Light of Reason – The Original Simplicity
James Allen – All These Things Added – Chapter 3
* Note: The original text has been slightly updated to modern English
LIFE is simple. Being is simple. The universe is simple.
Complexity arises in ignorance and self-delusion. The “Original Simplicity” of Lao-tze is a term expressive of the universe as it is, and not as it appears. Looking through the woven network of our own illusions, we see interminable complication and unfathomable mystery, and so lose ourselves the labyrinths of our own making. Let us put away egotism, and we shall see the universe in all the beauty of its pristine simplicity. Let us annihilate the delusion of the personal “I,” and we will destroy all the illusions which spring from that “I.” We will thus “re-become as little children,” and “revert to Original Simplicity.”
When succeeding in entirely forgetting (annihilating) our personal selves, we be-come a mirror in which the universal Reality is faultlessly reflected. We are awakened, and henceforward live not in dreams, but realities.
Pythagoras saw the universe in the ten numbers, but even this simplicity may be further reduced, and the universe ultimately be found to be contained in the number ONE, for all the numerals and all their infinite complications are but additions of the One.
Let life cease to be lived as a fragmentary thing, and let it be lived as a perfect Whole; the simplicity of the Perfect will then be revealed. How shall the fragment comprehend the Whole? Yet how simple that the Whole should comprehend the fragment. How shall sin perceive Holiness? Yet how plain that Holiness should understand sin. Those who would become the Greater let them abandon the lesser. In no form is the circle contained, but in the circle all forms are contained. In no colour is the radiant light imprisoned, but in the radiant light all colours are embodied. Let us destroy all the forms of self, and we shall apprehend the Circle of Perfection; let us submerge, in the silent depths of our being, the varying colours of our thoughts and desires, and we shall be illuminated with the White Light of Divine Knowledge.
In the perfect chord of music the single note, though forgotten, is indispensably contained, and the drop of water becomes of supreme usefulness by losing itself in the ocean. Sink thyself compassionately in the heart of humanity, and thou shalt reproduce the harmonies of Heaven; lose thyself in unlimited love toward all, and thou shalt work enduring works and shalt become one with the eternal Ocean of Bliss.
When we discover that it is mathematically impossible for us to know the universe before knowing ourselves, we then start upon the way which leads to the Original Simplicity. We begin to unfold from within, and as we unfold ourselves, we enfold the universe.
Cease to speculate about God, and find the all-embracing Good within thee, then shalt thou see the emptiness and vanity of speculation, knowing thyself one with God.
Those who will not give up their secret lusts, their covetousness, their anger, their opinions about this or that, can see nor know nothing; they will remain a dullard in the school of Wisdom, though accounted learned in the colleges.
If we would find the key of knowledge, let us find ourselves. Thy sins are not thyself; they are not any part of thyself; they are diseases which thou hast come to love. Cease to cling to them, and they will no longer cling to thee. Let them fall away, and thy self shall stand revealed. Thou shalt then know thyself as Comprehensive Vision, Invincible Principle, Immortal Life, and Eternal Good.
The impure believe impurity to be their rightful condition, but the pure knows themselves as pure beings; they also, penetrating the veils, sees all others as pure beings. Purity is extremely simple, and needs no argument to support it; impurity is interminably complex, and is ever involved in defensive argument. Truth lives itself. A blameless life is the only witness of Truth. The masses cannot see, and will not accept the witness until they find it within themselves; and having found it, become silent before their peers. Truth is so simple that it cannot be found in the region of argument and advertisement, and so silent that it is only manifested in actions.
So extremely simple is Original Simplicity, that we must let go of our hold on everything before it can be perceived. The great arch is strong by virtue of the hollowness underneath, and a wise become strong and invincible by emptying themselves.
Meekness, Patience, Love, Compassion, and Wisdom — these are the dominant qualities of Original Simplicity; therefore the imperfect cannot understand it. Wisdom only can apprehend Wisdom, therefore the fool says, “No moral is wise.” The imperfect say, “No one can be perfect,” and they therefore remain where they are. Though they live with a perfect person all their lives, they shall not behold perfection. Meekness they will call cowardice; Patience, Love, and Compassion they will see as weakness; and Wisdom will appear to them as folly. Faultless discrimination belongs to the Perfect Whole, and resides not in any part, therefore all are exhorted to refrain from judgement until they have themselves manifested the Perfect Life.
Arriving at Original Simplicity, opacity disappears, and the universal transparency becomes apparent. Those who have found the indwelling Reality of their own being have found the original and universal Reality. Knowing the Divine Heart within, all hearts are known, and the thoughts of all are understood by those who become the master of their own thoughts; therefore the good don’t defend themselves, but mould the minds of others to their own likeness.
As the problematical transcends crudity, so Pure Goodness transcends the problematical. All problems vanish when Pure Goodness is reached; therefore the good are rightly called: “The slayer of illusions.” What problem can vex where sin is not? O thou who strivest loudly and restest not! retire into the holy silence of thine own being, and live therefrom. So shalt thou, finding Pure Goodness, rend in twain the veil of the Temple of Illusion, and shalt enter into the Patience, Peace, and transcendent Glory of the Perfect, for Pure Goodness and Original Simplicity are ONE.