Key to Demands

Spiritualizing a Prayer or a Demand

Just as a wet match, when struck, does not produce re, so a mind saturated with restlessness cannot produce the fire of concentration even when one makes great efforts to strike the cosmic spark.

The flame of inspiration is hidden behind the lines of each prayer and demand in this book. Since, however, they must be saturated even so with the polluting waters of printer’s ink, paper, and the individual’s own intellectual associations, it is necessary to rise above all these distractions in order to bring forth the flame of wisdom out of each prayer‐demand. Different minds reading the same prayer cannot but interpret it differently, and also feel it differently. The vast ocean of truth can be measured only according to the capacity of one’s own cup of intelligence and perception. So will the inspiration behind these prayers and demands be felt according to the depth of one’s own intuition and feeling.

In order to bene t as deeply as possible from the God‐warmth in any of these prayer‐demands, take only one paragraph at a time from a single demand; mentally picture the meaning; visualize the imagery of the figures of speech — and then meditate deeply on what is perceived, until the fiery meaning, free from all word limitations, emerges.

A word is like a dumb, drunken man who feels that liquor is in him, but who cannot express himself clearly about it. He may, by a cry or gesture, indicate the kind of wine he has imbibed. So are the words in these demands: They are “drunk” with God. Never, however, will they be able to express fully and explain with utter, logical clarity the quality of the wine of inspiration within them except, so to speak, with a little gesture or a mumbled cry.

You may wish to read a complete prayer or demand to get a quick overview of its entire meaning. If you read it over and over again, however, many times, and then, with closed eyes, try repeatedly to feel the deep inspiration behind and within it, you will thus spiritualize it — that is to say, rouse the inspiration which slumbers beneath the thick quilt of human speech.

Prayers and demands are like plants which daily grow new blossoms: the powers change, but the plants remain basically the same. A prayer‐plant, similarly, may have the same branches and leaves of words, but every day will yield new roses of God‐feeling and inspiration if you regularly water the plant with meditation. The prayer‐plant should be protected from storms of doubt, distraction, mental idleness, procrastination of meditation (to a morrow that never comes!), absent‐mindedness, and preoccupation with other things while imagining the mind to be wholly focused on the essence of a prayer.

Such parasites on your prayer‐plants should be destroyed by the germicides of self‐control, determination, and loyalty to a single teaching. Thus, the glowing, immortal roses of inspiration will be gathered daily from the plants of these prayer‐demands.

Be still, and let God answer you within. Learn to know Him by the extent to which you know your true, inner Self. Visualize Him as formless, yet with form; silent, yet with voice as well. For example, when God is described as a visible Cosmic Idol which I worshipped with drum‐beats of the ocean‐roar, try mentally actually to visualize the entire concept behind the Cosmic Idol, and to hear those drum‐beats. And when the Almighty is spoken of as the Divine Mother, try to feel the same devotion to God, the Universal Mother, as a loving child feels toward its mother.

O seeker after soul‐awakening! Every day, dry, with the heat of your concentration, the wet matchsticks of mere words in the demand you select; then repeatedly strike them on the tinder of your mind. You will at last see the divine flame leaping out.

Hints to the Reader