Worldly people lose the roots and cling to the tree-tops.

. . .

As I see it, the psyche is a world in which the ego is contained. Perhaps there are also fishes who believe that they contain the sea. We must rid ourselves of this habitual illusion of ours if we wish to consider metaphysical statements from the standpoint of psychology.

. . .

It is a question of a change in inner feeling similar to that experienced by a father to whom a son has been born; it is a change also known to us through the testimony of the Apostle Paul: ‘Not I (live), but Christ liveth in me.’

The symbol ‘Christ’ as the ‘son of man’ is an analogous psychic experience: a higher, spiritual being of human form is invisibly born in the individual, a spiritual body, which is to serve us as a future dwelling, a body which, as Paul expresses himself, is put on like a garment.

Obviously it is always a difficult thing to express, in intellectual terms, subtle feelings which are, none the less, infinitely important for the life and well-being of the individual. In a certain sense, the thing we are trying to express is the feeling of having been ‘replaced,’ but without the connotation of having been ‘deposed.’ It is as if the direction of the affairs of life had gone over to an invisible centre.

Nietzsche’s metaphor, ‘in most loving bondage, free,’ would be appropriate here. Religious speech is full of imagery picturing this feeling of free dependence, of calm and devotion.

In this remarkable experience I see a phenomenon resulting from the detachment of consciousness, through which the subjective ‘I live’ becomes the objective ‘It lives me.’ This state is felt to be higher than the earlier one; it is really as if it were a sort of release from compulsion and impossible responsibility which ar ethe inevitable results of participation mystique.

This feeling of liberation fills Paul completely. It is the consciousness of being a child of God which frees one from the spell of the blood. It is also a feeling of reconciliation with all that happens, and that is the reason that, according to the Hui Ming Ching, the glance of one who has attained fulfillment returns to the beauty of nature.

Among the great religious problems of the present is one which has received scant attention, but which, in fact, is the main problem of our day: the problem of the progress of the religious spirit.

If we are to discuss it, we must emphasize the difference between East and West in their treatment of the ‘jewel,’ that is, the central symbol. The West emphasizes the human incarnation, and even the personality and historicity of Christ, while the East says: ‘Without beginning, without end, without past, without future.’

In accordance with his conception, the Christian subordinates himself to the superior, divine person in expectation of His grace; but the Eastern man knows that redemption depends on the ‘work’ the individual does upon himself.

The Tao grows out of the individual. The imitatio Christi has this disadvantage: in the long run we worship as a divine example a man who embodied the deepest meaning of life, and then, out of sheer imitation, we forget to make real our own deepest meaning–self-realization.