Rosicrucian Writings Online

Religion Inborn

By E. Reyner
[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1949]
A SMALL, ancient man of the hills, a reader of philosophy, a singer, assayer, chemist--one of that lonely legion we, in the mining states, call prospectors--gave me this picture of religion as we sat and talked until two o'clock one morning:
"Religion," said the old man, "grows like a plant. It can be acquired by the young only as the plant by means of its innate desires acquires nourishment from the sun and the soil. It is the old, those who have followed life's cycle to the end, that understandingly realize religion and its nature.
"In the wintertime of man's life, the fruits of religion are gathered. In him, religion has grown a lifetime and has finally produced its fruit--the understanding of life, the appreciation of eternity, and all that is a part of it. A young person can depend only on faith to point his way. He is interested in living life, not thinking it. Time passes, and he becomes gradually aware of ever-repeating cycles. He does less physical living and more thinking. What once seemed of great importance, now becomes only a small part of an eternal pattern. Living is almost finished before one realizes the full pattern," the man explained as he reviewed his eighty-five years of experience--and night stretched into morning.
"It is the very old who come truly to comprehend the true significance of existence. Just as a plant may be shriveled by sour soil and lack of water, so a life lived without concern as to the Maker's pattern comes to a barren end. The sturdiness of some plants makes them thrive under adverse conditions, that same sturdiness in some human beings makes the religion within them come to full fruitfulness regardless of circumstances."
This self-evolved sage then told me that the great majority of human beings must follow a course of guidance, otherwise the religion in them would die from the effects of evil living in the same manner as obnoxious weeds are able to starve or kill a plant. We are like plants that must be cultivated until we become aware of the essential truths. When these have gathered momentum, they continue to grow by themselves.
However, a complete realization of the great truths comes only to the old as the fruit comes only to the mature plant, he insisted. When an organism is done with living, it becomes a symbol of the whole process of life. When meditation is based on decades of experience, the universality of all good things becomes apparent. Even in the universality of death one realizes the ever-continuing life.
"You are young now and want mostly to live," said the aged one, fixing his eyes thoughtfully upon me. "As you live the experiences of generations of men who have gone before you, the plant of true religion lives and grows with you. Each day you do fewer of the animal things and more of the spiritual. At long last you will become old, and the eternal truths will stand revealed to you. Now is the time to start the growth of true religion within you; later, the why and wherefore of it all will become clear."

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