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Sharing the Light

The Collected Articles of
Geoffrey Hodson

VOLUME I

Compiled by
John and Elizabeth Sell

Edited by
John Sell
Elizabeth Sell
Roselmo Z. Doval Santos

THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING HOUSE
Quezon City, Philippines
2008

© Theosophical Publishing House 2008

ISBN 971-616-012-7

Theosophical Publishing House 1

Iba Street, Quezon City Philippines 1114

Tel: (63-2) 741-5740

Fax: (63-2) 740-3751

E-mail: philtheos@gmail.com or theophil@info.com.ph www.theosophy.ph

The Theosophical Publishing House is the publishing division of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines.

Printed in Thailand by Kyodo Nation Printing Services Co., Ltd.

 

Sharing the Light

Acknowledgments

Preface and Explanatory Notes

Freedom of Thought

Testimonials of Three Scientists

Introduction

The Great Call

Section I Spirituality and the Path of Discipleship

1 The Nature of Spiritual Awareness

2 The Attainment of Spiritual Awareness

3 The Attainment of Spiritual Power

4 The Spiritual Purpose of Existence

5 The Neophyte Finds His Master

6 The Call to Discipleship

7 Steps on the Pathway to Divine Manhood

8 Selfless Service Born of Realized Oneness

9 Some Laws of the Spiritual Life

10 The Path is Within You

11 The Path of Discipleship

12 The Old-New Pathway to Discipleship

13 Attainment of Spiritual Awareness

14 Attributes of Spiritual Awareness

15 When the Pupil is Ready, The Master Appears

16 One Word for All Aspirants—Try

17 Failure and Success

18 The Pathway of Light

19 The Pathway to Sorrow-Less-Ness

20 The Ideal of Selflessness

21 The Virtue of Humaneness

22 Spiritual Vision [1]

23 Spiritual Vision [2]

24 Meditation—Elixir of Life

25 Pathways to the Source of Light

26 Knowledge is Power

27 Group Meditation

28 The Importance of Relaxation in Both Meditation and Daily Life

29 The Radiation of Power

Each of these is triple, so that we have:

30 Finding One’s Life Work

31 Invocations and Affirmations

32 Prayer and Affirmation

33 Prayers

34 Spiritual Affirmations

35 Vegetarianism As an Aid to Spiritual Vision: Mankind’s Greatest Need

36 Theosophical Order of Service

37 Love’s Thorns

38 Purity of Heart

39 Gossip

40 The Great Reward

SECTION 2 Theosophical Teachings

41 Discovering Theosophy

42 What Theosophy Gives

43 A Case of Mistaken Identity

44 Ahimsa

45 All Life is One

46 The World of the Occult [1]

47 Studies in Occultism [1]

48 Studies in Occultism [2]

49 The Reincarnating Self of Man: A Study in Causal Consciousness

50 The Royal Secret

51 Atlantis: Fact or Fable?

52 Study Corner [1]

53 Theosophy as Interior Experience [1]

54 Theosophy as Interior Experience [2]

55 Free Will and Fatalism [1]

56 Free Will and Fatalism [2]

57 Free Will and Fatalism [3]

58 Free Will and Fatalism [4]

59 Free Will and Fatalism

60 Free Will and Fatalism [6]

61 Free Will and Fatalism [7]

62 Free Will and Fatalism [8]

63 Immortality

64 Life After Physical Death

65 Life Does Make Sense!

66 Our Heritage of Glory

67 Study Corner [3]

68 The 3 Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine

69 The Cause-Less Cause

70 The World of the Occult [3]

71 Study Corner [4]

72 The Death and Resurrection of the Gods: A Study of the Doctrine of Rebirth

73 The Eternal Woman

74 The Forces of Light

75 The Human Aura: Its Colours and the Qualities of Character they Represent

76 The Inner Government of the World

77 The Long Mysterious Exodus of Death

78 The Masters’ World

79 Armageddon and the Last Days

80 The Meaning of Evil

81 The Pathway to Peace

82 The Royalty and Nobility of Nations

83 The Supreme Deity in Universe and Man [1]

84 The Science of Self-Illumination

85 The True Vision

86 Theosophy and the Modern World

87 The Value of Reincarnation and Karma

88 The Vision of Unity

89 The World of the Occult [4]

90 Theosophy in Questions and Answers [I]

91 Theosophy in Questions and Answers [2]

92 Theosophy in Questions and Answers [3]

93 Theosophy in Questions and Answers [4]

94 Theosophy: Safeguard Against A Third World War

95 Investigating Spiritualism

96 Thoughts on Karma and Meditation

97 Victory Over the Powers of Evil

98 Who Made God?

99 The Dangers Inseparable from Hypnotism

100 Yoga in Questions and Answers—Key Facts

101 Knowing, Healing Guiding from Within

SECTION 3 Clairvoyant Investigations

102 Development of Extra Sensory Perception

103 The Development of Clairvoyance

104 Superphysical Vision

105 The Rod of Hermes

106 Theosophical Research

107 Matter, Gateway to Spirit

Two Pathways to Reality

The Mystery of Matter

Occult Research

108 Clairvoyant Explorations of Egoic Consciousness

109 An Experience in Consciousness

110 An Adventure into the Fourth Dimension

111 Some Experiments in Fourth Dimensional Vision

112 Music as Colour and Form

113 Is There A Link Between Orthodox and Occult Chemistry?

114 The Clairvoyant Study of Motherhood

115 A Threefold Birth

116 The Descent of the Human Ego into Incarnation

117 Experiments in Time

118 Clairvoyant Investigation of Life and Awareness in Plants: The African Violet

119 A Tree With a Personality

120 Impressions of the Giant Sequoias

113 Is There A Link Between Orthodox and Occult Chemistry ?

SECTION 4 The Angelic World

121 Studies in Occultism [4]

122 Mountain Gods

123 The Coming of the Angels

124 The Art Modes of the Future

125 Angel Worship of the Sun

126 Music of the Gods

127 The Colour Language of the Angels

The Radiation Of Force

128 Nature and the Gods [1]

129 Nature and the Gods [2]

130 Nature and the Gods [3]

131 Mind Radio [I]

132 Mind Radio [2]

133 Mind. Radio [3]

134 The Kingdom of Music

135 Brotherhood: Angels and Men

136 The Way of Knowledge

SECTION 5 Explorations of the Unseen in Other Cultures

137 Occult Research into the Early American Inhabitants

138 Some Impressions at Bodh Gaya

139 The Heart of A Nation

140 A Devi of the Southern Seas

141 A Visit to Waitomo Caves

142 An African Witch-Doctor

143 A Spiritual Centre in New Zealand

144 At Boro-Budur

145 Before the Himalayan Snows

146 Clairvoyant Observation of the Ceremonial Magic of the Aztecs

147 Tibet and the Communist Invasion

148 Deva Life in Java

149 The Deva of Boro-Budur

150 The Sacred Science of the Maori Tohunga

151 Occult Experiences in Java

152 The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

153 Relics of Atlantean Occultism [1]

154 Relics of Atlantean Occultism [2]

155 Relics of Atlantean Occultism [3]

156 Miracles of the Lord Shri Krishna as Revelations of Spiritual Truths

157 New Zealand and the Emergence of the Sixth Sub-Race

SECTION 6 World Religions Ceremonial and Symbolism

158 Christ and the Child

159 Basic Simplicities

160 The Master Jesus

161 Vegetarianism in the Bible

162 The Living Christ

163 The Message of Easter

164 Scriptural Allegories of Discipleship and Initiation

165 A Theosophical View of Christmas

166 The Christmas of the Soul

167 The Occult Significance of Christmas

168 Christian Theology and the Spiritual Needs of Modern Man

169 Christmas and the Soul of Man

170 The Life of Christ as Revelation of Ageless Truths

171 The Threefold Nature of the Lord Christ

172 The Hidden Light in Islam

173 Sufism—The Esoteric Philosophy of Islam

174 Two Study Notes on Kabbalism

175 Study Notes on Kabbalism

176 The Path in Taoism

177 Yoga: Man's Pathway to Knowledge and Power

178 Zen Practice and Zen Consciousness

179 Nature and the Holy Eucharist

180 Thoughts on the Symbolism of The Holy Grail

181 Sources of World Ceremonials and Maximum Effectiveness in their Performance

182 The World of the Occult [5]

183 Study Corner [5]

184 The Cave of Mach-Pelah

185 Rosicrucian Symbolism

186 The Sacred Language of Symbols and Some Keys of Interpretation [1]

187 The Sacred Language of Symbols and Some Keys of Interpretation [2]

188 Man as Symbol and as Fact

SECTION 7 The Keys to Health and Healing

189 A Healing Meditation

190 Clairvoyant Diagnosis of Disease

191 Concerning Spiritual Healing

192 Cruelty As A Cause of Disease

193 Five Rules for Health and Happiness

194 Good Health—Some Basic Principles

195 Healing Prayer

196 Notes On Occult Healing

197 Significance of Colour in Healing and in the Human Aura

198 Spiritual Healing

199 An Occult Approach to the Cause, Prevention and Cure of Disease

200 The Influence of Mind and Emotion on Health, Disease and Nutrition

201 Man in Health and Disease

202 Healing Invocation

203 Meditation as a Healing Process

204 The Mechanism of Psychosomatics

205 The World of the Occult [6]

206 Vibration and the Human Chord [1]

207 Vibration and the Human Chord [2]

 

Acknowledgments

We wish to thank the Theosophical Society of New Zealand for the use of the bound volumes of Theosophy in New Zealand and The Theosophist and for the use of photocopying equip­ment. Our thanks also go to Mr John Vorstermans, its President, for his support and help throughout and for permission from the Theosophical Society of New Zealand to use photos and pictures in their care. We thank also Lara-May Thorne who digitally copied them for us.

Special thanks go to the Theosophical Society of New Zealand for making funds available for the publishing of the two volume set. To the H.P.B. Branch in Auckland goes our thanks for the use of bound volumes containing some missing articles and for the use of their pho­tocopier. We are also grateful for the support of the Theosophical Soci­ety in America for permission to use photos in their care and for allowing Mr Charles Sitwell, Vice President in New Zealand, to whom we owe our thanks, to photocopy some of the articles in The American Theosophist. We appreciate this and other help given to us, by Mrs Betty Bland, President of the Theosophical Society of America. We are grateful to Adyar, India for permission to use some pictures from The Kingdom of the Gods.

We acknowledge with gratitude the help given by Diana Dunningham Chapotin in accessing and copying into digital form pho­tos of Sandra and Geoffrey Hodson held by the Archives Department of the Theosophical Society in America.

We acknowledge with appreciation all the computer work, done by Isabelita J. Balino of the Philippines who went beyond the call of duty. Special thanks are due to Maria Teresa G. Doval Santos and Jose Raphael G. Doval Santos for assistance given with editing.

Some articles were accessed from the Campbell Internet Library which is a very useful resource for the Theosophical Society. A few ar­ticles dealing with theosophical ideas have been included from the Vegetarian Society of New Zealand of which Mr HodSon was Presi­dent for some years. We also thank this organisation for their help.

We would like to express our great indebtedness to our son Glenn Sell, for much advice and help given us in solving software and com­puter problems associated with the compiling of this book and thus making our work possible. Our thanks also go to our son Richard Sell for technical and other assistance and to his wife Renee Sell for help given.

We also want to thank Mr Vicente Hao Chin, Jr. for his many per­sonal and financial contributions to the production of this book. He gave valuable solutions to computer and software problems during lay-out and editorial work. His artistic inputs on page and cover de­sign, lay-out and title graphics are greatly appreciated.

Preface and Explanatory Notes

The four hundred and two articles in this book were written by Mr Hodson and are mostly found in the official Theosophical maga­zines of New Zealand, India, U.S.A., Australia and South Africa. They thus deal with theosophical ideas and teachings and give a theo­sophical perspective on life. Some articles in the Theosophical maga­zines of various countries may not, however, appear in this volume for two main reasons.

1.     It is an extract from a book he had written. This approach may not be entirely successful as the overall subject matter overlaps and deals with many of the same topics that appear in his books.

2.     The article is a reprint from the Theosophical magazine of an­other country.

Readers will hopefully appreciate the difficulty of conducting re­search of articles from many countries while residing in one. There are many magazines from several other countries which are no longer available and over a period of some fifty years this will mean that some of Mr Hodson’s articles may have been missed. We apologize for this in advance.

Note also that a particular article in this present compilation can often be put under several chapter headings, so the structure used here is somewhat arbitrary. For example an article on using clairvoyance in The Keys to Health and Healing [Volume 1, Section 7] can go under the section on Health, or Clairvoyant Investigations [Volume 1, Sec­tion 3], Other likely sections should therefore be searched when looking for any particular topic.

These articles were written in the language of the time of writing. There was no intention to use such words like ‘he’, ‘kingdom’, ‘man­kind’ in any way that may be considered politically incorrect today in a gender-sensitive way. Similarly, the word ‘race’ is generally used in a theosophical context, i.e., the context of the evolution of Root Races and the rise and fall of civilizations as presented in theosophical litera­ture. [See C. Jinarajadasa’s First Principles of Theosophy.] The term ‘white’ in ‘Great White Brotherhood’ does not refer to the Caucasian races, but to ‘benevolence’ or ‘goodness’. In the same way, ‘black ma­gician’ does not refer to colour of skin but to being ‘evil’ or ‘harmful’.

We have kept the Secret Doctrine references as they were when chosen and written by Mr Geoffrey Hodson over a period of more than 50 years. Some of these references will be difficult to find, as these edi­tions are often not available today. To help overcome this problem we have quoted beside each Secret Doctrine reference, an additional refer­ence which relates to the original 1888 2-volume edition and also to the Boris De Zirkoff edition. The pagination of these last two editions are the same.

The Three Objects of the Theosophical Society

The work of Geoffrey Hodson draws inspiration from the objects of the Theosophical Society, as founded by Helena P. Blavatsky and Henry S. Olcott, with its headquarters at Adyar, Chennai (formerly Madras) India. These objects are:

1.       To form a nucleus of the universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.

2.      To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.

3.       To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers la­tent in man.

To this end Mr Hodson has investigated and written about such varied subjects as comparative religion, world civilizations, angels, the spiritual life, discipleship, Mahatmas, the Mystery Tradition, clairvoy­ant investigations, and the relationship between Theosophy and certain disciplines, like law, music, poetry, art, psychical research, education, medicine, science and daily life.

