Tuesday , 18 June 2024
Next Events & Meetings
Photo: Michael Imstepf

In Trailing Clouds of Glory

This year seems to be passing more quickly than ever before and we are now approaching that time when we celebrate the birth of a child who became a great Teacher of love and wisdom. He brought joy into the world and taught with such simplicity that all might understand. We are told that:

…The Great One taught people to pray within their hearts, upon the mountain, amid inspiring summits. It is impossible to grasp the full depth of meaning of the Sermon of the Great One, because He gave instructions for the whole of life in the simplest words. The key to this greatness was in His simplicity, which not only allowed Him to more easily communicate with people, but was a beautiful way of expressing the Highest in the simplest words. One should learn to make the complicated simple, for only in simplicity is kindness reflected. Such was the work of the Great Pilgrim…” Supermundane I, sloca 150

Like many great teachers before him, He taught of a new world beyond the travail we are now experiencing when He said:

My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36

Children can remind us of this finer world – they are a source of joy and hope for a new and better future. They deserve all our care and attention and can teach us much. There is a growing recognition of this as Children’s Day is observed in various times and places around the globe culminating in the United Nations World Children’s Day on 20 November.

Children…seem to be just a short breath away from the soul realms

Any who spend time with very young children will know how the heart lifts in joy at their pure and innate trust. They seem to be just a short breath away from the soul realms from whence we come. Their purity and simplicity can be clearly seen in the early months of their lives before the cloud of a chaotic worldview settles over them. As souls we all enter the world physically helpless and completely trusting of those in whose care we find themselves. Then, as we grow, we become curious and begin to imitate what we see – such is the innate sense of similarity and relationship carried through from the realm of the Soul. Wordsworth’s beautiful poem comes to mind:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!”
From Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

We too can become like little children again

As we approach the new era, the Age of the Soul, the young ones seem to see the way more clearly. They are less clouded by the passing age as it deteriorates and makes way for the new. It’s not surprising then that young people see quite simply what is needed and have the heart, sensitivity and trust in truth that impels them to speak and act for a new and better world. We find them in active support of new ways of living on, and relating to, our planet. We too can become like little children again, and can join them in creating the path into a new era. As Jesus said:

Except ye …become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:13

We may find that we come back to our essence, our soul, our spiritual being.

If we could be as children again, we might drop those worldly desires and attachments that can surround and separate us. We may find that we come back to our essence, our soul, our spiritual being. We could live from that point of identity and being (in the world but not of the world) and we might see more simply and clearly. In the simplicity of a clear pool everything can be seen, only becoming obscure when the waters are disturbed and turbulent.

The Tibetan Master tells us that:

“Simplification proceeds rapidly as one nears the goal of the spirit.” The Rays and the Initiations, page 185

Approaching that great simplicity each finds that:

“He begins to understand that the lower mind, with its multiplicity of differentiations and its tabulating, analysing and complicated approach to truth, is only a foundation upon which he can take a firm stand, but that he is faced with a profound simplicity; he realises that he must find out for himself that …which will enable him to substitute the pure reason for the many complexities of the lower mind. He has to wrestle with the problem of this simplicity, with its penetrating potency, and with its swift comprehension of the basic truth underlying the many truths; he learns, finally, to substitute the intuition—with its swiftness and its infallibility—for the slow and laborious work of the mind, with its deviousness, its illusions, its errors, its dogmatisms and its separative thinking and cultures.” Discipleship in the New Age, vol II, page 414-5

We will see ourselves in one another, as reflections…of the One Self.

Children bring us glimpses of the simplicity of the Soul and what it may be like to live in the Age of the Soul. Imagine a world where the complex trappings of material forms no longer hide the nature of what is behind them; where all are seen by the light they radiate; where leaders and teachers embody truth unwaveringly; where we are guided by wise teachers who never betray our trust in Them. Can we begin to sense how it will be to let our guard down, to trust again as children and release the defences we have built to survive in a dishonest world? The leaders in this realm have no self-interest as they long ago transcended the self and represent the One Self of which we are each a part. We will see ourselves in one another, as reflections and wonderful, varied expressions of the One Self. And, like children, we will truly know joy again and breathe it in like life-sustaining air.

As we make our way into that beautiful future, the poignancy of our current moment seems to be captured in the poem, Child-Angel, by Rabindranath Tagore:

Let your life come amongst them like a flame of light, my child,
unflickering and pure, and delight them into silence.

They are cruel in their greed and their envy,
their words are like hidden knives thirsting for blood.

Go and stand amidst their scowling hearts, my child,
and let your gentle eyes fall upon them like the
forgiving peace of the evening over the strife of the day.

Let them see your face, my child, and thus know the
meaning of all things, let them love you and love each other.

Come and take your seat in the bosom of the limitless, my child.
At sunrise open and raise your heart like a blossoming flower,
and at sunset bend your head and in silence
complete the worship of the day.

                                                          ~ Rabindranath Tagore


About Judy

Hi, I'm one of a group of authors and editors for the Sydney Goodwill website.


  1. This concept is beautiful. Thank you.
    I have always felt this way about children.
    My father said it’s too bad that children grow up to be adults. I find children are wiser now than we shall ever be so I have a mind to stress their importance and we elders can help slow things down and be better guides as they go out into the world of complexities.

  2. Miriam Jane Purkiss

    …with joy in my heart I turned to the Newsletter as my introduction to these meditation. How beautiful it is, with its call to be as little children at this time of deepening, soul filling wonder and awe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *