich they are in earlier stage the intimations3 $& authority causes you to mo*e a-ay &rom the less to the more, &rom the shallo-s to the depths, &rom your unreal to your real, &rom your dar.ness to your light, then is such authority [Page 2!] po-er &or you, be it -hat it may &or others. $t is a &reedom &or you, be it a prison to others, do others declare that it is a prison also &or you. 4o not complain i& your authority be &louted by another, i& your authority be despised by another, i& another lea*e it and you 1behind2. )e happy and at peace i&, lea*e you as he may and perchance, as he ought, he lea*es you in your truth, e*en i& its &orm be an authority he &louts. $t is truth that matters, neither authority nor &orm nor shape nor place. 7here you d-ell in truth, d-ell happily, be its &orm -hat it may. <et another separate you &rom your authority, &rom your &orm o& truth -hate*er it may be. <et him separate you i& he can. $& he can, he may ha*e done -ell or ill. He -ill ha*e done -ell i& you are in &act dead in authority. He may ha*e done ill, i& the authority &rom -hich he has separated you is the opening &or you into a larger li&e. $n either case he separates you, he is able to separate you, because in &act the authority means little or naught to you. $& you are ali*e in your authority, i& your authority is ali*e in you, i& intimations be &ul&illing themsel*es in e/perience, i& authority is a mode o& transcendence, not more, not less, then none shall separate you &rom such authority, &or it is your *ery heart and li&e. 4o not @uit authority because others tell you to lea*e it. $& you do so you are but substituting [Page 2 ] one authority &or another. Bou do not @uit authority -hen, on authority, you lea*e some other authority. Bou are not outside authority but -ithin another. Those -ho tell you to lea*e may ha*e le&t authority or an authority because they deem they ha*e &ul&illed it, or because, ha*ing -eighed it in the balance, they deem they ha*e &ound it -anting. As &or you, you must 8udge &or yoursel&. Bou must -eigh &or yoursel&. Bou must decide &or yoursel&. <isten care&ully to others> -arnings. Heed -ith attention their ad*ice. )ut Page 7

Adyar Pamphlets

Authority

No. 178

ma.e up your o-n mind. )e-are o& being led astray &rom a path-ay -hich is yours because others decry it. )ecause on the map o& one o& li&e>s pilgrims a road is mar.ed 1not to be trodden2, 1dangerous2, 1unsa&e2, 1leading no5-hither2, it does not &ollo- that it must so be mar.ed on your map. That -hich must so be mar.ed &or another is not necessarily so to be mar.ed &or you. That -hich is not to be trodden by another may be right &or your treading. That -hich is dangerous and unsa&e &or another may not necessarily be dangerous or unsa&e &or you. That -hich &or another leads no -hither may lead some-here &or you. )e your o-n 8udge. Ta.e not authority lightly up. (nter not lightly into authority. Neither lay it lightly do-n, &or, sa*e e/perience, there is naught more precious than intimation6 sa*e the attainment o& a goal, there is naught more precious [Page 22] than a *ision o& the path that leads to it6 sa*e achie*ing a triumph, there is naught more splendid than being stead&astly set to-ards it. And authority may at least turn us in the right direction, e*en though it merge, as -e tra*el, into e/perience. 7ho, loo.ing do-n the *istas o& his past, shall say, 1Authority has done naught &or me32. 7ho, loo.ing do-n the *istas o& the &uture, dare say, 1Authority has no more to do &or me32. 7ho, loo.ing do-n the *istas o& the past. shall e*en say, 1)lind obedience has done naught &or me32. 7ho, loo.ing do-n the *istas o& the &uture, shall dare to say, 1$ ha*e done -ith blind obedience32 'ometimes, perhaps rarely, it is -ell to obey blindly. $s there ne*er occasion &or this3 $s there ne*er occasion to do as -e are told, that some good end may be achie*ed -hich -ould not come -ere it to ha*e to -ait on our clear sight3 'urely, sight is in&initely better than blindness. 'urely, to see and -al. -ith &irm, un&altering &ootsteps, is in&initely better than to be blind and to be led hal&5haltingly along. Bet sometimes it is better to mo*e along a road in blindness rather than not to mo*e along the road at a$l. 4o not, then, be a&raid o& an authority -hich no sense un&olded in you can 8usti&y, pro*ided that someho0 maybe you .no- not ho- 0 dimly you apprehend -ithin that authority an intimation to-ards a larger li&e. +rom the dim shado- o& [Page 23] intimation you may pass on-ards into the bright light o& e/perience. There&ore, do not &ear an authority -hich perhaps the head cannot 8usti&y but -hich the heart someho- appro*es. )ut sooner or later the time must come -hen head and heart are one in strong accord, or such authority is not &or you as you at present are. And -hen a time comes &or you to lay an authority do-n, -hen you disco*er it is not &or you, or -hen it has achie*ed its purposes, e*en then lay it re*erently do-n. $t is &or someone i& not &or you. To some it is intimation o& the larger li&e, though not to you. To some it is bread, though to you it be stone. )ut i& it ha*e helped you on your -ay, e*en though you deem you need it no more, then indeed -ould you do -ell to treat it -ith re*erence6 &or though you may thin. you are laying it aside, in &act it has become part o& you &or e*er, and at least in the more distant &uture you shall recogni=e a rung on -hich your &eet rested on their -ay to rungs beyond. To that -hich at any time has ser*ed you, -hich has helped you on your -ay, you o-e an imperishable debt o& gratitude. Today, perchance, you may repudiate the debt, and see. to banish the authority out o& sight. )ut -ith the so&ter, truer -isdom o& tomorro- you -ill bless the debt you o-e and place the authority, -hich no- you cast aside, among the treasures o& your home.

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