Freedom of Thought

Theosophia, as presented to the world as Theosophy by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, her fellow Theosophists and successors including Geoffrey Hodson, is a dynamic philosophy. Although Theosophy ex­isted long before the Blavatsky era as the Mystery Tradition in various presentations from the Mystery Schools of Ancient Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, India, Tibet and the Yucatan among others, and will no doubt continue to exist for centuries to come, it has never been claimed a dogma. The true theosophist, as described by Blavatsky, has an open mind, and is receptive to new discoveries, insights and restatements of the Ancient Wisdom. Such an attitude governed the life and work of Geoffrey Hodson such that nothing about Theosophy presented herein or in any of his works ought to be taken as the final statement about the subject. In this collection of articles Geoffrey Hodson always worked under the guidance of the Freedom of Thought Declaration of the Theosophical Society, presented hereunder.

Freedom of Thought

[Text of Resolutions passed by the General Council of the Theosophical Society]

As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher or writer, from H. P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members.

Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought, but has no right to force the choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office nor any voter can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion held, or because of membership in any school of thought. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the society, and also fearlessly to exercise the right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.

Testimonials of Three Scientists

In his very long career as a Theosophical writer, lecturer and re­searcher, Mr Hodson worked with a variety of scientists. He worked with medical doctors, archaeologists, paleontologists and physicists, to mention a few. In view of these investigations, some of which are in­cluded in Sharing the Light, we include some testimonials of his re­search and clairvoyant abilities by scientists he worked with over a period of years.

I was able to work very closely with Geoffrey Hodson for some months during the late fifties testing his clairvoyant powers on pieces of fossils of early man about two million years of age. Each session carried out in the field site from which the specimens came, was re­corded on a tape recorder. No indication was given him [of] what I thought of his information until after the series of tests were completed and analysed. Many of the questions put to him required answers which could not be positively checked against known original speci­mens. The analysis showed that every statement made by him which was able to be positively checked against known specimens was abso­lutely accurate, and most of what could not be positively checked was in close agreement with what was thought to be correct.

At that time almost all of the known fossil material of these early hominids was in my laboratory, and Geoffrey did not see any of it until after the investigations were completed. I was impressed by the ex­treme care he took over being as accurate and clear as he could be in the observations he made, as well as his descriptions of them in such a way that his words were as precise as possible in offering the least possibil­ity of misinterpretation.

At each session a small number (2-4) of specimens were dealt with, and some were presented several times at more than one session without telling him this. He never handled the specimens himself; I placed them on his forehead while he was lying on his back with his eyes closed in a state of yoga. Two different species of hominid were used mixed at ran­dom, only small specimens being used, e.g. a single tooth.

He never misidentified a specimen or gave conflicting statements about a specimen that had been presented more than once. As far as I could determine his information was always accurate and he gave me a strong impression of complete reliability.

Professor J.T. Robinson, D. Sc.

4 January 1982

I, of course, would be happy to state unequivocally my belief that Geoffrey Hodson possesses powers of accurate clairvoyant research.

During the years 1956 to 1959 I was fortunate enough to work with Geoffrey Hodson. My contribution was to record his observations on the clairvoyant appearance of subatomic matter. I now have some forty hours on cassette tape giving a verbatim account of the experi­ments we performed. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Geoffrey possesses quite remarkable powers of extra-sensory percep­tion and invariably used these faculties with meticulous regard for ac­curacy in both observation and description. He frequently stressed the selective nature of clairvoyant observation and was fully aware of the pitfalls associated with the translation of what can be called ‘raw extra-sensory data’ through the brain-mind into words capable of con­veying useful meaning to his hearers. Throughout these sessions he was a model of scientific caution, taking every possible care not to make statements that might be misleading.

David D. Lyness, M.B.Ch.B., D.P.M., M.A.N.Z.C.P.

11    September 1981

For many years, Geoffrey Hodson has co-operated with various scientifically qualified people in attempts to demonstrate the research potential of superphysical faculties of perception, with which he is evi­dently highly gifted. From 1978 to 1981 I was closely associated with him as assistant and technical adviser in two such pieces of research.

The first of these was an extensive series of observations of the superphysical effects of musical sounds and pieces. The record of his descriptions of these effects is extremely interesting from the artistic, acoustic, psychosomatic, and other points of view.

The second main area, undertaken at the request of Dr E. Lester Smith of England, was an attempt to make further observations of mat­ter at the atomic and subatomic levels with a view to testing recent hy­potheses on the interpretation of the Occult Chemistry findings of C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant. This work has produced a number of tape recordings of Geoffrey Hodson’s descriptions which are in the process of being transcribed and will be sent to England for analysis.

Having been present with him throughout the approximately twenty hour-long sessions in these two investigations, I feel able to of­fer some impressions of his attitude and approach to this work.

I have been repeatedly struck by his integrity and uncompromis­ing desire to seek the truth in every situation, regardless of any risk of possible conflict with established findings of the scientific establish­ment or of earlier Theosophical investigators. At the same time, he is clearly aware of the difficulties and limitations inherent in any process of observation, especially one involving inner levels of the psyche, and has a tremendously careful and indeed craftsmanlike attitude to the handling and direction of his extended perceptive abilities.

In my opinion, Geoffrey Hodson has amply succeeded in his goals of: (a) indicating the potential of superphysical research meth­ods, (b) producing material of great interest to the enquiring mind, and (c) providing a stimulus to others to follow in his footsteps and expand and consolidate this work.

Murray A. Stentiford, M.Sc. (Physics)

May 1982

from Light of the Sanctuary, The Occult Diary of Geoffrey Hodson, Compiled by Sandra Hodson, p. 532-534

Introduction

It has been a rare privilege and an honour for us to put together this collection of some of the writings of Mr Geoffrey Hodson, who was an outstanding spiritual teacher of the 20th Century. We knew him as a kind friend, an inspiring speaker with a matchless style and as a teacher of the highest distinction.

As well as being the author of approximately 60 books and pam­phlets covering spiritual topics and conducting research into the pow­ers latent in men and women, he gives us in this present book a vast array of topics. This includes penetrating insights into the achievement of World Brotherhood which was the motivating factor in his life. In pursuit of this splendid goal and over a period of fifty years and more, Mr Hodson wrote these articles for the theosophical magazines of many countries, including India, New Zealand, America, Australia and South Africa.

Our purpose in creating this collection has been to bring almost all of them together so that the teachings may not be lost to coming generations. Even in gathering this material together we found that in some countries, some of the magazines carrying his articles were miss­ing. We are also aware of the importance of digital storage of the mate­rial and the added advantages this will give to researchers, lecturers and students now and in the future.

Some of these articles go back at least as far as 1927 and may never have been read by most of the present generation of theosophists. These wonderful teachings and the useful and fascinating clair­voyant research and investigations would thus have been lost to most of our members. In addition, members in one country may never have read many articles of the official magazine of another country, and will therefore have missed reading scores or even hundreds of Mr Hodson’s articles.

Mr Hodson was an inspiring lecturer and author who was invited to speak by the Theosophical Society in many countries. He spoke not only to large physical audiences but also to larger audiences on radio and television. He was the recipient of the Subba Row Gold Medal and had served as Director of Studies of the School of the Wisdom at the World Headquarters at Adyar in India.

He was a mystic and also a highly gifted clairvoyant who worked with scientists delving into the mysteries of the physical world and in 1929 for example, he investigated the field of embryology. Mr Hodson was a healer of the sick, physically, psychologically and spiritually. He was also involved in research into physics, astronomy, anthropology and the angelic kingdom, the latter of which culminated in his marvel­lous book The Kingdom of the Gods. In spite of all his extraordinary talents he was a very humble person who hardly ever spoke about him­self or his abilities.

As a Gnostic and as a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church he was extremely knowledgeable about the mysteries of the Christian faith. He was also a high ranking member of the Order of International Co-Freemasonry in New Zealand and an outstanding teacher of the Ancient Wisdom. His contribution to Theosophy and the Theosophi­cal Society is immense and this book of his writings gives but a small, though significant part of it.

Readers of these present articles will be struck by the great variety of subject matters covered, from the highest philosophical teachings to practical methods of healing, clairvoyant research and also sugges­tions on how to present and promote Theosophy to the public. Finally, Mr Hodson wrote important articles on the world-wide application of theosophical teachings to the service of Brotherhood and World Peace. Service to humanity was the motivating incentive in all his activities and achievements. The inspiring words of ‘The Great Call’ following set the tone for these two volumes and reflect Geoffrey Hodson’s be­lief that they represent the heart and soul of the Wisdom Teachings. His own life amply demonstrated his devotion and service to those El­der Brothers in the spiritual life who are known as the Masters of the Wisdom. Mr Hodson was a humanitarian, a truly advanced Soul, a Messenger of Light, a great Light Bringer of the Wisdom Teachings.

John & Elizabeth Sell The Theosophical Society of New Zealand

The Great Call

To all who seek Their companionship, yearn to serve mankind under Them in effect the Elder Brethren say:

‘Arise! Awaken! and become the Gods which you are! Live as Gods, pure, selfless and strong.

‘The God, which in the real world you are, shines there with stain­less purity, irradiates a selfless love, and begins to display that strength which is the promise of omnipotence.

‘Amidst the impurity of the world be pure; amidst the selfishness of humanity, serve; and amidst the weakness of man be strong.

‘Thus living, you shall find the gateway to Eternal Life. Thus serving, you shall find Us who live to serve. Thus strong, you shall re­ceive Our strength, who have become Pillars in the temple of the om­nipotent God.

‘Sleeping and waking Our power shall flow through you for the service of the world. In Our Name and by Our Power you shall become healers of the world, consolers of its sorrows and inspirers of those who are able to respond to the ideal of the perfect life and to the pres­ence of the Perfect Men.

‘Your world is your harvest field, your kind its sheaves. Yours to gather them in so that the Divine Husbandman who sowed may reap into Himself not men but Gods.

‘Live that all who see your life may aspire to emulate your living. Serve that those who see your service in their turn may serve. Be strong that all who see your strength may change defeat to victory.

‘Such are Our rules of life. Obedience to them will bring you near to Us. An Elder awaits each one of you that He may make of you a Saviour of the World’.

from Meditations on the Occult Life, p. 19 by Geoffrey Hodson

Section I
Spirituality and the Path of Discipleship

1
The Nature of Spiritual Awareness

While human potentiality is infinite, it is not yet fully expressed. With a clear poised analysis of what man is we can understand the natural possibilities, and by their study gain knowledge of how to increase them. There is a distinction between man in his bodily Personality, and his deeper self, the Ego, and his spirit-essence, which is one with Spirit Universal. This is the spiritual soul and the source of power, wisdom and intelligence. It is the Universal Spirit focussed into man’s Individuality, as though by a burning-glass.

The spiritual self of man is immortal and to be known as inde­structible, invulnerable. It has a vesture of light. The human goal, the actualisation of the knowledge of the Universe-Soul in him, is to be­come an occult sage, to attain adeptship. This fuller consciousness de­fies intellectual determination. Attempted descriptions fail, for words tend to falsify spiritual experience. So far only a few among mankind have unfolded that richer consciousness. We ourselves express only a portion of its wealth, but it is obtainable, and its possessor finds its ef­fectiveness, and the realisation of the supreme happiness that is its na­ture. The Egoic consciousness evolves in man by the dual action of rebirth, and of karma, the inevitability of effects following causes. When we reach to Egoic consciousness, we do not concentrate at the physical level, there is awareness there but the imperious Higher Self uses it and rises beyond.

The fuller consciousness is positive in its nature, thus all that is negative in the Personality has been transcended, the emotions and the analytical mind are transformed. There is no sense of need or of loneli­ness, for there is consciousness of unity and wholeness. Nor can fear exist. Self-consciousness is not the awkward separative I-ness, it has changed to spiritual self-consciousness, and in it ideals and principles are intensified, and laws are perceived at work. There is no wall round that consciousness, it is universal.

If one tries to describe it, it is at base the experience of being ALL, or it might be said that one is Light in Light, a centre of radiance in a sea of light. That centre is again one of strength that is immeasurable. It is the fire of genius within man. Fear of death has disappeared, being replaced by complete trust in life. Another characteristic is the percep­tion of freedom. The physical time-sense has changed to a concept of duration, or time without limits. Space limitations similarly vanish, as does the necessity for movement, all being here now, and within one. There is a feeling of oneness with the Life Principle in all beings, while an intense happiness, a serene bliss pervades the whole being. These heights have been attained by contemplation expressed in motive and conduct of life, and by meditation upon the supreme truths of life. Peri­ods of mental stillness, high aspirations, and fundamental appreciation and understanding of beauty are guides along the road. When the full­ness of this consciousness is reached and entered there is a restful still­ness that invades consciousness, and in that spiritual silence a self-declaration of the Inmost Spirit occurs.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 24, No. 2, 1963, p. 45

2
The Attainment of Spiritual Awareness

We are to consider together the truly theosophical idea that a con­tinually deepening realisation of unity concerns not only the servants and would-be servants of the Race, but the whole of mankind. This is especially apparent at this present time of the tragic and dangerous dividedness of humanity. At a gathering of NATO heads early in March, 1965, Henry Cabot Lodge said: ‘There is today no or­ganized grouping, on a world wide scale, of the free peoples. The great tragedy of our age is the inability of free men to create one well-rounded and essentially spiritual view of life by harnessing to­ward common goals their talents. Sometime, somehow, somewhere, power and responsibility must meet’. This, I conceive, is the fundamental human problem, ‘to create talents’.

How may it be solved? How may we know with Blake that ‘A skylark wounded on the wing, a cherubim doth cease to sing’ and with Kabbalism that in the chain of being everything is magically contained in everything else? ‘Where you stand, there stand all the worlds. What is below is above, and what is inside is outside, and also acts upon everything else’ so that man may be regarded as a symbolic transpar­ency through which the secret of the Cosmos can be discerned.

Ruysbroeck, the Flemish Mystic, expressed this truth like this: ‘Beyond contemplation, mode of the mind; beyond ecstasy, mode of the enraptured feelings; beyond even intuition’s power to pierce to Re­ality there is the Supreme Life where-into the Spirit is led—a bound-less “unwalled world,” “the hill of the Lord...His holy place”.’

‘This fruition of God is a still and glorious and essential Oneness beyond the differentiation of the Persons, where there “is neither an outpouring nor an indrawing of God”, but the Persons are still and one in fruitful love, in calm and glorious unity. There is God our fruition and His own, in an eternal and fathomless bliss’.

‘As a sponge is in the ocean and the ocean is in a sponge, so we are in God and He is in us’, or ‘In Him we live and move and have our be­ing’.

There is a parable concerning two little fishes who met a frog be­neath a rock. ‘Don’t you know you’re in great danger, little fishes?’ croaked the frog. ‘No!’ cried the fishes, much frightened. ‘Don’t you know fishes can’t live without water?’ teased the cruel frog. ‘You’d better find some water quickly, or you’ll die’. The little fishes swam to their mother in great distress. ‘Oh Mother, Mother! The frog says if we don’t find some water quickly we’ll die! Mother, what’s water?’ ‘I don’t know’, confessed the mother fish who was an agnostic. ‘I never heard anything about water. Let’s go and ask the otter’. ‘Water, my dears?’ laughed the otter. ‘Why, you live in water! That’s what you breathe!’

