A Gleam of Light
By Ingrid Van Mater

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. . . . We but half express ourselves. . . . -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

At the Christmas season a joyous atmosphere, like a gleam of light, touches with its warmth and radiance all who are receptive. The magic that takes place in those who feel this -- however momentary, whether alone or in a family or other gathering -- suggests that we are so much more than appears on the surface and that deep within we are one.

The mystical origin of this celebration stems from a recognition of the winter solstice as a time of spiritual rebirth, traditionally associated with the birth of Saviors. Therefore, the Christmas period has always been revered as a sacred occasion, a meaningful inner experience.

We have before us much to reflect on. The coming year, 1999, is the next to the last year of the 20th century. What will we bring to this dynamic cycle? Hopefully a broader outlook, more thoughtful concern and deepening perception, so that we may add dimension to our understanding of the day-by-day unfolding of our lives as well as of world developments. The question then arises: How can we awaken to the magnitude of life's divine purpose? Each of us varies in our thinking, background, and inner awareness, yet we are all involved in a never-ending search, endeavoring to discover who we are, and what our goal as a human being really is. The deeper we penetrate into the mystery of ourselves, the more we recognize that there is untold wisdom within waiting to be expressed as our awareness grows and, along with it, our readiness to understand.

We benefit immeasurably by a season of this quality crowning the year. At such peak times it is possible to become more attuned to the universal pulse of life than ordinarily. This heightened feeling is no doubt fostered by thoughts of great ones such as Jesus who, through their compassion, have appeared at cyclical times to share their inspiration of truth with struggling mankind. But it is also generated by the pervasive expression of good will and genuine aspiration throughout the world on this occasion.

Is it not remarkable that although we are billions of individuals on this earth, each with a destiny we created through lifetimes of experience, we share the common heritage of divinity, expressed by each one in a slightly different way? The gleam of divine light is in every human heart, transcending manmade barriers of race, creed, or color. And it is this light that sparks each living thing, consciously or unconsciously, to pursue the quest of unending inner unfoldment and discovery.
# (From Sunrise magazine, December 1998/January 1999. Copyright © 1998 by Theosophical University Press.)

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