The book Man and this Mysterious Universe was originally described as a synthesis of the many aspects of modern civilization, bringing within its scope the contribution of the East as well as of the West, showing how it has grown from the civilization of the past and how it will probably develop into the civilization of the future. Or as the author put it more simply: a survey of Western and Eastern Sciences.
“Nobody,” says Brynjolf Bjorset, “can claim thorough knowledge in all the fields touched upon in my book. But an overall picture of life is the greatest need of our time. My incurable curiosity forced me to try.”
The evolution of humanity and the responsibilities of each of us in this process are described by Beorse in this book which rapidly shifts from one topic to another. However, seen all at once it conveys an image of the totality of the human endeavour: something both outside of time and occurring in time, on schedule, as a great play.
“This comprehensive and refreshing picture is sorely needed at this time of narrow outlook and overspecialization,” writes the distinguished psychologist, educator and author, Dr. Philip B. Ballard.
This book was completed before the author had moved to the US and changed his name from Bjorset to Beorse. Inspired to write by the great sage, Inayat Khan, Beorse combined three former works into one for Man and This Mysterious Universe. Written during WWII, then added to with new information, the book was first published in 1949. His previous work, Distribute or Destroy, had been in the field of economics. Beorse considerably widened his scope in this next publication, whose title refers to the popular physics book by James Jeans, This Mysterious Universe. Here Beorse includes humanity in this assessment of a universe of vibrations and events, creating Man and This Mysterious Universe.
In the book, he uses the phrase “the enemy within”, which he defines as “anything which prevents man from becoming master of his own destiny”.
To readers familiar with Shamcher’s work, this contents of this book may be easy to see and understand, but for those who have not yet seen his fully inclusive non-linear approach in action, these few words of introduction may help a new reader to break into the realm in which these ideas find expression. Each chapter takes on a specific topic of human endeavour: Science, Art, Education. But don’t be fooled by the seemingly linear approach. Inside each chapter is a shifting mass of variety, much of which may not at first seem to exactly fit that content title. Using examples, personal biographical anecdotes, and stories from others, he moves from the micro to the overview while still keeping the micro-view in place. Also inserted are many references to the work of others, names and articles listed for further review, along with philosophical generalizations. No chapter is complete without a mention of the Creator – not dogmatically but as an embodiment of the unifying energetic field in which all this activity and detailed account has its life and being. For it is ultimately a mystic vision, whatever the topic at hand. In this way a ship and its crew are seen as an embodiment of the finest human prayers.
The Trail outlines the scope of the book, and emphasizes the work on vibration and its measurement by Dr. Brunler as an example of the Western view, while he includes the connection to the great mystic, Inayat Khan as the example of the same wisdom in the East. Giving an overview of the science of vibration, from Paracelsus to James Jeans in Western terms, he connects with the poets of the East such as Rumi and Hafiz, as well as giving his account of his first meeting with Inayat Khan.
Here Beorse introduces two main themes of the book: the Human Team, and the Only Being.
Science approaches the one world of interwoven vibrations from a variety of angles and disciplines, both Eastern and Western. Again the human community, and love have a place here in the measurement and analysis of conditions and life experience. Looking at rays and vibrations from the point of view of physics, botany, psychology, economics and other scientific fields, in this chapter Beorse brings these forces into focus as a unity, seeing all as efforts “toward the One.” Yet he does not deny individual purpose or particular views, and includes in this chapter short anecdotes and examples that illustrate his broad vision of the world of scientific thought, as seen in the 20th century.
The chapter Art explores the role of artists as humanity’s co-creators, with the purpose of bringing humankind forward through a further expression of the impulse of the Creator. Form, sound, vision and the science of vibration are touched upon in this chapter. Beorse envisions a time when artists will contribute to all areas of human life, enriching education, psychology, politics, finance and international relationships.
Education is dedicated to the development of the child, the future of humanity. Through varied anecdotes and accounts, Beorse draws the reader into an ideal of education, one that can prepare the 20th century child for the complexity of the future. One significant component of this is fostering in the child a complete confidence in the inner guidance that comes from awareness of the One Being.