So human beings also live in God and God is what we breathe.

How may we first know and then become dissolved in God? ‘Like water in water, light in light, space in space’ (From the Upanishads). One answer given is to be straightforward, simple and natural, and this answer has been rather well put concerning sainthood.

What makes a saint? Why were the saints saints? Because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful; patient when it was difficult to be patient; and because they pushed on when they wanted to stand still; and kept silent when they wanted to talk; and were agree­able when they wanted to be disagreeable. THAT WAS ALL. It was quite simple, and always will be.

Since some of us do not find self-illumination to be so simple as that, let us look further.

Before I speak of contemplation, let us look at certain practical necessities. The study and thought of Theosophy, especially concerning the true nature and destiny of man, are necessary to ensure a stable mental attitude towards life based upon true understanding.

The purification, and so sensitization, of body must be carried out through abstinence from meat, alcohol, and narcotics and the adoption and practice of the ideal of harmlessness.

Selflessness in motive and deed and regular meditation or con­templation of the Divine are essential.

Whilst we should not expect any wonders during our meditations, we may experience happiness giving realization of unity without phe­nomena, and this is the goal.

Mental stillness eventually falls upon one and this leads to entry into that state of consciousness in which the principle of unity, one­ness, is realized as the ‘All Truth’.

Thus, not dazzling enlightenment or active, Nirvanic experience, but rather a gradual, deepening knowledge and realization that the one­ness of things is the natural state of affairs, may be attained. This dis­covery and realization is far beyond all other Siddhis in vital, evolutionary importance. These latter follow, but even they are de­pendent upon the interior knowledge that all life is one. One must, therefore, acquire the knack of active, perceptive mental stillness, if only that the personal nature and consciousness may participate more and more fully in the wondrous life of the normally hidden Inner Self, the ‘YOU’ in every one of us.

In conclusion, let me describe some helpful procedures in suc­cessful meditation which is found to have its own rules. Amongst them are the following:

Day by day regularity so that steady progress may be made. Pri­vacy to ensure freedom from interruption and possible shock if in­truded upon whilst deeply abstracted in thought. Relaxation of body, every nerve and muscle of which needs to be at rest. Reduced rate of breathing, avoiding advanced pranayama until an accredited teacher is found: straight spine, preferably erect: closed eyes so that external sights may not obscure inward vision, and affirmation of self-dissociation from body, emotion and mind.

These preliminaries achieved, the whole thought needs to be focussed upon the divine Self which one is, with due pauses using per­haps such affirmations as: ‘I am the Spiritual Self immortal imperishable—eternal—radiant with spiritual light—I am that eter­nal Self of Light, that Self am I’.

Eventually such thought processes cease, the mind becoming stilled as if it were dissolved in its Source. This mental stillness should not be disturbed, for from within it a Self-declaration and realization of divinity and unity occur.

Such is at least one way in which the Oneness of all Life may be known.

(Abridged report of a Convention Lecture)

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 27, No. 2, 1966, p. 35

3
The Attainment of Spiritual Power

Thales, the ancient Greek Philosopher, sometimes called the Sage of Miletus, was asked by a Sophist the following nine questions, which Thales answered:

‘What is the oldest of all things? God, because He has always ex­isted.

‘What is the most beautiful of all things? The Universe, because it is the work of God.

‘What is the greatest of all things? Space, because it contains all that has been created.

‘What is the most constant of all things? Hope, because it still re­mains with man after he has lost everything else.

‘What is the best of all things? Freedom, because without it there is nothing good.

‘What is the quickest of all things? Thought, because in less than a minute it can fly to the end of the Universe.

‘What is the strongest of all things? Necessity, which makes man face all the dangers of life.

‘What is the easiest of all things? To give advice.

‘What is the most difficult of all things? To know thyself.

Whilst many problems confront nations and the human race as a whole, every individual is faced with his or her own problem of self-discovery, of the attainment of serenity, enduring happiness, and peace of mind and heart. The Sage of Miletus was right, the most diffi­cult of all things is to know oneself. The kingdom of heaven it has been said on high authority, is within us. So therefore must be the power, the happiness, and the peace which all men are seeking. The problem is how to find this power and happiness and peace, how to become aware of our own divine nature and the divine Presence within us, how to find God and live consciously in His presence and in His service.

Three Approaches

What has Theosophy to contribute to the solution of this human problem? Theosophy recognizes three approaches to the Source and Centre of divine power within each one of us. The first is the personal approach to God in times of need through prayer. This can be very valuable. Love for a parent is natural to man. To turn for happiness and aid to parents is inherent in him. It is natural, therefore, as well as very wise, to turn to the spiritual Parent of all men. For the divine Parent who is God is an eternal Being, can never be lost and never disappear, whilst human parents can die and pass beyond our reach. Indeed it is true that more things may be wrought by prayer than this world dreams of, and, if to potent words we add potent acts and make the atmosphere within and without us pure and divine, then the God within us can act outwardly. Then we can help ourselves and others. Then we can perform seeming miracles.

Prayer turns and attunes the mind and the heart to the omnipresent divine life, love, light and power. The Lord’s Prayer is a splendid ex­ample of such effective means of supplication, as are many other prayers in the Scriptures and prayer books of the Christian faith. By prayer is meant, however, not always supplication and petition, but also adoration and a reaching up towards the supreme Source of life, seeking to be one with it; for it is possible to rise on the wings of devo­tion and adoration to the very heart of divine love and sometimes to feel and to know the unfailing presence of God.

By regular prayer, heart and mind become sensitized, as it were, to this Presence which can indeed be felt as a consoling, saving and in­spiring power till one can come to know that in very truth, ‘the ever­lasting arms are always underneath’. Such, in part, is the way of prayer.

Adoration

A second approach to God is through corporate adoration and worship as in temple, cathedral, church and family prayers. These too can prove most effective; for it is often easier to be uplifted when aspir­ing with a group of like-minded people than when one is alone.

Meditation

Thirdly there is meditation, as it has been called. This is the indi­vidual approach to God in love and aspiration, asking nought from Him, but only seeking to realize oneness with Him. We can become consciously one with the very highest Deity; for even the Causeless Cause has its shrine and altar on the holy and untrodden ground of the human heart. Although God is naturally invisible, He may be known and heard as the still small voice of our own spiritual consciousness and conscience. Those who worship thus, do so in the sanctified soli­tude of their own souls, making their spirit the soul mediator between themselves and the universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests. This way is open to those who are spiritually awakened and who expe­rience what Ruysbroeck, the great Flemish mystic, called ‘the hunger for God’. These they inevitably, and most surely, find; for the divine life and divine intelligence truly are within each one of us. They are, in fact, the reality of our existence, our Spiritual Soul.

How may this become personal experience? Theosophy answers, by changing when necessary the motive of life from selfishness to self­lessness, by changing when necessary the mode of life from self-indulgence to self-restraint, and by regular meditation.

How Does One Meditate?

Let me describe an effective method of gaining self-illumination by means of regular daily contemplation of God. To achieve this a cer­tain time must be set aside each day. A period of quietude must be ar­ranged for, and preferably in the morning; for in the morning, the brain should be rested, the mind reasonably quiet, whilst the forces which make for enlightenment are on the increase. It has been said that God knocks at the door of the heart of man once in every twenty-four hours. Often we fail to hear this ‘knocking’ of One who continually seeks en­trance into our lives. Sometimes this is not because we are not seeking, but because we are so busy with the necessary duties of the day. If, however, we can find some ten minutes or a quarter of an hour of every day when we can silence heart and mind and turn our thoughts towards the Source of our existence, then the Divine Presence can make itself known to us. Daily, in quietude and privacy, we may open the door of our hearts that God may enter in.

Privacy is necessary for full success; for to be disturbed or con­stantly interrupted and intruded upon suddenly when one is thus ab­stracted in thought is to run the risk of nervous shock and strain. This should be avoided by ensuring privacy.

Much has been said and written concerning the appropriate pos­ture for meditation. In the East, where the science of yoga or union with God is taught and practiced, numerous postures are advised; but for ordinary purposes it is only necessary that the body should be com­pletely relaxed and the spine should be straight, preferably erect. Phys­ical relaxation in its effect on meditation might be compared to the careful engagement of the first unit of the zipper which makes the rest of the series of hooks engage smoothly.

The breathing should ideally be slowed down to half the normal speed, but breathing exercises with the thought concentrated upon some centre in the body are not necessary and can indeed be danger­ous. The effort to meditate must be regular whether results are noticed or not; for as Nietszche said: ‘In the mountains of truth you never climb in vain. Either you reach a higher point today or you exercise your strength in order to be able to climb higher tomorrow’. Therefore, once having begun, try to keep on; for it is constant repetition and reg­ularity which contribute so largely to success.

Fix the Thought

These external matters attended to, the thought should be fixed upon some great truth, ideal, or utterance. For those who find concentration difficult, the more joyous and beautiful scenes in the life of Our Lord may be mentally pictured. The details may be filled in and the divine Figure itself clearly visualized. Love and adoration may then, with all reverence, be offered to Him, as the aspirant seeks to touch the hem of His garment and later to live in His very presence. Then, as has been beautifully said, there will descend into the still heart ‘the sweet rain of new inward consola­tion and the heavenly dew of the sweetness of God’—Ruysbroeck again.

One effective method of meditation is consciously to dissociate oneself, first from the physical body, then from the emotions, and then from the mind, finally affirming one’s own divinity with a strong men­tal utterance such as: ‘I am the divine Self, eternal, immortal, inde­structible, radiant with spiritual light (pause for realization). I am that Self of light, that Self am I (pause for realization). The Self in me is one with the Self in all (pause for realization). I am That, That am I’. By this means, also, the soul may be lifted up into the realization of its own inner Splendour and of its unity with the One Supreme Splendour of all.

As great mental and spiritual heights can be reached by thus real­izing one’s unity with God and becoming increasingly self-identified with Him, the return to normal physical awareness should not be sud­den. The centre of awareness should be deliberately brought down, as it were, into the mind, after a brief pause into the emotions and finally into the brain and body. This should be followed by a few moments of continued physical rest and self-adjustment before taking up the duties of life.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 42, No. 2, 1981, p. 27

4
The Spiritual Purpose of Existence

(The first of two talks on 'The Path of Swift Unfoldment’.)

What is the purpose of human existence? Why are we here on earth as human beings? Whence have we come? Whither are we going and how will we get there? These great questions which from the remotest ages have absorbed the attention of the human mind, are fully and satisfactorily answered by Theosophy.

Let me state these answers clearly and briefly now. Theosophically then, man is defined as that being in whom highest spirit and low­est matter are united by intellect. Highest spirit means the Dweller in the Innermost, the Divine Spark in man. Lowest Matter refers to his physical body and nature, whilst the uniting principle of intellect refers to his mind and mental powers. Thus it is said that the essential human unit of existence, the Innermost human Spirit, the Monad, manifests as (1) an Inner Immortal Self or Ego and (2) an outer Personality in mortal, bodily form, the man down here.

Why is this? Because the Inner Self manifests in and gains experi­ence and knowledge through the outer man. Partly by that means and partly by an interior unfoldment, the inner Self perpetually evolves, it is immune from death. The outer physical form of man, on the other hand, develops to full bodily maturity and then it declines, and it dies, it disintegrates and disappears for evermore. All is not lost, however, the faculties and capacities of the outer self are received by and perpetually preserved in the Inner Self, for after all there is but one consciousness and life in them both.

The immediate objective of the Inner Self is development of fac­ulty. The long term objective is all-round genius or the development to the highest degree by the Inner Self of all possible human faculty. This great attainment is termed Adeptship and it is the goal of human exis­tence.

Now our next step is that the human Spirit which is called the In­nermost Self, the Monad, is a fragment of Divinity, a concentration of Universal Spirit, with which in origin, nature, substance and potential­ity, the Spiritual Self of man is identical. Our Innermost Self is as a spark in a flame, a drop in an ocean, a microcosm within the macro­cosm, and this, it is taught, is the highest truth concerning ourselves as men. ‘We are but broken lights of Thee’ {In Memoriam). The full real­ization in consciousness of this truth of truths—oneness with God—is man’s greatest possible illumination and this is only fully attained when human life is fulfilled, when human nature has been perfected. Although long before the stature of Perfected Man has been attained, flashes of realization of the unity of all life and of all beings are experi­enced, yet it is only at the attainment of Adeptship or Perfection that the identity of the Innermost Self of man with the Innermost Self of the universe is fully realized. Individuality is then dissolved, the Perfected Man abides in perpetual consciousness of identity with Universal Spirit or God, and this is Perfection, this is Nirvana as the Buddhists say, or Salvation—Salvation from the illusion of separated Individu­ality. And this is the highest human attainment and the spiritual ‘pur­pose’ of existence.

The Right Approach

How then does this attainment come about? The means consists of interior unfoldment and external experience. Interior unfoldment is continuous, while repeated physical rebirth, or reincarnation as it is called, provides the necessary time, opportunity and experience. A cosmic law of compensation partly seen operating upon man as cause and effect, ensures absolute justice to every man. The places and con­ditions in which individuals and races are born, as well as those which are later entered, are exactly the ‘right’ places and the ‘right’ conditions, for only in them can justice be done to us and the experience required for the attainment of Perfection be obtained.

Already men and women have attained the state of Adeptship. Some of them remain on earth as members of a highly organized frater­nity of agents of the purposes and laws of life and as directors of plane­tary evolution. Of these great Sages, some, in compassion for humanity, accept individual men and women for training in the mode of life and thought which increases the rate of evolutionary progress and is called the Path of Swift Unfoldment, or in Christianity, the Way.

These Adepts who teach and train pupils are known as Masters—Masters of Wisdom and Compassion. They can be successfully ap­proached by those who fulfil the necessary conditions and apply for admission to Their Presence in the appointed way. These conditions and the method of application are also fully described in ancient, in medieval, and in modem Theosophical literature.

Such, then, are the essential teachings of Theosophy concerning man. They have been delivered continually to mankind by its evolu­tionary seniors, the planetary Adepts and Their disciples.

Phases of Discovery

Three laws and an ethical ideal still remain to be stated. They are these: Increase follows renunciation of personal acquisition. Decrease follows the adoption of the motive of personal acquisition. Enduring happiness is attainable only by merging the highest interests and aspi­rations in those of another individual, another group, nation, race, in­deed in creation as a whole. Wisely directed service alone ensures lasting happiness. Fulfilment of duty, says Theosophy, is the highest ethical ideal and greatest assurance of rapid progress to Adeptship.

