A friend recently sent me this beautiful quote from the great Russian writer, Count Leo (Lev) Tolstoy:

“You say you can’t see the kingdom of the good and the true on earth. I didn’t see it either; and it can’t be seen if you look at our life as the end of everything. On earth, I mean this earth…there is no truth–everything is falsehood and evil; but in the universe, in the whole universe, there is a kingdom of the true, and we are now children of the earth, but eternally–children of the whole universe. Don’t I feel in my soul that I make up a part of that huge, harmonious whole?

Don’t I feel that among the countless number of beings in which the divinity–the higher power–whatever you like–is manifest, I make up one link, one step from lower beings to higher?    If I see, see clearly, this ladder that leads from plant to man, then why should I suppose that this ladder, the lower end of which I do not see, is lost in the plants? Why should I suppose that this ladder stops with me and does not lead further and further to higher beings? I feel not only that I cannot disappear, as nothing disappears in the world, but that I will always be and have always been. I feel that, besides me, above me, spirits live, and that in this world there is truth.”

To this I responded:

Marvellous! Tolstoy sounds like a Theosophist, he so beautifully put into writing the doctrine of spiritual evolution, of the consciousness underlying the many kingdoms of nature. Our imperfect understanding in the World, the higher power’s infilling of the Outer, by the Inner.

I dreamed a mental picture of the plants twining their stems around the sides and rungs of my friend’s garden-ladder, climbing their way along the upward path! Of course, they’d change into the next-highest life-form as they went. Sometimes I think one has glimpses of universal consciousness at work in the plants and animals.

My friend lives in an idyllic semi-rural area beside a creek – you sit on the back veranda and hear the creek’s soothing burbling as it drifts towards its far-distant destination. One afternoon I sat there listening to the noisy minor-birds dipping and dashing over the surface of the water above a hollow between the river-stones on its shallow bed. It was a very hot day, the sunlight glittered on water, leaves, and stones. Walkers and cyclists drifted by on the opposite bank.

But the concrete paving of the backyard had a big crack in it, like a huge chunk of earth was about to drop into the cavity of the flood-line of the creek bed. The scoria-rocks of the retaining wall on the other side of the yard bulged outward toward the creek. We feared the house would slip into the creek – a not unfounded fear.

However, the REAL/ Inner Vision came when we wondered, why the birds kept skimming that part of the river-bed. We saw an “inanimate” vine using the breath of the wind to move it towards a nearby branch of another tree as if unconsciously searching for another branch to move itself onto. It seemed that it used the Earth’s very breath of life to move itself. If that was so, it was extraordinary to observe.

The OUTER/Worldly Vision then came in the realisation that the car needed filling with the minimum of fuel and there were jobs to go to the next day. The concerns of this world flooded back, which was the way it should be.

That’s my take on what Tolstoy wrote so beautifully. How strange, it was more than words, the words became warm, glowing, calm, breezes and surroundings! Thanks to the great author, Leo Tolstoy, for this beautiful piece of writing that acted like a window to somewhere else, or the wax covering on a cell full of honey in a bees’ honeycomb: Thus, both the Inner and Outer visions combined both the beauty of the inner “kingdom” of the ideal, and the relative imperfection, of our outer reality. The reflection, as we’ve perceived it, in our outer, imperfect, reality, the perfect infilling the imperfect, according to our enlightened perception of its inner, silent, “Thereness”.