The One Work: - A Journey Towards The Self
Work, published in 1961 by Vincent Stuart Ltd., London (now out
of print but available in unbound form from the author) is the story
of a personal quest to discover the underlying meaning of Hinduism,
Buddhism and Christianity and their essentially identical message: the
reunion of the conscious human self with the divine ground of being.
I explore this theme in the course of two journeys to India and the
Far East which brought me in contact with the rich spiritual heritage
of the eastern traditions and their embodiment in the magnificent sculptures
and paintings that reflect them.
I visited the
great shrines of India - Arunachala and Ajanta and, further East - the
temples of Angkor, Borobodur, Burma and Bali as well as those of Japan.
These journeys later opened my eyes to the deeper meaning and message
of the Christian myth and the essential teaching of the inner mystical
path shared by all religious traditions.
The book begins...
In the autumn the wind
blows leaf after leaf to the
ground, until at last a tree stands naked, stark,
waiting for the new life of spring.
it is the same with all processes.
Is there One in me who, like the tree, discards experience after experience,
search after search, life after life until at last we meet face to face?
Do I work or does it work or do we both work for the same end - that
----- Nothing can be discarded until its
purpose is fulfilled. No tree can put forth green leaves until the dead
ones are gone. Can I experience the Resurrection before I have discarded
the dead leaves, the outworn garments, the old wineskin of self?
----- If I have come from unity into the
illusion of separateness, is there no way back into unity through discarding
of self and finding of Self? In the end, for the thrifty-minded, nothing
is lost because both are one, the lower, the outer emanating from and
returning to the higher, the inner.
----- While I do not know this, I impede
the Return. I am fallen, exiled, asleep. I lie as dead upon the streets
----- 'Rise and awake,' You say, 'and perform
the Twelve Labours of Hercules.'
----- 'Rise and awake, that the waters
of the sea may allow you to come into the Promised Land.'
----- And I say, 'Where is the guarantee
that this is truth? I cannot risk myself in such a venture. Why cast
me into anguish and misery when I am content as I am? How do I know
I can trust You?'
----- Can I trust the sun and the moon?
In the day there is no moonlight but I know the moon is there and at
night there is no sun but I know we will meet at dawn.
----- A poet has written:
Chaque âme a sa mission sur
Celle qui me revient est de me souvenir
Et c'est pourquoi je pars en guerre
à grand bruit et fracas - contre l'oubli.
the Provençal of Philadelphia de Gerde
will explain to me the meaning of this poem? What is my soul's mission?
When will I remember it? Why must I go to war and how do I overcome
----- Years ago I read these words and
only now I understand them. Who shall not understand them if he is obsessed
with the question of who and what and why he is? Everyman stands somewhere
along the path of self-discovery, whether he is Christian, Muslim, Jew,
Hindu, Buddhist, Communist or simply man. Each has perpetually to choose
and on the nature of his choice depends his progress towards or away
----- It is as simple as that. I am alone
in the desert and have to find my way by the stars and learn to protect
myself against the heat of the day and the cold of the night.
----- I live in an age of extraordinary
revelation and extraordinary violence. If I lie asleep. I am its victim.
If I awake, I may learn how to restore the stolen fire to heaven. if
I am to use fire, I must know what fire is and who I am, so that fire
does not use me.
----- If this is the time of the world's
choice and the Lords of Flame wait, praying that we may rise one note
in the scale of being, could I forget my promise to seek Them? Ancient
I am, but still too young to remember more than fragments of my Divine
Origin and these, scattered by the winds of other men's doubt, are memories
only; yet enough for me to apprehend the Presence of One Who calls to
me across the bridge of my becoming...
Reviews of The One Work
fundamental teaching of Buddhism could hardly be more clearly and concisely
'Mysticism; A Study and an Anthology'-----
One Work - An intense mystical experience seems to most people
incomplete without some form of record. Even Pascal felt obliged to
sew a cryptic message into his garments. Miss Gage has read so deeply
in the literature of mysticism as to have reproduced, throughout these
pages, a testimony much like a poem in the gnostic tradition. British
Book News 1962
have just finished reading this remarkable book. I know nothing of the
author, but she has left me in no fit state to write anything which
I shall be likely to approve in the cold light of tomorrow morning.
At the moment, I cannot even make a guess as to the impression this
- work - I can call it no less - is likely to make on a sober and sophisticated
person unmoved by anything this side of the theorems of Stokes and of
----- It is an expensive and time-consuming
occupation to scour India in quest of - perhaps the Self, perhaps Higher
Beings, or perhaps just India with its ancient monuments. The book is
very moving. One has the impression of a deeply religious nature that
has now found within itself something that renders further search unnecessary.
----- I do not trust myself to say more
than this: there must be many who, like myself, feel very alien to Indian
religious thought - at least as it is usually put over - perhaps one
should say to Indian gnosticism, and especially to Indian words and
expressions, since one does not know the language or the country: it
is to the attention of such that I would bring this book with its poetry,
its beautiful photographs, beautiful writing, and a youthful enthusiasm
and intelligence that help one to take it all in one's stride.
for the Study of Mental Images 1961
Deriving its title
from the remark of a Buddhist monk to the author that "There is only
one work - to find the Self", this book presents a refreshing record
of the spiritual quest of a young woman from the West.
----- Anne Gage has stirrings of the soul
from her very infancy. She turned East as the West could hold no candle
for her search. Her first encounter was with the Buddhist monks in Bangkok
who admitted her into their Meditation exercises which she describes
with enthusiasm. The insight she gained there into the practical dynamics
of spiritual life was deepened during her visit to India where she found
'a climate of revelation'. Arunachala beckoned to her with the 'feeling
of ancientness - as if the place were as old as the earth itself'. The
talented author then describes her visits to other notable centres in
India, Cambodia, Java, Bali and notes their impact on her sensitive
mind and soul. Her reactions to the art, music, dance, temple architecture,
her study of the mores of the people of these ancient lands, as set
down in these pages will be an eye-opener to many to the profundities
that underlie the diverse manifestations of the Life-Spirit in the East.
----- It is most gratifying to follow the
author in her interpretation and reconciliation of the teachings of
the major religions of the world, notably, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Each gives her the clue to the meaning of the other. She sums up the
fundamentals of Indian Yoga philosophy with clarity and brilliance in
a few pages in Part Five. A genuine work, a lamp that will light many
a book could be said to have been written to measure for the majority
of "Voice" readers, it would be this delightful work by Miss Anne Gage,
who takes her readers over the greater part of the world with her in
her physical and spiritual journeys in search of her- and our - true
selfhood. Her prose is that of a poet and her descriptions of the countries
to which she travels are so vivid that the reader feels himself to be
actually living among the people whose religion she describes. The reading
of such a book is at once a geographical and spiritual adventure and
does much to confirm the faith of those who believe in the unity of
all things and the universality of Truth. Voice
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