Is it possible to test, to prove and disprove these very wonderful teachings? What is the final test of the truth of all religious and philo­sophical teachings? It is twofold. It consists of direct superphysical ob­servation on the one hand, and experimental application of the ideas to physical life on the other. Just as the student of geography first takes information from teachers, from books, and maps and photographs, still photographs and moving pictures, but nevertheless he must visit the place studied for full knowledge, so also the student of Theosophy, after contacting, comprehending and applying to life its teachings must add the perception and experience of these teachings in order to become a direct knower.

The successful student of Theosophy passes through successive phases of discovery, examination, test by reason, application to life and investigation by direct observation, into full experience of the teachings. This last phase—direct personal observation—is the most prized, and students of Theosophy, whether in mystery schools, occult communities, or in the outer world, are ever advised to seek that inner perception, that individual experience and comprehension by which alone Truth may be known.

Theosophical teaching, ancient and modem, is replete with guid­ance in successful passage through the early phases and in the develop­ment of the requisite powers and faculties for direct investigation of metaphysical and spiritual ideas. Theosophy is therefore a complete science and a complete philosophy. It also provides a satisfying religious ideal, doctrine, and practice.

Can man either delay or hasten the process of attaining Perfec­tion? Has he any freedom in this matter? Definitely, he can both speed up or slow down his evolution, for man differs from the rest of physical nature. Man is a self-conscious being. He can direct the operation in himself of that which in the subhuman kingdoms is automatic. Man can delay or hasten the process of attaining perfection. Deliberate has­tening of the process accurately describes the treading of the Path. For many lives, man does not even realize the purpose of his existence. The potential perfect man within him is not awakened. He cannot respond to the ideal of the Path to perfection. The idea of hastening does not even occur to him. He drifts.

But the time arrives in human evolution, however, when the thrust of Spirit, the call and pressure of the awakened Monad-Ego, so affects the personal man that he experiences both dissatisfaction with existing limitations and aspirations to peaks of high achievement. Slowness of progress, paucity of attainment disturb the awakened man. Ego-impelled, he then determines to travel swiftly, to achieve mightily, to conquer self or die. This evolutionary phase is symbolized in the Gos­pels by the ministry of John the Baptist, by the wise Virgins, by the men who doubled their talents, by the sheep separated from the goats (Matthew 25), and by the disciples who forsook all and followed the Master in answer to His call.

Despite the pull of the past, despite the resistance of the world, and frequently of family, with mounting determination awakened man thus presses on. He grows in vision, in determination, in understand­ing, and also in compassion and idealism. His very soul is alight. His heart is aflame. Duty becomes his guiding star. The glory of his future Adeptship begins to illumine his present humanity. His lamp is lit.

Then His Master directly intervenes and the Path of Discipleship opens before him. Such in part is the teaching of Theosophy concern­ing man.

(Taken from a 2GB Broadcast)

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 5 October 1952, p. 8

5
The Neophyte Finds His Master

(The Second of two talks on The Path of Swift Unfoldment’.)

I suppose that a great many people experience on occasion the long­ing for the help of a wise, strong, illumined friend, a kind of spiritual elder brother. Can this longing for a true guide, philosopher and friend ever be fulfilled? Is discipleship, for example, possible even in modem days? Theosophy answers in the affirmative, teaches that cer­tain of the Perfected Men of our planet remain in touch with ourselves, their younger brethren of the human race. These all-wise ones, the El­der Brethren of our pupil race, continually inspire and protect human­ity as a whole, serving as Guardians and Shepherds of Souls for the whole of mankind. When, therefore, a human being does begin to seek guidance in the pursuit of knowledge and in following a purposeful, in­telligent, mode of life, then that individual comes under the direct ob­servation of one or other of those whom St Paul refers to as ‘the just men made perfect’.

The Masters Watch

Let us look more closely into this inspiring theosophical teaching about discipleship. All human beings pursue their pilgrimage from the One Spiritual Source through matter and back to the Source again along one of seven pathways. Over each of the seven groups a Super­human Intelligence presides. Each of the seven Rays, as these paths are called, has its Adept Head, who himself has brought all its powers to perfection. A ceaseless watch over every single human being is main­tained by these Shepherds of Souls. The Head of the Ray is the Master of each soul on that Ray. During many lives on earth, He has watched and loved the pilgrim soul, invisibly has guided and inspired the inner man. Whenever by virtue of evolutionary progress an individual be­gins to show signs of spiritual awakening, and the recognition of duty as the governing principle of life, then he begins to come under the more direct surveillance of the Adepts. He receives Adept aid.

In due course, two important events occur, one of them is physi­cal, and the other superphysical. At the physical level, the spiritually awakened man meets occultists and joins an occult society, and from fellow-members of that society he learns of the existence of Masters of the Wisdom and of the Path of Discipleship. At the Egoic level, during bodily physical sleep he is eventually drawn into the presence of his Master. There he sees one who embodies and displays all his own highest ideals of human perfection, the Adept Head of his Ray.

This experience remains forever unforgettable. The neophyte finds himself fully conscious out of his body and in the presence of a Superhuman Being of a remarkable appearance, for the Adept displays every perfection of feature and form. His countenance is stamped with the impress of spiritual power and profundity of thought. The eyes are large and alight with inner fire. Their gaze is all penetrating. They are the eyes of an infallible seer and judge, yet they are filled with friendli­ness, compassion, and understanding. When the Master looks at a man, He knows all He needs to know of that man’s past, his present and his future. Since He is a Master, and since He sees all, He comprehends all. The aspirant knows this, and so is unafraid.

In the Presence

As, awe-inspired and exalted, he stands in the presence of his Master-to-be, he sees in Him power quite irresistible, wisdom all-in­clusive, detachment and serenity that nothing can disturb.

He is then questioned as to his willingness to essay the ‘ra­zor-edged’ Path, as it is also called. He is told that, if he agrees, he will be called upon to take his further evolution into his own hands, to sub­due all earthly desire, to annihilate self-will and to undergo and endure to the end the fiery ordeals and tests inseparable from the Path of Swift Unfoldment. Successfully to tread the Path of Discipleship, he must work continually to perfect his character and, without thought of re­ward, selflessly to serve the world as all his predecessors have done. Thus, in part, a would-be disciple receives the ancient and unchanging call, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:19).

If he asserts, as in the presence of his Master he almost certainly will, he is taken as a pupil on probation. A veritable new phase of hu­man evolution is in consequence entered upon. From then on, the pupil increasingly directs and quickens his own progress, becomes more and more the master of his fate. A mystic name is sometimes given him by his Master—a name expressive of his new phase of life as a disciple. The Lord Christ apparently followed this practice, for of Him we read: ‘And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; and James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, the sons of thunder’ (Mark 3:14-17). Direct spiri­tual and occult teaching is also given, for to the aspirant now is given to know the mysteries direct and no more in parables (Matthew 13:11). Our Lord said to His disciples:

‘He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them that are without in parables’.

Assent to the Master’s call is not however forced upon any neophyte. It is permissible to decline. Each is perfectly free to do so, as did the rich young ruler to whom Christ pointed out the way of discipleship. ‘He turned sorrowfully away, for he had many possessions’ (Matthew 19:16-22). When, however, a certain evolutionary stage has been reached in which the Inmost Self is awakened and active as spiritual will within the outer man, ‘No other path at all is there to go’.

One characteristic of the Master’s Presence is that when in it, dif­ficulties tend to disappear and problems seem easy of solution. Indeed, many of them cease to exist as problems any more. Also the pupil’s power of achievement appears to be remarkably enhanced, as if hence­forth all things were possible to him.

Discipleship Today

Under this wonderful influence, the neophyte embarks gladly upon the Path of Discipleship. Kneeling, he is received as pupil, blessed, inspired, and linked closely to his Master. Thereafter, wher­ever he may go in the world, his Master can use him, does use him as a channel for His power and blessing, as an outpost of His consciousness and on occasion as a vehicle for His very presence. In Matthew 10:40-42 Our Lord told His disciples that they were His representa­tives in the world. ‘He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward’. Work to be done is then outlined and perhaps some particular field of action, group of people or even individuals are considered. Necessary improvements of character are indicated by the Master, and thus the new pupil is shown his work which is to become a ‘fisher of men’.

During these experiences, as at subsequent meetings with his Master, the neophyte is lifted into a state of interior ecstasy, of inde­scribable serene bliss. The labour and aspiration of many lives and the spiritual dreams of the present life are now fulfilled. He knows that the true Beloved One who will never fail him has been at last found, that his Father in God has enfolded him as a son within His heart. The neo­phyte’s own heart opens as never before. He loves and reveres his Master with all the highest and holiest power of his soul. Even amidst the greatest strain, the suffering and fatigue inseparable from proba­tion, his knowledge of, and his love for, his Master do not leave him. Allied with an awakened will, they sustain him amidst all his later tri­als. The whole experience is of the utmost value.

Conscious entry upon the Path of Discipleship can put an end to doubt and wavering. The neophyte knows beyond all questioning what his existence means, for what he has been created. He is an Adept-in-the-making, we all are, a Master-in-the-becoming, a Logos-to-be. The Monad which is his Innermost Self has long known of this purpose and this goal, but up to now the outer man in the succes­sive personalities has been ignorant of the purpose of life. The attain­ment of self-satisfaction has hitherto been the motive for living. In ignorance or in doubt of the only true purpose of life, the only noble as­piration, the earthly man has lived for self and the pleasures of the day

Now, at last, he is awake! Now, at last, he knows! For, in his Mas­ter he has seen One who has fulfilled life’s purpose for mankind; One who has reached life’s goal, the end of all human journeying. One dominating purpose is now absorbing his whole interest. To one achievement his will is set. It is to be like his Master, to become perfect as He has become perfect, especially to attain perfection of the power to help.

This, then, is the answer to the question which I put at the begin­ning of this talk: Is discipleship possible even in these modem days? Yes, it is possible, even amidst the worldly duties and pressing necessi­ties of our modem way of living, to find one’s Master and to be re­ceived and to serve as his disciple.

(Taken from a 2GB broadcast)

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 1 February 1953, p. 11

6
The Call to Discipleship

‘Follow Me and I Will Make You to Become Fishers of Men’

In the Gospel according to St Mark, the call to discipleship uttered by the Lord Christ—quoted as my sub-title—was followed by an immediate response; for in the succeeding verse the Evangelist con­tinues: ‘And straight-way they forsook their nets and followed Him’.[1]

The possibility of the receipt of this ever-continuing ‘Call’ and an immediate response might not unnaturally evoke in the minds of some members of the Theosophical Society both deep interest and a certain questioning. They may feel that they have met at least the preliminary requirements referred to in At the Feet of the Master as necessary in or­der to prepare oneself to become a ‘fisher of men’.[2]

Their thoughts could quite unselfishly turn towards the possibil­ity of themselves receiving and responding to the ancient ‘Call’ uttered and heard beside a modem ‘Sea of Galilee’. Even if they have had nei­ther dream-remembrance nor waking experience of meetings with anyone whom they might call the Master, they may ask ‘Is it possible that I myself have either been placed on Probation or have become an Accepted Disciple?’

A study of the subject from available sources indicates that, when an Adept Master officially accepts a person as a Disciple—allowing for exceptional cases he arranges for the highly privileged person to be adequately informed. The absence of such information might possibly but not finally be regarded as a negative response to the question. This would not mean, however, that such devoted members are unobserved and not helped by a Master; for one of Them has written, ‘When a per­son joins the Theosophical Society, I look at them’. This means, surely, that all dedicated, devoted and selfless Theosophists who work for the Theosophical Society and the spreading of Theosophy in the world, are under a form of guidance of one or more of the Elder Breth­ren of humanity; for in the occult life, one learns, there is an unbreak­able law that no one is ever overlooked.

In consequence, each deeply earnest, dedicated enquirer into the subject of Discipleship makes themselves known at least to one or another of the Masters of the Wisdom. As far as is permitted by the physical condition that his karma has ordained for him, the sincerity, selflessness and depth of his search for truth and the evolutionary posi­tion of the Ego in relation to the fulfilment of the ideal of living the oc­cult life whilst out in the world, the member will be fully informed of officially recognized progress upon the Path.

In The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Letter XLV), we read: ‘Nature has linked all parts of her empire together by subtle threads of magnetic sympathy, and there is a mutual correlation even between a star and a man; thought runs swifter than the electric fluid, and your thought will find me if projected by a pure impulse, as mine will find, has found, and often impressed upon your mind. Like the light in the sombre valley seen by the mountaineer from his peaks, every bright thought in your mind, my Brother, will sparkle and attract the attention of your distant friend and correspondent. It is thus we discover our Al­lies in the Shadow-world, your world and ours outside the precincts—and it is our law to approach every such an one if even there be but the feeblest glimmer of the true “Tathagata” light within him—then how far easier for you to attract us’.

The question may also be asked concerning the means by which it may be known whether or not one is already upon the Path and so if necessary should be changing one’s life accordingly. An answer may be offered that the best procedure would be unobtrusively to live as if one were a Disciple—one of the ideals put before those who seek to find and tread the ancient Way being self-forgetfulness. Indeed, this is also taught to be the true secret of spirituality, as also of happiness.

The Inner Self, be it remembered, is the chief, but not the only, re­cipient of Adept inspiration, pupilhood and Initiation. Such assistance is continuous at that level, whether the bodily person is or is not aware of it. One may thus be completely assured that the evolutionary prog­ress of a selfless aspirant is with the greatest wisdom always being cared for. Furthermore, the advised regular practice of a correct form of yoga will in due course bring the Inner Self and the sensitized brain into effective inter-communication and the bodily person will then be­come aware in waking consciousness of experiences through which the spiritual Self is passing. If then one physically and mentally ad­heres to the best of one’s ability and responsibilities to the Rules as presented in such inspired books as At the Feet of the Master, The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path, the most rapid progress pos­sible will be assured.

A further question might arise as to whether one may have already been super-physically in the presence of a Master and perhaps taken ‘Steps’—initiation for example—and yet be physically unaware of such a privilege. In reply it is understood that under karma, the Adepts always ensure the ultimate transference of such knowledge as would be appropriate and helpful according to the circumstances of physical life.

Although the abstract and concrete mental levels of conscious­ness are more directly concerned, the effects of occult ministrations gradually become transferred through the mental to the emotional parts of the human constitution. The receipt of the information by the physical brain in the waking state depends, however, upon both its re­sponsiveness to spiritual influences and the demands of daily life in­cluding responsibilities to those in close relationships. Developed characteristics of wise discrimination, steadiness and reasonableness are most carefully considered, and with these and other factors in view, all aspirants may be fully assured that knowledge of occult advance­ment is at a suitable time made physically available.

What would the observable effects be on waking consciousness it may be asked. Quite a number, one conceives, including tendencies to change naturally to Causal or archetypal, non-conceptual mental activ­ity, a greater sensitivity to and concern for others, increased powers of self-discipline and marked readiness to make changes of viewpoints on long-held ideas—all these are likely to be experienced.

