Sir Godfrey Gregg
Once, however, we are ready to accept, if only provisionally this all-over picture which reveals a Universe based upon strict law illuminated by love and united indissolubly in all its part in an archetypal pattern, our whole view of ourselves in our relation to God and to man must change.
We begin to see ourselves as minute segments of a kind of cosmic living jigsaw puzzle in which each segment is of vital importance to the picture as a whole. For the time being we can know only our tiny corner of this pattern, the part into which, to complete that specific bit, we must fit. If we do not do this, if we try to jam ourselves into a corner or refuse to fit in anywhere; if we shove other pieces out of the way because we think their bit more interesting, our corner will temporarily suffer and in consequence so will the whole Design.
Such a view as this reveals the vital importance of our individual contribution to the total picture at any given moment. We belong. We are co-workers with the omnipresent dynamic Forces throughout the Universe. And in order to fulfill our own destiny our obligation to the Architect of this Design, which is our vertical responsibility to God it is of primary importance to try and discover what our particular role in life is meant to be, and when we have found it, to work at perfecting our own corner by fitting ourselves into it as harmoniously and willingly as we can.
For only in our rightful place, doing our natural duty to God and man, serving and loving those with whom we are brought into contact, shall we grow out of our present stage into a higher one, or, to change the metaphor, shall we be enabled to establish ourselves upon the next rung of the ladder.
We may not like our little patch. Nine times out of ten we don’t. But after all, granted these general premises, we made it, so what have we to grumble about? In any case, it represents our job in building up our part of the Grand Design. If we refuse to do so similar conditions will meet us again and again until we have accepted the opportunity to play the part assigned to us. Some time the tiny segment must take is rightful place in the Pattern however long delayed that may be.
So, however difficult and often pointless and senseless the work may seem, we can take heart of grace. All those who have gone before have succeeded in however small a degree in merging their every-day consciousness with that of their Soul.
This means, of course, that we have to create where we stand the uttermost perfection at every level we can achieve. To carry this out it is essential to develop all our potentialities within the limits by which we are conditioned. And if these conditions seem cruelly constricting and narrow as they so often are it will help to realise that these constrictions are there just for the purpose of achieving perfection within them; they, too, are part of the jigsaw puzzle. In accepting such conditions, infusing them with beauty and light and love lies true happiness. For just because it is our job in the Divine Plan, the forces of the Universe are on our side. In this, too, we shall find security. A point so often overlooked by people caught up, as we all are, by the modern obsession for size and quantity, is that it is quality which really counts. The delicate, minute carving in a walnut by some Chinese master has an intrinsic value as great, perhaps even greater than any more spectacular work of art.
“Impossible to live that way in the world today,” many will exclaim. Difficult yes, most worthwhile things are; but certainly far from impossible. And it will be made much easier once we can accept this idea that we are where we are because it is just here that we are needed most and can do most good. That this and no other is the bit of the Pattern we were born to make perfect. And another thing is to keep in mind we have not been drawn to it arbitrarily, but because we ourselves have created the need for the particular experiences and relationships with which it will present us. For we can all see easily enough that perhaps the larger number of the trials and difficulties we are called upon to face have been brought upon us by our own actions in this one. By resistance to the Pattern or by blindness to its requirements, by not fulfilling obligations and so on. Although, of course, the seeds of such mistakes, weakness, ignorance, greed, stupidity, emotional reactions of whatsoever kind must clearly have been sown long before, since they are an intrinsic part of our character.
But even if this theory of causes reaching back into the past make no appeal, it could equally well be postulated that the Divine Vision in our own Soul has seen that just here and nowhere else is our next step on the way to greater understanding and therefore to a greater chance of liberation from suffering and fear.