Everyone remembers Abraham Lincoln, the famous President of the USA during the American Civil War, who freed the slaves and played such a large part in creating modern America as we know it today. But tell me, who remembers the lowly cabinet-maker who made his kitchen table? His family and friends certainly did. But, as the years passed, they all died, his house was eventually pulled down and the cabinets, tables, and chairs with his name on them crumbled to dust, and his name eroded away. It is as if he had never existed. What have we forgotten? What man, or Self, are we talking about when we speak about any one of us ordinary folk? Who remembers the cabinet-maker?

If we take the example of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps it is only the popular or notorious people of history are remembered for what they have done. But we know from the history books that there were ‘famous’ people who were not ‘great’ and every day we meet ‘great’ people who are not ‘famous’. So maybe it is the qualities of a person that are remembered rather than personalities and achievements.

Taking up this thought, we know from theosophical teachings that the real essence of a person goes on from life to life in a seemingly endless round of reincarnations. The forms may change from life to life, like an actor changing his clothes during a play, but the actor, or real Self, remains and continues on to the next act in life’s play. If we accept reincarnation as a reality, then everyone living today is the embodied memory of himself/herself. The very fact of our being alive proves our past over countless lives to bring us to the point where we are now. It is the values and qualities that we embody that live on regardless of whether people remember the names of our individual personalities over time. Greatness is an inner thing, thoughts and values that we cannot see make us who we are and radiate out to affect others regardless of whether they are anchored to a particular personality.

Who remembers the good cabinet-maker who laboured quietly and honestly throughout his life? The ancient wisdom says that each life, whether high or low in the estimation of the world, is an expression of the Supreme Self. Therefore, each life, President or Cabinet-Maker, is precious and is remembered in its effect on the quality of our world today.  

Our inner essence is Cosmic Consciousness. Cosmic Consciousness cannot be produced, nor can anything be added to it, or taken away from it. It ever was, is, and will be. We merely need to become and remain aware of it. Transcendent Compassion and Wisdom are the only conditions for achieving this. – Jelle Bosma.