One other very important consideration concerns the faithfulness—allowing for severe adverse karma—with which one adheres to the ideals accepted and to any pledges that may have been taken. Circum­stances may contribute either to faithlessness—such as the threefold denial of Jesus by St Peter[3], the total betrayal by Judas Iscariot,[4] or to a more temporary lapse from the maintenance of idealism, loyalty and self-discipline. Accepting a literal reading of the Gospels, St Peter re­covered immediately, but Judas did not do so, and later committed sui­cide, whether to be regarded as physical, occult or both. The Path is indeed truly named ‘Razor-edged’, for upon it tests do occur, and, when successfully passed through, extremely educative and empower­ing they can prove to be.

Complete surrender to worldliness, a weakening or even destruc­tion of the faith in the occult life of others and especially of newly awakening people, and verbal attacks against both the Path ideal and those who have helped one towards it—all these will influence the rate of progress not only in that same life but also when the Path is again entered upon in a future incarnation.

A further difficulty may perhaps usefully here be referred to. This can arise when a self-proclaimed but unproved occultist assumes the office of messenger from a Master, and informs those who listen that occult advancement has occurred. The factual truth or otherwise of such a pronouncement is of course of great importance, and at least two tests may be applied. These are intuitive response to such state­ments—as to whether or not they ‘ring true’—and decisive of course, whether the affirmed relationship eventually becomes proven. In such an event one may rest assured that when a Master arranges for the physical Disciple or Initiate to be informed of their progress, there is never any doubt whatever of the fact.

The great importance of realism in all matters directly relating to the occult life here needs to be stressed. Although other avenues to knowledge do exist, a strictly realistic attitude of mind is essential wherever occultism and the occult life are concerned.

When following these, there is no room, for example, for either imagination or the too-ready acceptance of confirmations of hoped-for, events. One must at all times be factual, dedicated to reality.

Since the word ‘occult’ means ‘hidden’, tendencies to error are potentially present. These must be carefully guarded against. Discre­tion is needed—its development being part of the required training—in order that the activities of mind and emotion do not prevent the re­ceipt of illumination from the intuition. Indeed, an ‘Intuition Receiv­ing Station’ needs to be set up and made to function within the mind. The appointed ‘call-sign’ would then be ‘Stillness’.

Another very important factor in valid and successful entry into the occult life consists of sincere and gradually deepening interest in and aspiration towards spiritual unfoldment, this to become the all-important purpose for living. Here, also, a warning is needed in that no thought of obtaining a personal reward for either progress made or work done must ever be allowed to exist within one’s mind. The deter­mination to ascend the evolutionary ‘Mount’ as quickly as possible must always be based solely upon the knowledge that each forward step taken increases the effectiveness of one’s service to others. Throughout the whole procedure, the aspirant must be moved by self­lessness and guided by discriminative wisdom, particularly in the ap­plication of spiritual ideals to motives, thoughts, feelings and daily life.

The revered Adepts and therefore each Master who takes Disci­ples are far more concerned, it is taught, with the continuing, immortal spiritual Selves of humanity than with the also important personalities. Their most direct aid is bestowed upon the reincarnating Ego within the Causal Body. There, the communication is less verbal than a trans­ference of empowering spiritual Will, illuminating Wisdom and truth revealing Intelligence. Personal guidance is also offered, particularly at the mental levels at which superphysical visits primarily occur. Since, through the writings of Madame Blavatsky[5] and others, the

Masters have in the present period ensured that the requisite counsel concerning thought, emotion and physical conduct is fully available at the physical level, personal instruction concerning physical life is re­duced to a minimum. Exceptions may, however, include important corrections to be made, developments to be sought and work to be done. In this the Master is as a ‘Father in God’.

Knowledge of these experiences in waking consciousness with which this article is closely concerned, is also dependent upon such factors as the physical karma of aspirants, their general outlook on life, the inevitable demands of their physical lives, and their effective prac­tice of yoga. Unless karma decisively rules against it, either an ap­pointed agent of the Master or the Master Himself ensures that, whether immediately or gradually, the knowledge of any ‘Step’ taken reaches the brain consciousness of the fortunate ‘Pilgrim’ upon the ‘way of holiness’ as the prophet Isaiah named it.[6]

All important is the degree of utterly selfless dedication to the welfare of fellow men and to the various forms of humanitarian work in hand. The elimination of ahamkara [7] is thus of first importance, and the total absence of any idea of personal gain or reward for services rendered is in its turn completely decisive; for the Master sees infalli­bly into the aspirant’s ‘heart’, and knows to what degree these essen­tials are met and justify the very responsible action on His part of interest in and help towards a student, and the eventual admission of him or her as a pupil under His direction.

Finally, it should be remembered that the Path of Swift Unfoldment is never closed. Not only beside the Sea of Galilee, along the field paths and in the village streets of the Israel of two thousand years ago, but long before, afterwards and now, one may hear the Mas­ter’s call: ‘Follow me and I will make you to become fishers of men’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1975, p. 58

7
Steps on the Pathway to Divine Manhood

(Much of the information in this article is obtained from The Masters and the Path, by C. W. Leadbeater—a work invaluable to every aspirant.)

The evolution of man into the Super-human Kingdom of Nature can apparently be consummated in two ways. The first of these consists of those natural processes by which all life is gradually brought to a greater degree of unfoldment and all forms develop into increasingly sensitive and suitable vehicles for that life. To man, this method appears to be slow; for it occupies a long period of time, re­quiring, it is said, at least seven hundred human lives.

The other means of attainment is generally known as treading the Path. This implies self-conscious participation by man in the fulfil­ment of nature’s plan. Evidently there comes a time in human evolu­tion when some people become extremely dissatisfied with the slowness of their progress, with their faults and limitations, and espe­cially with the inability to give effective help to others in times of great need. This mental condition has been described as ‘the divine discon­tent’ and ‘the inexpressible longing of the inner man for the Infinite’.

From the earliest days of human life on this planet, men and women have known this discontentment and have set forth upon the Path of swift unfoldment, the way of life which will bring them rapidly to their goal. Some of these early aspirants succeeded, but only at the cost of tremendous effort and great suffering. In consequence, they discovered ways or rules of life by means of which both the effort and the sufferings could be reduced to a minimum. Eventually all this knowledge became formulated into sets of rules, which were made available for the guidance of all whom similarly aspire. These rules are known as the laws of the higher life.

In this article, however, I shall consider not so much the rules of the occult life as another codification, also designed for the guidance of spiritually awakened men and women. This divides the process of deliberately hastened attainment into stages, at certain of which special laws come into operation and the aspirant is particularly susceptible to guidance from seniors. This systematization, for which Tsong-ka-pa was largely responsible in more modem days, has proved to be of im­mense value, if only in the avoidance of pitfalls, the reduction of suf­fering and the increase of the speed of attainment. Thus have come to be recognized what are known as official steps upon the Path.

These evolutionary phases and the experiences usually associated with them are not, however, limited to the life of the Path. They are all rehearsed throughout the period of man’s normal, natural evolution. In Christianity, for example, the five major steps on the Path are por­trayed by means of allegories, supposedly descriptive of experiences through which Jesus passed, namely, Nativity, Baptism, Transfigura­tion, Crucifixion and Ascension. Every human being repeatedly passes through these self-same experiences before the ‘Way of Holiness’ is entered upon. True, the degree of the expansions of consciousness, of the strain and the suffering, is far less than when the Path has been fi­nally adopted as the only possible way of life. Nevertheless, all human beings have their conversions or new births, their baptisms in the wa­ters of sorrow, their temptations and trials, as also their temporary upliftments when both they themselves and the world in which they live seem to be transfigured or transformed. Gethsemane, the dark night of the Soul, is frequently experienced by both individuals and na­tions, as also is betrayal and unjust condemnation. These tribulations can culminate in a sense of veritable crucifixion, when the quintes­sence of loneliness is known, as also are agonies of heartache and even bodily pain. Wonderful recoveries, ascensions from darkness, can lead to great happiness, whilst death itself, which comes to all, marks the as­cension of the Inner Self from the limitations of earthly life. It is, perhaps, well for us all that we should recognize these universal human experiences for what they really are; for they are both results of the op­eration of the law of cause and effect and preparations for the time when, as steps upon the Path, they will be lived out in full, even as they are portrayed in the Gospel stories of the life of Our Lord.

There are, however, more than five stages on the pathway which leads out of the purely worldly life, with its material and rather self-centred motives for living. The change begins with a sense of frus­tration, and with a feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s own limitations and the hollowness of the purely material and worldly life. So many problems, interior and external, remain unsolved, so many questions unanswered when guidance is sought from the formal religions of the day. The result of these experiences is a growing determination to con­quer one’s weaknesses, to develop one’s powers swiftly, to find eso­teric truth and to live a more spiritual kind of life.

When this stage is entered upon, external help begins to be re­ceived. Persistent effort attracts the attention of both the Adept Head of the Ray and the great Official whose assent must be gained before ad­vancement into pupilage of an Adept is sanctioned. This latter is known as the Maha-Chohan, part of whose Office is to keep the Re­cord said to be imperishable and preserved in a Golden Book—of the progress, the successes and the failures of every human Ego on this planet which enters upon the Path of swift unfoldment. Thus, Adept consideration is given to every aspirant and, in due course, recognition of evolutionary stature is granted. Sometime during this phase, the outer man in his personal nature is guided to the discovery of a satisfy­ing system of philosophy. The outer circumstances may even be moulded, so far as karma permits and is advisable from the point of view of evolutionary progress.

The next phase consists of the discovery of a valid occult school, application for admittance, acceptance, and the receipt of the neces­sary guidance and training which will help in the passage through the later phases of the life of the Path. These experiences are of the first im­portance; for they mean that the ‘Ancient Way’ has been found by an­other pilgrim on earth, sometimes for the first time and sometimes as a repetition from former lives. Whichever may be true, a marked change of outlook upon life is likely to occur. This may, perhaps, be described as the universalization of consciousness and, as the process continues, the diminution of the sense of self-separateness and of self-impor­tance. Realization is also deepened of oneness with the larger Self of the universe and with the life of all Nature.

The first official step on the Path follows in due course. It is known as Probation and refers to the presentation of the neophyte, gen­erally during bodily sleep, to his Master-to-be. In full self-consciousness and with the higher senses alert, he finds himself in the Presence of a perfected Being, full of majesty and power, and yet also of kindli­ness and friendliness. The significance of the experience is then ex­plained by the Master. The inevitable tests and trials are described, and the candidate who accepts is then taken as a pupil on Probation. Some­times needed changes in character are pointed out, special work indi­cated, and the so-called ‘living image’ is made and kept by the Master. This image is in some form of superphysical radio or radar contact with the outer man or woman wherever they may be in the world. Some­what as upon a television screen, their thoughts and actions are re­flected in it hour by hour and day by day. The Master, who regularly examines the living image, is thus able to keep a watchful and kindly eye upon His new pupil.

When the time is ripe, official Acceptance as a disciple follows. The pupil’s aura is intimately attuned to that of his Master, who ab­sorbs him into Himself for a time and charges him with His Adept power, life and light. Thereafter, wherever an accepted disciple may be in the outer world, his Master can always use him as a channel of His power, His blessing and, on occasion, as a vehicle for His very Presence.

The next step is Sonship of the Master, and when this inexpress­ible privilege has been granted an even closer attunement is estab­lished between the outer aura and the Inner Self of disciple and Master. When the necessary progress has been made, the First Great Initiation follows, though, on occasion, this step may precede that of Sonship. In Buddhism, the Initiate of the First Degree is called Sotapatti or Sohan—meaning ‘he who has entered the stream’. In Hinduism, he is re­ferred to as Parivrajaka meaning ‘wanderer’. In recognition of the ad­vancement which has been achieved under the Master’s guidance, a powerful initiatory ceremonial is performed, the Path proper is entered upon, and admission to membership of the Great White Brotherhood of the Adepts and Initiates of this planet is granted. A powerful descent occurs of the Monad-Atma into the Ego, and later into the Personality, and the Star of Initiation thereafter shines out in the upper part of the aura of the Initiate. Increasingly close attunement with the Master and with the consciousness of the Great White Brotherhood itself is there­after experienced, as also is a deepening sense of responsibility for the evolution of life and form upon this planet.

The Second Great Initiation follows, and during this phase three fetters must be out-grown and cast aside. They are doubt, superstition and the delusion of self-separated existence. A very rapid development of the mental body usually occurs during this evolutionary phase, and this can prove to be a great test under which, it is said, many aspirants may fail. The mind, whilst a mighty instrument in the hands of the Ego, is also the vehicle of ahamkara or self-personality with its concomitants of pride and desire for power, position and prestige. These temptations assail everyone who steps out of the worldly into the spiritual life. The occult life as a whole is a great ordeal, a great test, made up of many ordeals and many tests. All must successfully be passed through before the higher Initiations are granted.

The Second Great Initiation brings the aspirant to that phase which is known in Buddhism as Sakadagamin—‘the man who returns but once’. In Hinduism, he is known as Kutichaka—‘the man who builds a hut’ (has reached a state of peace). The psychic faculties gen­erally develop rapidly during this phase, which corresponds to the Baptism of the Lord Christ, as the particular difficulties through which the candidate must pass are portrayed in His temptation in the wilder­ness.

An Initiate of the Third Degree is referred to in Buddhism as Anagamin—‘He who does not return’. In Hinduism, he is known as Hamsa or Soham—a mystical word meaning ‘That am I’. The Trans­figuration of Christ portrays this phase and it is said that the manifesta­tion of the Inner Spirit through the outer form of the Initiate of the Third Degree can be so powerful and so full that, on occasion, what would appear to be a physical transfiguration takes place. The shining Augoeides, the Immortal, Initiate Ego, frequently descends upon the outer man to bestow upon him transcendental powers and veritable ge­nius. In this initiatory degree, presentation before the One Initiator, the great Lord of the World, occurs and the Initiation itself is said to be conferred by one of the Lords of the Flame.

The Fourth Great Initiation generally follows the Third in the same life. In Buddhism, the Initiate of this Degree is known as an Arhat—meaning literally ‘one worthy of divine honours’. In Hinduism, the Sanskrit title Paramahamsa—meaning ‘above Hamsa’’ is bestowed. This is the phase of Crucifixion. The sufferings of the Christ before Pi­late and on Golgotha allegorically describe the interior experiences of the Initiate of the Fourth Degree, for whom the axiom becomes true ‘no cross, no crown’.

The Fifth Great Initiation is known in Buddhism as that of the Asekha—‘no more to learn’. In Hinduism, the Adept is known as Jivanmukta—‘a liberated life’. Human existence has now come to an end and the superhuman Kingdom has been entered.