It is in the chapter on Everyday Life that all fields of human activity are shown by Beorse as genuine places of worship. He offers an integrated vision of human life, community endeavours, and society that is nothing less than the manifestation of the divine, in all details and seeming insignificance. Work, war, marriage, divorce, psychology, crime and many other efforts and fields of action are ultimately seen as simply interwoven vibrations. Here is revealed the Oneness of all in the manifestation of any and all. However, these events are also acknowledged as unique and actively evolving circumstances requiring clear involvement. There is no hint of a “spiritual bypass” in this work, but rather a clear assessment and inspired action.
In The Family of Nations, Beorse allows his mind to fly shaman-like over the countries of the world, examining preconceived ideas of the various nations and their directions for growth. Once again, details, anecdotes and research findings combine together in synthesis and overview. Beorse exercises great broadness of mind and open awareness in weaving together tremendously diverse forces that were at that time acting upon the world stage, synthesizing them into a cohesive whole that could be viewed in a single glance.
As a great deal of this book was written during wartime while he was active in capacities of spycraft and other aspects of service, the tone Beorse takes in this chapter may seem to no longer apply to the world that we live in today. Some of the details may be of historical interest. However there is a prescience to his approach to assessment of global interaction between nations that is completely applicable to the current conditions. This chapter offers a glimpse into the thoughts of the day, and it is possible that insights accounted here may be applied to today’s global complexity as well. Following WWII, Beorse saw the Atlantic Pact and the Soviet Bloc as harbingers of an emerging world federation. His broad overview here includes this ideal of federation as a natural phenomenon reflecting the true state of affairs, in which “whatever we do to any nation, to any single man, woman or child, we do it to the Creator or Being who lives and breathes and has his hopes in all.”
It is interesting to note that a poem on America by the mystic Irish folklorist Ella Young is quoted here in this chapter. Along with Gavin Arthur (grandson of former US President Chester Arthur) Ella Young was instrumental in the community of Dunites, who lived in the Oceano sand dunes on the California coast. Beorse’s later book, Fairy Tales are True, features his account of life in the dunes among the free-thinking free-living dunites, in this Bohemian Shangri-La. Ella Young gave this community’s main cabin its name, Moy Mell, referring to the “pastures of honey” in the afterlife of the Celtic poets and bards.
At the pinnacle of this international overview, great nations interact almost symbolically as if in a vast drama above the globe. In the following chapter, Beorse goes behind the scenes into an examination of some esoteric symbols and mystic understandings. Behind Symbols and Dogmas offers explanations and examples of some of the more meaningful symbols used the world over down through the ages to refer to the inner path. In this section, Beorse also subtly tackles the tricky subjects of Karma and Reincarnation, basing his analysis on the wisdom approach of the great sage and mystic Inayat Khan, who had been his teacher in the 1920s, and who inspired the writing of this book. Beorse emphasized that life in this world was made for human spiritual awakening and evolution, and “is not to be shunned by him who wants to know and grow.” He makes it clear that inspiration and progress are possible even with the responsibilities, wars, worries and jarring influences of this world. He directs modern man to uncover this precious art, offering the resonance of the ancient traditions for contemplation and realization.
Beorse goes further still in A Road and A Path to describe in allegory the various ways humanity approaches the ultimate goal. Some go on the main road, others take a steep path. This chapter poetically describes how some seekers may dare to become masterful servants who can bridge Heaven and Earth. Whether on the broad road with all the others, or on the difficult path that is only for one, all humanity takes this journey. As Beorse expresses the life of the mystic and his approach, he gives clues to understanding this book as a whole: “His urge is to discover the vital elements of Life and make them work, in as many different spheres and activities as he can cover. Based on the knowledge of such vital elements, he gains an insight into all activities at once..”
In the final chapter, The Caravan Goes On the book ends with a Sufi teaching story of a masterful servant, before going into a description of the caravan of Love, that ancient metaphor for the ongoing journey of the soul in the long line of wise companions. Here he even affords the reader a glimpse of the leader of the great caravan, referred to by Sufis as “The Spirit of Guidance”.
So what is this book ultimately about? It exposes the mind and thoughts of a contemporary mystic in the middle of World War II and during the immediate post-war recovery. Through creating an ideal to be achieved in each of the topic chapters, Beorse invokes a healing vibration for a shattered world. In the guise of showing an integrated overview of the world situation, it is a revelation of the presence of God in all Life that points the way for seekers to discover this revelation in their own lives.
Carol Sill, Vancouver BC, 2015