in the world requires a certain level of human development, so also does the transformationwhich leads to inner maturity require that a man should conscientiously and responsibly labor at the tasks
set by the world.
Inner and outer work are not mutually exclusive. On thecontrary, we are invaded, as it were, from morning to night, both by our inner being as well as by the threatening exterior world for which we are responsible. The field of our ceaselesseffort to reconcile both sides is none other than our ordinary daily life.
Our achievements in the world may be said to be perfect only in so far as theyconsummate and realize the idea that is their inner meaning. Whether it be a work of art or asystem of philosophy, the building of a house or the setting up of some organization, factoryor technical apparatus, it possesses a valid form (
only when each of its partsaccomplishes the underlying purpose of the whole. The same applies to the inner task. Man,himself, is one of life’s forms
but he, too, is valid and can endure only in sofar as he fulfils, as a whole and in the unifying of all his forces, what be is fundamentallyintended to be.But what is man? What is he intended to be? Intrinsically - that is to say, in his essence -man is an aspect of Divine Being, whose purpose is to manifest itself in him and through him.Just as flowers and animals in their own way reveal Divine Being, so also must man reveal itin the way of man. He can only be “right” when his life-form, with all its forces, fulfills thedestiny that dwells within him as his essential being.For each of us, our essential being is the medium through which we participate in DivineBeing. It may also be said to be the means by which Divine Being strives through us tomanifest itself in the world - not as something apart from the world, a mere spiritualinwardness, but as a bodily presence. It follows that our human inner growth is necessarilyaccomplished within the framework of our worldly destiny in the midst of ordinary life andthe carrying out of daily tasks.
Man’s destiny is to bear witness, in his own special way to Divine Being-which is to say,consciously and freely. Flowers and animals fulfill theirs of necessity and unconsciously -limited only by whatever external conditions may hinder them from becoming what, in their essence, they are. Man, however, unlike flowers and animals, has been endowed withconsciousness; and it is by means of this quality that, as an “I,” he is able to stand andconfront the world. Because of this he becomes, at least to some extent, independent andtherefore responsible for his own development. Herein lies his great chance. But here, too, letus not forget, lies danger. For between this chance and this danger be may miss the mark.
The “oneness” of that Life which is beyond space and time breaks apart in man’s ego-consciousness into two poles - one, the
which, being subject to laws of spaceand time, can be understood and mastered; and two,
which cannot beencompassed by space and time and is beyond all ordinary understanding. Thus, inevitably,man experiences himself as a being standing between heaven and earth. He lives in a state of tension between two realities - the world, which confines him to latitude, longitude andduration, endangers his existence, tempts him with hopes of happiness, and demands hisobedience to its laws; and the supernatural state of Being hidden within him and towardswhich, even unknowingly, he yearns. Ceaselessly striving to find the light, this Being callshim forth beyond the laws and boundaries of his little personal life, to the service of Greater Life.