The Sixth Great Initiation brings the title of Chohan or Lord, the Seventh that of Maha-Chohan or Great Lord and, at the Eighth, Buddhahood is achieved. The very highest attainment possible to man on this earth and then only on the First Ray—is to take the Ninth Initi­ation, which brings the Ego to the inconceivably lofty stature of the Lord of the World.

Such, very briefly described, is the way ahead of each one of us. Such are the heights which as Egos we shall one day ascend, whether naturally or as a result of self-quickening or taking the kingdom of heaven by force.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 14, No. 1, 1953, p. 14

8
Selfless Service Born of Realized Oneness

We are to consider together one of the most beautiful attributes and actions of men—service to others—well stated in our theme for Convention: ‘The Highest Ideal in Life is to Serve’. Selfless service may be defined as spontaneous service without thought of return, born of compassion, inspired solely by desire to aid and to ease suffering and heartache.

Examples of Service

The successive world Teachers were perfect examples of unself­ish ministration. The Lord Buddha made the ‘Great Renunciation’ of personal happiness in order to serve mankind and the Lord Christ wept over Jerusalem (the world), giving His life in the deliverance of His message of brotherly love and self-sacrifice.

Sages, Rishis and Adepts have also given Their wisdom to man through both world Scriptures and Their personal lives. Having Them­selves attained to unbroken happiness, They had no need to emerge, but did so sacrificially as Servants of the Race.

The pages of history are lit by accounts of such service. Florence Nightingale, (1820-1910), the English nurse and pioneer of hospital reform, during the Crimean war organized a nursing service to relieve the sufferings of British soldiers, who named her ‘The Lady of the Lamp’. Despite considerable official opposition, her system was adopted and developed in all parts of the world. Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) devoted much of her life to prison reform, very greatly needed in those days, the relief of the sufferings of prisoners which she brought about being incalculable and immeasurable. Dr Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) became a Doctor of Medicine (being already Doctor of Theology and Philosophy) in order to devote his life to medical and missionary work in Lambarene in Equatorial Africa.

In modem days, ‘Sue Ryder has worked tirelessly and fearlessly for the cause of displaced persons and is soon to visit New Zealand from Britain to personally campaign for the financial assistance needed to maintain the work she is doing. She developed a passionate admiration for the freedom fighters, particularly the Poles who had the biggest, most highly organized underground movement in Europe. In the desolation of post-war Europe, amidst all the chaos, misery and in­difference, this small, slight woman fought for her survivors. Calm, fierce and intrepid, she battled for residence permits, emigration per­mits, compensation, jobs, homes, decent hospitals and the remission of prison sentences. Endlessly she negotiated, wrangled, expostulated, lied and pleaded in the face of German and Allied unconcern. She ate little and slept less, often dashing thousands of miles by motorcar to the rescue of just one person. In 1952, along with some kindly and re­sponsive Norwegians and Danes, she started a holiday scheme for sur­vivors. For a few weeks they were able to leave their sorely deprived existence behind them. This sparked her off into deciding to establish proper homes, if she could, both for holidays and, permanently, for se­verely disabled victims’ (Auckland. Star, 24/11/65).

To this small list of noble men and women should be added all those who care for the sick and aged—relatives and others—without remission or reward, even up to the moment of death; soldiers and their families who enlist in a righteous cause; the unknown and uncountable servants of the race, responsible for the multitude of the unparaded charities of men and, I would wish to add, every conscientious house­wife, physician, nurse, ecclesiastic and educator.

In his diary, the late Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary General of the United Nations, writes:

“From generations of soldiers and government officials on my fa­ther’s side I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country—or humanity. This service re­quired a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions’ (Markings, published by, Faber & Faber, London)

The International Geophysical Year (1957-58) was a splendid ex­ample of united planetary co-operation in the study of the Earth as it travels through space with its interior changes and external effects.

Motives for Service

If we ask why the innumerable servants of humanity so act, at least three general answers may be given: duty, compassion and a feel­ing of kinship. My title suggests special consideration of a feeling of kinship or realized oneness. Indeed a sense of identity, of sharing the needs of others as if they were one’s own, moves the true and selfless servants of mankind. Such service is never personal, although person­ally given. Rather is it an expression of a spiritual principle in the world of form the underlying truth of oneness. All the resources of mind and heart can be called upon by those who thus serve, for their ministrations demand continuous thought, meditation and prayer, which both produce expansions of consciousness and deepen realiza­tion of unity.

The Oneness of Life

This interior experience is founded on the Theosophical teaching that behind all external appearances there exists one fundamental Re­ality, which is variously named ‘Life’ and ‘The One Life’. The idea of unity is thought to originate in the actuality of a single omnipresent Deity, whether termed ‘God’, Brahman, ‘Reality’ or ‘Life’. Theoso­phy further affirms that no essential difference exists between this One Life of the Cosmos and the Life in each human being; for Life is said to be omnipresent like salt which, dropped in water, permeates the whole, infuses itself into every drop. Thus, as the oceans of the world are salty, so are all human beings permeated by the One Life. This is beautifully expressed in the Mantram:

“O hidden Life vibrant in every atom,

O hidden Light shining in every creature,

O   hidden Love embracing all in oneness,

May each who feels himself as one with Thee

Know he is therefore one with every other”.

This prayer expresses a universal idea, for in The Bhagavad Gita the Lord says:

‘For I am the Eternal foundation, the inexhaustible bliss, the ever­lasting righteousness, supremest happiness’.

The Bhagavad Gita also states: ‘I, O Gudakesha, am the SELF seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all beings . .. nor is there aught, moving or unmoving, that may exist bereft of Me....Whatsoever is glorious, good, beauti­ful, and mighty, understand thou that to go forth from a fragment of My Splendour....Having pervaded this whole Universe with one fragment of Myself, I remain’ (The Bhagavad Gita, X, 20,39,41,42).

The modem scientist approaches this realization thus Sir James Jeans wrote: ‘When we view ourselves in space and time we are quite obviously distinct individuals; when we pass beyond space and time, we may perhaps form ingredients of a single stream of life’.

Whether consciously or unconsciously thus illumined and in­spired, the great servants of the Race have, I submit, all been moved by the experience of oneness, a sense of kinship. Surely it is this realiza­tion which is most needed in the world today since war, crime, cruelty and injustice to others become impossible when once it is known that there are no others, each human being belonging to one spiritual Race which is without divisions of any kind. The necessity for such spiritual awareness is seen to be still more urgent when it is recognized that without it these evils are certain to persist.

A Kabbalists’ Prayer, with which I will close, fittingly expresses man’s aspiration for unity with God.

Universal God, One Light, One Life, One Power.

Thou All in All, beyond expression, beyond comprehension.

Oh, Nature! Thou Something from nothing.

Thou Symbol of wisdom.

In myself I am nothing.

In Thee I am I.

I live in Thee.

Live Thou in me,

And bring me out of the region of Self,

Into eternal light.            

                                         Amen.

(Abridged from a lecture given by Guest Lecturer, Geoffrey Hodson, to the 69th Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society in New Zealand at Christchurch, December-January 1965-66.)

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1966, p. 11

9
Some Laws of the Spiritual Life

The individual who seeks to achieve in the Fifth Race that which is the goal for humanity, at the end of this Fourth World Period, is confronted with certain natural laws governing the process of self-quickening.

That goal which some students of Theosophy set before them­selves, is discipleship of a Master and under His guidance, the safe awakening of occult powers and attainment of the First Great Initiation.

Thus to force one’s evolution, thus to attain in advance of the Race, demands obedience to certain natural laws, we are informed.

The rules put before us, the discipline and especially the attitude of mind, are not arbitrarily planned. They are based on natural laws governing enforced spiritual, intellectual and even physical unfoldment and development.

The attitude of mind necessary to fit anyone to become a disciple of a Great Teacher is said to be all-important.

This necessary mental outlook, we are told, is one of complete de­tachment from objects of sense and desire, renunciation of possessive­ness and of the spirit of acquisition and self-centredness.

Personal disinterestedness is very difficult of attainment for some of us who are in Western bodies, and are brought up in and imbued with the spirit of competitive progress to a solid position in life and of making good.

What we are asked to do seems at first like a renunciation of the spirit of courageous and determined endeavour essential to ‘getting on in life’.

Let us then examine the ideal more closely to the end of under­standing. First, I think it has to be remembered that occultism is com­mon sense. So through all and especially in the personal application of great ideals, common sense must rule.

Indeed the very first quality put before us—Viveka—can be translated as common sense, though it is usually advocated as discrimi­nation, which is much the same thing.

Above all we must not foolishly apply the rules, must not, for ex­ample, make ourselves penniless objects of charity in the pursuit of de­tachment and discrimination.

The ideal is expressed wholly in three Sanskrit words and one Greek word, in themselves strange in our ears.

The Sanskrit words are: Viveka, Vairagya and Upeksha and the Greek word is Kenosis.

Viveka means discrimination, wise choice between the more valu­able and the less valuable and is beautifully explained, as is Vairagya, in At the Feet of the Master. It really means common sense based upon appreciation of spiritual values.

Vairagya means dispassion, detachment. A wonderful book on these two qualities is Viveka Chudamani (or Crest Jewel of Wisdom). The Bhagavad Gita is also replete with such guidance.

Upeksha means the poise of indifference, absolute unconcern about oneself.

Viveka

Viveka, then, means a sturdy common sense, a wise discrimina­tion between the false and the true, the evanescent and the lasting, the unreal and the Real.

Examples of Viveka are:

The choice of Theosophy when breaking away from orthodox re­ligion. The rejection of spiritualistic phenomena for the philosophy be­hind.

The choice of movements for public welfare instead of the social round as fields of spare-time activity.

The choice of idealists, students and serious thinkers for compan­ions instead of other types.

The rejection of personal gain at the cost of honesty.

The choice of mental freedom instead of obedience to supposed superiors and parrot-like repetition of what they say.

The search for knowledge instead of the somnolence of blind faith.

Vairagya

Vairagya means renunciation, complete detachment, dispassion, absence of personal desire of any kind. It is personal disinterestedness, purity of heart.

Examples of Vairagya or Dispassion are:

Renunciation of self-will, obstinacy and combativeness on one’s own behalf. Transmutation of the creative force into mental and spiri­tual channels following renunciation and cessation of its physical ex­pression. Extension of the power of love to include more numerous and less personal objects of affection.

Reduction to a minimum of self-indulgences.

Elimination of all possessiveness and acquisitiveness, granting complete freedom of thought and action to all, even the most loved, whilst ever ready to give guidance and support when needed.

Generosity, largesse, sacrificial service.

Freedom from anger, hate, passion.

Upeksha

Upeksha is a state of complete equilibrium between all pairs ofopposites and uttermost freedom from self-interest and self-concern.

Examples of Upeksha or Absolute Personal Indifference are:

Recognition of the Atma as one with the Paramatma, of the self of man as identical with the Supreme Self.

Elimination of Ahamkara or the illusion of I-ness.

Complete indifference as to what happens to one’s Personality.

Complete absorption in the welfare of the whole to the exclusion of any self-interest, fear for self and desire for separate existence and gain.

Rest in perfect equipoise in the Eternal.

To achieve even a measure of right judgment, detachment and personal disinterestedness, constant watchfulness is needed. The old habits of self-desire and self-seeking, with all their potentiality for pain, continually tempt one to self-centredness. Without Realizing it at the time, desire again has one in thrall.

This is the real evil in us from which we are advised to win free. It is called Ahamkara, the I-making faculty, the sense of separated, self-personality, I-am-ness.

For some temperaments, the reason can help. If there exists but one Will, One Life, One Intelligence, of which the Monad-Ego of man is but a temporarily-focussed ray, then separateness of existence is in­deed an illusion. Each pseudo-individual is only a centre of, and in, the One Life.

There is no place for maya [illusion] in the occult life.

These are not moral maxims. They are safeguards against terrible heartbreak and defeat.

The path moves twixt cliffs of ice and iron and somehow the aspi­rant must find and keep to the middle path between the ice and the iron. Hence Viveka, Vairagya, Upeksha.

Vairagya and Upeksha seem to depend ultimately upon surrender to, and self-identification with, the One Will. I-am-ness then gives place to I-am-all-ness.

Kenosis

Mental self-emptying or Kenosis is the very heart of Christian mysticism. St Paul’s Epistles to the Phillipians, 11:6, is translated by Lightfoot: ‘Though he (Christ) pre-existed in the form of God, yet he did not look on equality with God as a prize which must not slip from his grasp, but he emptied himself, taking upon him the form of a slave, being made in the likeness of men’.

Here we think of Christ in his macrocosmic self as the Logos who continually empties Himself of His own life. By that emptying the worlds are ever nourished and sustained. He is said to have: ‘poured Himself out, like water from a vessel, in order to enrich others’. Of Him as Logos it is said: ‘Thou didst breathe forth Thine own Divine Life into Thy Universe...by that self-same sacrifice Thou dost con­tinually uphold all creation...dying in very truth that we might live’.

This Kenosis, this self-emptying attitude of mind and mode of life is a key word in the Christian religion. Applied to the life of the Sanc­tuary, it is inculcated by our Lord in the words: ‘He that loseth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal’. ‘Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die it beareth much fruit’. Some must become ‘the wheat of Christ’, as a Christian mystic has said.

Also the poverty of the Nativity and the surrender to Pilate, the Jews and to Crucifixion, piercing of skin, the Sacred Heart and open wounds are all allegories of this attitude and condition.

Such self-emptying, such entirely self-forgetting love, such figu­rative death is necessary, it is said, for the more abundant life. To die to the sense of separated Individuality, egoism and possessiveness is to live unto life eternal. By some this is thought to be the greatest truth ever uttered.

Apparently we are in the presence of a strange law.

In imitation of the Great Exemplar, the Lord of Love, we must die to self-desire in order to live the larger life, pour ourselves out in self­less sacrifice and service. We must surrender self for love’s sake, if we would know life eternal. Universal love is the only true way to eternal life, because it involves ‘self-emptying of self. Self-forgetfulness is the basis of all spirituality.

These words ‘self-emptying’ and ‘dying’ are not to be taken as wholly expressing the truth. For, of course, the Logos does not ever be­come empty, nor does ‘Fie’ ever really become dead.

This leads one’s thought to a strange spiritual law under which self-surrender brings not loss but renewal, to be considered later.

The Logos is ever Self-renewed from a higher dimension. The Sun does not exhaust itself despite its immeasurable out-pouring. For proportionate inpouring occurs. So selflessness does not bring loss but sufficiency and even abundance.

These four ideas of Viveka, Vairagya, Upeksha, Kenosis, seem to form a gate opening on the whole world of spiritual truth, spiritual ex­perience and spiritual fulfilment.

This ideal self denudation is not at all new to us as students of Theosophy. It is inculcated in all the wonderful books of spiritual counsel with which we are so richly blest.

