Forsaking Nirvana to Do Service Here in the Physical World
George Arundale wrote: (Note Mr. Arundale's description of this physical world as a prison-world.)
“I have entered Eternity. The past is for ever behind me. I am delightfully lost in the rapture of pure being. I am. And in these two words is a fathomless, limitless ocean of bliss supreme. But stay! What is this that I hear? What sounds are these that enter into my joy? Can it be — yes, it is — the call of my prison-worlds. But what have I now to do with my prison-worlds? They are behind me, and never need I return to them again. As I realize that I am free, so gloriously free, I feel how wonderful it is to know my safety in the power of this freedom. No power from prison-world can draw me back, for the power of my freedom transcends all other power below. For a moment again I lose myself in rhythmic ecstasy, and then — what is this strange thing which has come upon me? Am I dissatisfied with such a freedom? Am I, it seems impossible, beginning to want to return? It is true. Across the infinite spaces I have placed between myself and the far-off prison-worlds, come to me the cries of those whom prison-fetters still are binding. Can I honorably ignore them? Yes; and yet I cannot ignore them. Let this freedom, this ecstasy, go. I will have none of it while prison-worlds still call — prison-worlds of every kingdom, prison-worlds of the worlds, of systems, of universes. And as I thus resolve, I find myself apparently turning away from my bliss, and all Nature round me watches my return in solemn stillness, and, I must add for truth's sake though I shrink from writing the words, almost as if in homage.
“Back, back, I go, and at last I am at the doors of that prison-world I left so recently, but which seems an eternity away from me. The doors open. I enter. And as I enter, it is as if I heard: ‘You went to your freedom as was your right, for you have won it. The call of freedom came, and your ears were ready to hear, for you had fulfilled many of those vows the Monad made in the beginning of time, and in their fulfilment their fetters must needs drop away. Yet for many of your comrades from long ago the fetters still remain; and you have done well to heed the cry which came to you across the empty spaces. No bliss, however rapturous, must ever dull the ear to the cry of suffering and need; rather must it make the ear more sensitive, and the feet more speedy to succor.’
“And so I find myself back in the old routine of prison-life, and am content, for I am needed where I am. But what is this change which has come about? Surely I am not still in prison? Is there a mistake? Have I felt the cry unheeded? I look around me. The age-old prison-world is round me. Yet I am different. I have not returned alone. Something glorious has returned with me, and in its magic the imprisonment seems no imprisonment. It is imprisonment, and yet it is not. Slowly upon me dawns the fact that while the form is there, the life has become free. I dwell a free man in the form. No longer am I bound upon it. No longer need I return to it life after life its slave, though I may return its master. Form has become the servant of my life. Another miracle of transubstantiation, for within the forms freedom has been substituted for necessity. Have I not brought Nirvana back with me? Have not the swaying ecstasies of Divinity-attuned rhythm entered into my very being, thus abiding with me even in the prison-worlds? All I thought I must leave is with me forever. There is no loss in renunciation, only gain. There is no loss in sacrifice, only gain. And this gain is the supreme gain of gains — the gain of added Unity, and of the Love, the Wisdom and the Power which are its threefold agpect.” (George Arundale, Nirvana — An Occult Experience, pages 233-235)