Light on the Path: ‘Kill out ambition ...the first curse, the great tempter...Its results turn to dust and ashes in the mouth...The pure artist who works for love of his work is sometimes more firmly planted on the right road than the occultist who fancies he has removed his in­terest from self....But not until the whole personality of the man is dissolved and melted...not till the whole nature has yielded and be­come subject unto its Higher Self, can the bloom open’.

The Voice of the Silence: ‘Give up thy life, if thou wouldst live’. ‘Ere thou canst attempt to cross this wide abyss of matter thou hast to lave thy feet in the waters of renunciation’. ‘And now thyself is lost in Self, thyself until Thyself, merged in that Self from which thou first didst radiate’. ‘Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present ray become the All and the eternal radiance’. ‘To don Nirmanakaya's humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for self, to help on man’s salvation; to reach Nirvana’s bliss but to renounce it is the su­preme, the final step—the biggest on renunciation’s path’. ‘The way to final freedom is within thy Self. That way begins and ends outside of self (personal lower self). ‘When to the permanent is sacrificed the mutable, the prize is thine; the drop retumeth whence it came’. The Bodhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the prize within his palm, yet says in his Divine compassion: ‘For others’ sake this great reward I yield’—accomplishes the greater renunciation. ‘A Saviour of the world is He’.

In a remarkable passage in one of his letters to A. P. Sinnett, Mas­ter K. H. [Kuthumi] translates. ‘Absorbed in the absolute self-uncon­sciousness of physical self, plunged in the depths of true being, which is no being but eternal, universal life, His whole form is immovable and white as the eternal summits of snow in Kailasa where He sits, above care, above sorrow, above sin and worldliness, a mendicant, a sage, a healer, the King of kings, the Yogi of yogis’. Letter XXXI [The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett].

(From Study Notes of Geoffrey Hodson)

Theosophy in New Zealand 1966 Vol. 27, No. 3

10
The Path is Within You

The Path of Service begins just where you are. The man who goes out and conquers an Everest, reaches the Pole, is not so great as the man who masters himself where he is. The whole process of treading the Path is worked out within the aspirant. The power of suc­cess is within him. The obstacles are all within him, even the karmic ones; for the effect of karma is decided by the reaction to benefits and adversities. All the great achievements are interior ones. All the great battles, with their defeats and victories, occur within. The external life is only a reflection of interior experience and condition.

The great effort to purify and perfect the character, to refine the nature, and to develop power, wisdom, compassion and intelligence, must therefore be made within oneself.

The all important factor in success in the spiritual life is the cor­rect attitude of mind. This, we are told, must consist of complete desirelessness, or in asking nothing for self, of absolute honesty, hon­our, truth, and of complete dedication to the ideal of perfection and the service of humanity.

Selflessness is seen as the great key to success in the spiritual life; for the selfless man is invulnerable, and invincible.

Selflessness alone will not suffice, however. Within the aspirant must exist the unquenchable, fiery impulse to attain. Even the most perfect observance of the ideal attitude and conduct is relatively fruit­less unless the immense and resistless driving force of an awakened will to achieve bums ceaselessly within the self. Should this enthusi­asm temporarily die out, as it may, the soul must continue its noble endeavour. For then it develops steadfastness, courage, endurance and will.

Is this all too difficult, too high, too abstract? Does the spirit shrink back from a Quest so arduous? Here are the words of H.P.B. [Helena P. Blavatsky], who in these days re-opened the Path for the Western World:

‘There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind—but yet a road; and it leads to the Heart of the Universe. I can tell you how to find Those Who will show you the secret gateway that leads inwards only and closes fast behind the neophyte for ever­more. There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer. There is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through. There is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount. For those who win onwards, there is reward past all telling; the power to bless and save humanity. For those who fail there are other lives in which success may come’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1942, p. 66

11
The Path of Discipleship

This subject holds its important place in our teachings, within which are found the following ideas:

THAT the Pathway to Perfection has long been trodden by men and women on our Earth.

THAT, assisted by their Elders, numbers of them have attained this lofty goal of perfection.

THAT certain of these Great Ones, out of compassion for hu­manity and in unfailing response to a genuine appeal, are today ever ready to respond.

THAT, indeed, no sincere aspirant to Discipleship is ever over­looked.

THAT when the ideal of hastened unfoldment is ‘born’ within a human being, a light shines out from them which is discerned by the Elder Brethren.

That wisely, according to both circumstances and the method employed, the spiritually awakened aspirant is directed to a source of the necessary information concerning the Path and, in addition, becomes the recipient of Adeptic benediction.

That unwavering perseverance brings the would-be Disciple, at the due and proper time, into the Presence of the Master. This Great Being thereafter inspires and guides him or her in the success­ful treading of the Path which leads not only to the Master’s feet, but in due course to Masterhood, Adeptship, ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:’[8]

The history of our Movement contains references to this awak­ening in certain of its Members and, indeed, to their acceptance as Disciples, Madam H. P. Blavatsky being an outstanding example.

Furthermore, the inestimable privilege is granted of admission to the Lesser and Greater Mysteries and to successive Initiations therein. Thus, not only are we Theosophists the privileged recipi­ents of the teaching and guidance of Theosophy itself, but we are also inspired by the knowledge that the Path of Discipleship is never closed, and that no sincere aspirant ever fails to receive the Master’s response. Blessed indeed are we!

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 40, No. 2, 1979, p. 34

12
The Old-New Pathway to Discipleship

As the student of Theosophia studies the records of the deliverance of the Ancient Wisdom to mankind, two aspects of the subject present themselves to his notice, namely Theosophy itself on the one hand and the path of Discipleship on the other. Apparently, these are intimately related; for universal and impersonal though the funda­mentals of Theosophia prove to be, each of its great Adept exponents has always included teachings concerning the successful entry upon the path.

The Lord Shri Krishna, for example, revealed by His wondrous life and teachings both the impersonal Wisdom itself and the fact that He was, and ever is, an individual manifestation of the Parabrahman, the universal Godhead. This was disclosed to his foster-mother, Yasoda, and to others such as the shepherdesses at Vrindavana, as well as to the warrior, Arjuna, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Evidently Shri Krishna had chosen to be a universal manifestation of the One Su­preme Lord and, at the same time, a divine Guru to certain chosen indi­viduals who were received into direct personal relationship with Himself.

The mission of the Lord Gautama Buddha had, in its turn, at least two basic objects. One was to present the dhamma to the world at large and the other to inspire individuals to enter the sangha and, presum­ably, become disciples of the Lord Buddha. Many of those so privileged developed remarkable occult powers or siddhis and some even attained to arhatship and beyond. The Buddha’s father King Suddhodana, and his wife, Yasodhara, accepted His presentation of the dhamma and ‘entered into the Peace’.

The Lord Jesus Christ taught the Ageless Wisdom in Palestine and, in addition, drew chosen people into the highly privileged rela­tionship with Himself as disciples, saying, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’. ‘I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you’, and ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world’. He permitted his disciple, St Thomas, to place his finger in the wounds caused by the crucifixion an intimate relationship, indeed. Further­more, on the occasion when He was asked by His disciples why He taught the people in parables, He replied: ‘Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables’. Theosophical literature describes the ideal of discipleship and the conditions for receiving a Master’s help in treading the pathway to Adeptship.

Even after the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, devotees have continually become aware of an intimate association with Him and dedicated their lives to the service of humanity in His name. Examples are St Francis of Assisi, St Clare, and Mother Teresa of modem days. Many of them bear testimony to direct visions of the Lord Himself.

In the course of my travels, I have come across at least four indi­cations that discipleship and initiation are still known in the modem world. One of these concerned a Central African ‘medicine man’ whom I met in Salisbury and who revealed his powers to me in various ways. For example, he referred to my first wife who was ill in far-away New Zealand, and he told me that he saw me performing Healing Ser­vices in which the colour red was prominent. Both of these references were completely accurate. I took the liberty of asking whether he had passed through a ceremony of initiation, and he replied that he had. He said that this had occurred deep in a jungle and that the pain he experi­enced in the course of it was rendered endurable by the chanting of fellow-initiates: endowment with occult powers and the ritual itself were performed by the ancestors of his tribe.

I was privileged to meet an American Indian initiate during a visit to Santa Fe. This man was at first very secretive, but later he told me that he had undergone training and taken tests in preparation for his spiritual office in the tribe.

In Hong Kong, a group of occultists, after attending one of my lectures on the Masters of the Wisdom, told me of their knowledge of the subject and of their association with the Chinese Adept Master of their religion. They kindly presented me with a beautiful portrait of this great Being who I judged to be the Manu Chakshusha of the Fourth Root Race.

There are descriptions in theosophical literature of the meetings between H.P. Blavatsky, Colonel H.S. Olcott and certain Adepts; in­deed, the former received part of her occult training in their Tibetan Ashram. I end with a quotation from an article written by her in 1888:

It is, however, right that each member, once he believes in the ex­istence of such Masters, should try to understand what their nature and powers are, to reverence Them in his heart, to draw near to Them, as much as in him lies, and to open up for himself conscious communica­tion with the guru to whose bidding he has devoted his life. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE BY RISING TO THE SPIRITUAL PLANE WHERE THE MAS­TERS ARE, AND NOT BY ATTEMPTING TO DRAW THEM DOWN TO OURS.

Whether or not the disciple is aware of his connection with the Master while awake in brain consciousness, he may be certain that his inner spiritual Self is fully conscious of its passage through successive phases of unfoldment and relationship with Him.

The Theosophist, Vol. 103, June 1982, p. 328

 

13
Attainment of Spiritual Awareness

The Importance of Study

Every aspirant to self-realization is advised to study, acknowl­edge, accept, and apply to both the inner and the outer life the teachings of the Rishis, those Sages who have already at­tained Adeptship. These teachings are of the utmost importance because they reveal fundamental principles and laws governing the processes of both normal development and deliberate self-illumination and evolutionary self-quickening. They provide the veri­table bedrock of knowledge upon which one may found one’s whole life. This includes one’s religion, spiritual aspirations, spir­itual exercises and the practical conduct of one’s day-by-day af­fairs. Aspirants are therefore very strongly advised to study the teachings of the RISHIS and carefully to avoid their neglect which can lead to error, frustration, and even despair.

No Short Cuts

Apart from a reasonably rapid repetition of attainments in a for­mer life, there are no actual short cuts to self-illumination. Matter itself and especially the atoms, and therefore cells, of the brain in the present convergence of five fourth[9] cycles and arcs of cycles constitute the great obstacle to swift attainment of the illumined state.

Only consistent and continuous faithful endeavour can over­come the obstacle of the inertia of the matter of the brain, reduce the RAJASIC (passionate) attributes of the desire body and univer­salize the normal AHAMKARA or egoistic individualism inherent in the formal mind. These obstacles need to be methodically over­come. They are personified by King Hansa, Ravana, Satan, Beelzebub, Herod, Judas and in the old Egyptian religion, by Set or Typhon, enemy of Osiris. Naturally, those who have achieved in former lives will be likely to find the process easier in this life. They may even for a time erroneously and very harmfully con­demn the Path concept and regular self-training and meditation as preliminaries to enlightenment.

‘Wanting to Attain’

The inner impulse and resolve to attain come from the Ego and intuitive memory of pursuit of the Quest in former lives. It is the fundamental necessity known as ‘wanting to attain’, meaning very great and increased interest in the subject. Emerson said, ‘Nothing great can be achieved without enthusiasm’, which may perhaps be defined as intense interest. The presence, moreover, of this inner aspiration and this resolve is a sure sign that the attain­ment is possible and in the present life. It has been stated as a basic principle that if one can consistently conceive of an attainment, it is within one’s power; otherwise the idea would not take hold of one’s mind. I offer that idea, less as an affirmation of truth and more as a thought to ponder. It may be more fully stated like this: ‘The fact that one experiences a resolve to attain in a particular di­rection, especially in one’s intellectual and spiritual life, is a sign that the attainment is within one’s reach IN THIS LIFE’.

Law Ruled

If, then, this has happened, if one has begun to ‘dream’ creatively of Discipleship, Initiation, Adeptship and NIRVANA as definite goals, then they are not beyond one’s more immediate reach. The first at­tainments are within one’s reach in this life. But as I have come firmly to believe, one must proceed according to the rules. This conviction has grown from seeing so many splendid dreamers, full of potentiality and promise, fall by the wayside, simply because they ignored, even scorned, the rules. This is a profound and hope shattering error, for in any natural procedure, whether at normal or a deliberately hastened pace, certain laws must be recognized. The Universe, human nature and human evolution, normal and has­tened, are law-ruled. We are encouraged to progress by the regu­lar, systematic subjection of mind, emotion and body, to certain restraints and by remembering constantly the great resolve we have made and maintaining the aspiration to fulfil it.

‘Get Within’

A story is told in India, of a farmer who possessed a young cow; at first this cow used to stray continually in order to graze on the pastures outside her stall, even on the pastures of neighbouring farmers. Her owner tempted her to stay in her stall by such offer­ings as fresh grass, but she still preferred to stray off to the pas­tures outside. Gradually, however, she began to eat a little in the stall, although her innate tendency to stray always remained, and asserted itself time and again. On being repeatedly tempted by the owner she gradually accustomed herself to the stall and finally, even if let loose, she strayed away no more. Similarly, the human mind, when as a result of the consistent attempts to direct it, seeks and finds its inner happiness and life, it will not thereafter wander outwards.

Another pleasant saying to be heard in India goes like this: ‘Oh, humming bee, while you take the pains of collecting tiny sips of honey from innumerable flowers, there is One from whom you can have the whole storehouse of honey by simply thinking or speaking of Him. Get within and hum to Him’.

True Yoga

Spiritualising influences brought to bear upon the Personality are mental in meditation and physical in the conduct of life. Both of these have the same purpose, which is to sensitise both body and brain to the presence and influences of the indwelling Spirit. This is Yoga in the full meaning of the word, as meditation and as life.

Meditation, as we well know, is based upon recognition that all man seeks of Spiritual power, wisdom, knowledge and happiness is within him. Indeed, nothing is more intimate than the ATMA, which must in consequence be sought and found; for without the Self as Knower, there is nothing, no awareness, even no existence. All, then, is dependent upon Selfness, upon Consciousness of Being, upon knowing, ‘I exist, I am’. This atmic Self is changeless, eter­nal, and in meditation one affirms with the purpose of full realiza­tion, ‘I am That, That am I’. As a statement of ultimate Truth, as an aid to equanimity of mind, and a method of attaining experience of pure Spirit, that affirmation is without compare. TAD BRAHMAN, TAD ASMI. SOHAM. A UM.

The great solution to the more perplexing problems in life, to mental and emotional stress, to pain and to physical doubts and dif­ficulties, is, I am sure, to withdraw mentally from them and the ve­hicles in which they exist, and to affirm the indwelling ATMA, then that the ATMA and the PARAMATMA are One, and then ‘I am That, That am I’. From this great seed idea, there emanates Peace, an amazing relaxation of stresses and a return to happiness and har­monious equipoise. If one is distressed, worried, tempted, suffer­ing or sorrowful from vain regrets, three things may usefully be affirmed in strength:

First, ‘Be still and know that I am God’.

Second, ‘Man’s Spirit and God’s Spirit are One Spirit’.

Third, ‘I am That, That am I’.

This practice can become a veritable panacea and certain source of readjustment of one’s ideas close to basic truth. It may even aid one to recover from the approach of death.

Stillness

One rather strange seeming procedure in the search for the Self consists of the establishment within of non-activity. This ces­sation of action concerns primarily the mind which is to be si­lenced. The Yogi says with the Psalmist, ‘Be still and know that I am God’.

Although the condition rather descends upon one than being self-induced, one might almost refer to the procedure as the Silence Method, meaning the attainment of, or entering into, the tranquil mind.

The body itself is relaxed and made very still, motionless. The breathing is slowed down until it becomes unnoticeable. Thought is directed to ‘the Eternal Man’, the Monad, for a time, and this ac­tion is followed by mental inaction, permitting the mind to fall si­lent in poised stillness. This is sometimes called ‘mental fasting’. Many remarkable experiences can follow upon mental fasting. One of them consists of a sense of nothingness, total elimination of selfness. Paradoxically, such ‘silence’ is to another portion of one’s consciousness as an ‘eternal eloquence’, quite beyond men­tal effort. Ignorance then vanishes.

Now this experience is not in the category of knowledge, though knowledge may ensue; for those who have discovered great truths have generally done so in the still depths of the Dweller in the Innermost, the deepest Self, the ATMA, which is as­sociated with pure reality. When thought is thus still, pure con­sciousness remains over, as it were. This approach to reality might perhaps be regarded as a philosophy of stillness.

Some of these ideas and such phrases are gratefully drawn from the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi of Tiruvannammalai, which is the ancient township at the foot of the mountain known as Arunachala, which means ‘Vision of Light’, in South India. There is a tradition in Southern India that the Maharishi was a disciple of the Rishi Agastya, though he himself never stated it, nor did he give himself the title, Maharishi, Great Rishi. He did not agree even to the building of the large Ashram, preferring to remain in the cave in which they found him, plunged in abstracted thought. He it is who taught that ‘mental fasting is followed by momentary nothingness, an elimination of self in a silence, which is an eternal eloquence, quite beyond mental effort. Ignorance then vanishes, and the residue (truth or reality) reveals itself’.

The active or vibrating mind is regarded as impure and the passive or still mind alone as pure. To the stilled mind a self decla­ration of Spirit occurs. This occurs because realization is already there. Any effort found to be necessary is but preliminary and only leads up to it. Effort which may be necessary at first can only take one so far. Then ‘the beyond takes over’—graphic phrase—and will take care of itself.

Unity of Consciousness

Such are the stages in meditation leading from affirmation through to full realization into absorption in the beyond; for this there are no words; so it is said, that the beyond will take care of it­self. One is helpless there, no effort being able to reach ultimate re­ality which comes to you when you are still. Non-physical, non-mental, non-spatial experiences, which are interior and inde­pendent of time, are then entered into. The duality of seer and things seen merges into unity of consciousness. Life then acts through one as a prepared vehicle. A sunburst seems to occur within the stilled mind.

I remember the story I read in the paper some time ago, telling of a little boy of about six who lived in a home where he was deeply loved, cared for, protected and happy. He used to hear peo­ple talking about being afraid and mention the word ‘fear’. He would sometimes say to his parents, ‘What is this being afraid, what is fear?’ Their answers did not help him. He was so perfectly safe and secure in his young life that the concept of the opposite negatives, fear and being afraid, never came near him. For him these were two meaningless words, afraid and fear. Then, one day, he was playing with his ball, and as so often happens with chil­dren, it went over the garden wall and on into the road. Without thinking or looking carefully, he dashed over to get the ball. On came a large truck, and he was right in its path. He looked up; he saw this enormous vehicle coming and realized his danger. Of course, the driver did all he could, and the startled boy leapt back into safety. Fortunately the truck just missed him. Recovering and breathless, he then exclaimed, ‘Ah now I know what fear is and what it is to be afraid’. No substitute exists for direct experience. The story is a useful exposition both of the value of direct experi­ence and of the fact that there is no substitute for it.

The Song of Life

The Adept author of Light On The Path wrote: ‘Listen to the song of Life ...look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look deeper again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced—but it is there. At the very base of your nature you will find faith, hope and love. He that chooses evil refuses to look within himself, shuts his ears to the melody of his heart, as he blinds his eyes to the light of his soul. He does this because he finds it easier to live in desires. But underneath all life is the strong current that cannot be checked; the great waters are there in reality. Find them, and you will perceive that none, not the most wretched of creatures, but is a part of it, however he blind himself is the fact and build up for him­self a phantasmal outer form of horror. In that sense it is that I say to you—All those beings among whom you struggle on are frag­ments of the divine. And so deceptive is the illusion in which you live, that it is hard to guess where you will first detect the sweet voice in the hearts of others’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 39, No. 1, 1978, p. 10

14
Attributes of Spiritual Awareness

In The Voice of the Silence we read these words:—‘Avert thy face from world deceptions; mistrust thy senses, they are false. But within thy body—the shrine of thy sensations—seek in the Imper­sonal for the “eternal man”; and having sought him out, look inward: thou art Buddha’. This is guidance which I propose to try to discuss, and—more especially—some of the states of consciousness natural to a reasonably developed spiritual soul or Ego in the Causal Body. I am going to offer descriptions of pure causal consciousness, the life of the Ego in its own world amongst its peers.

At once, as all who have attempted this admit, we are confronted with an almost impassable barrier, for spiritual experience is incom­municable and indescribable. Thought and words inevitably falsify spiritual experience, which transcends the thinking process, and what­ever anyone tries to describe is overlaid with words. Reality cannot ad­equately be described, though it may be apprehended and known, but the conceptualizing intellect does not reach reality and the human spirit can become imprisoned in the labyrinth of the intellect. This is a big part of the trouble of humanity today and one of the reasons I be­lieve why so many fail in the attempt to reach reality—truth—for themselves, because they are doing it with the mind as the instrument and that is the wrong tool. It will always fail because spiritual aware­ness is supra-mental, beyond the mind. Contemplation leads one be­yond the intellect, deep into the one real world which was always there, and is there now in its undivided wholeness.

Causal consciousness then is not a condition to be reached by rea­soning, it often defies all intellectual determination. Those who have experienced it are frequently at a loss to explain it coherently and logi­cally. When, it is explained its content more or less undergoes mutila­tion, for spiritual awareness is characterized by incommunicability. Fortunately, man continually attempts this impossible task and in liter­ature, particularly the poetry and the scriptural writings of ancient and modem peoples in their more inspired passages, are attempts to put into thought and words that which is beyond—the real shining self and its condition of awareness. Some people think that of all the possi­ble channels or modes of description great music comes nearest. Pure, impersonal, non-possessive love, and even human love at its highest and best, might, I think, also be regarded as a manifestation down here through the heart, rather than the mind, of that which is supra-mental.

Centre of Light

I say this at the beginning to prepare us all for the fact that the con­dition of the Ego in its own world is very difficult to describe. How­ever, let us think of it together, and remember I shall be speaking not of something distant but something here, not of other people but of our­selves, and strange though some of the ideas may seem, you may be able to say, ‘yes, I know that’. For example, nearly all the mystics agree that one of the experiences is that of light. Doubtless many of you who have had moments of real exaltation in consciousness will know that experience of finding yourself to be a centre of light in an in­finite ocean of light. That is one of the experiences of Egoic conscious­ness—the true light, I suppose, that never was on sea or land; the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. It is not a light which depends upon reflection for its perception but, in some mysteri­ous way, it is as if the whole universe were simply light.

Strangely, with this, is generally associated a state of enlighten­ment, such as comes with the sudden solution of a problem hitherto in­soluble. Enlightenment is entered into, or what is described as a moment of truth. It is not anything that you want to put down in thought and words as a group or set of ideas in sequence and logic, but simply a moment of pure realization.

It is rather like picking a hidden lock as a result of which a flood of new experiences gushes forth from the opening, or, to use another analogy, it is rather like a clock striking the hour. When the appointed time comes the whole percussion of sound is released, the fulfilment of the hour as it were. The mind seems to have some of this mechanism and when a certain moment is reached a hitherto closed screen is lifted, and then an entirely new vista opens up and the tone of one’s whole life and processes of consciousness are thereafter completely changed. A new and deeply interior discovery has been made and from this level come those sudden flashes of intuition like bolts from the blue. They are draw from that aspect of Egoic consciousness which contains the archetypal ideas, which shine in light and colour in the causal world, and at times these radiate their reflections into the mortal mind. Then, as we say, ‘we know in our bones’.

Thus true spiritual awareness implies the elevation of one’s spiri­tual powers to their highest degree and, as I have said, all the great ut­terances have come from this elevation. They are overflowing from a soul filled with deep experience, and they flow forth in sublime litera­ture, in scriptural writings and in great expressions in terms of prov­erbs, beautiful poems, essential verities. Those who achieve this are the immortals, because they have been touched by the fire and power and light of their own immortal soul.

Immeasurable Power

Another experience of causal consciousness is of finding oneself a centre of immeasurable power, which seems to be blazing up as if you poured boiling oil on to a blazing fire. Yet strangely it is quiet and still, and the tremendous force is quite gentle in its nature. You see I am getting caught up in words and contradictions, but I cannot help it. How can power immeasurable be gentle? But it is—the greatest power that man can ever attain to is expressed in gentleness. I think it was Lao Tzu who said: ‘When heaven wishes to preserve a man it en­folds him in gentleness’.

The mob at the crucifixion of the Christ, taken literally for a mo­ment, spoke more truly than they knew when in mockery they gave Him the sceptre of the supposed power which He, as a self-proclaimed king said He possessed, and that sceptre was a reed. To their eyes it was a mockery, but in reality it is a perfect symbol of the true nature of spir­itual power. It can be immensely potent when its potency is required but, in general, the more powerful it is the more gentle is its expression.

Another Egoic experience is of wonderful freedom from every re­striction that we know here in the mortal flesh. All fear, for example, is gone. I sometimes think of it as a balloon roped to the ground before takeoff, then the ropes are cut and away it goes free into the air. To use another analogy, you can imagine a bee or other insect caught against the glass in your car, which cannot get out because it thinks the trans­parent wind screen is the way out. Eventually you, shepherd it out of the side window, and away it goes. Or there may be a butterfly or moth in your room struggling perhaps for hours to get out, then you open a window and it finds its way into the infinite regions of the air. It must be a wonderful experience, and something like that occurs every time one escapes from the bondage of the flesh and the mind and finds one­self utterly and completely free.

Heavily Imprisoned

With this experience there is no mechanism to operate, no instru­ment of consciousness to work. I, for example, am heavily imprisoned and very well aware of it at the moment. I have to try and describe cer­tain states, but 1 have to bring them down into concepts in the mind and then seek the proper words and grammatical expression, then get it into the brain and work the vocal organs so that this heavy body down here will say something faintly resembling the shining wondrous truth. All life down here is an imprisonment because we are beating against these bars—mind, brain and body—valuably, because that is how we grow. But there can come a realization which is instantly and fully ex­pressed without any conscious effort or action. It simply is, and it has always been there all the time—this is IT. It is not so much a moment, but is rather an eternity of truth.

There is also a complete confidence in life itself, an utter and ab­solute trust that the principle of being which we call life has us by the hands, metaphorically, and we are utterly safe. Or, as we say, the ‘ever­lasting arms’ are always there and there is nothing whatever that can touch us or can hurt us. Nor can death approach us; the very thought of death is unable to penetrate these high frequencies where the soul of man is immortal and eternal, particularly the atmic self.

Wonderful Freedom

So there is a wonderful freedom. No choices are necessary, no planning can possibly occur, because all is there all the time, and there is only a kind of spontaneous motive-free existence for the Ego of each one of us. It is rather as when a difficult mathematical problem is solved, or when a great discovery is made, or when a sudden means of escape is realized in the midst of the most desperate complications, and one exclaims ‘eureka’. Individuality becomes loose somehow from the tightening grip of selfishness and Individuality melts away into some­thing quite indescribable. The feeling (wrong word) which follows is that of a complete release, utter freedom from all effort, all strain, and that is how the Ego lives all the time.

Examined mentally—we are coming down a bit now—the free­dom of causal consciousness is found to be due to the fact that it is the result of the breaking up of the restrictions imposed upon one as an in­dividual being. The sense of ‘I’-ness was attained by evolution from the group soul by the process of individualization, a great miracle of nature; but later on this must gradually be surrendered to a kind of spir­itual intuitiveness of group consciousness or unity again. It is the breaking up of the restriction imposed upon one as an individual being which lets causal consciousness in. This breaking up is not a mere negative incident but quite a positive one fraught with significance, be­cause it means an infinite expansion of the individual. In causal con­sciousness you cannot think of an edge or a limit; the whole universe, as it were, is in you and you are that. To be released from this personal sense of enclosed self-separate existence makes one feel above all things intensely exalted. It is like being always at the apex of the trian­gle where the original inseparability and unity ever exists, instead of being down at the two angles at the base.

Complete Serenity

To move on to other categories of spiritual consciousness, the Ego abides in complete serenity based on unarguable certainty, upon absolute self-assurance which is at the same time selfless. Even in the fire of inspiration, and all the exaltation of freedom, there is an interior quiet, a mystical serenity which is very good to enter, to induce down into your soul, so that something of that unarguable certainty and com­plete self-assurance pervades you and all your attitudes and your con­tacts, and your outlook on life is serene. It does not have to be created; it only has to be let through.

Then again, the time sense is changed as you ascend through the physical and the Astral and the mental levels of consciousness and break through along the antahkarana into the causal world and be­yond. Time is left behind, replaced by what is called duration, that is time without limits. It is all going on always, without the divisions of past, present and future. It is all always here. Past lives to the Ego are not past lives at all, they are continuing experiences, because for the Ego there has never been a break in consciousness. That is in marked contrast to bodily life, which is characterized by continual blanks, in which one disappears and the universe disappears. But in causal con­sciousness there is a time continuum, unbroken. For the Ego there is only now, only one moment—this one. Somebody has called it the ab­solute moment or sacramental moment which includes all.

Space limitations vanish also, for there is no geography at the causal level. Everywhere is here, now. From the beginning there has been no such thing as movement, distance, no measurement. Someone has described it as the adjacency of everything everywhere. All is here, all is now, all is one, arid all beings are one being; the Ego knows that and that comes through in certain experiences. It touched us when we applied to join the T.S. [Theosophical Society], signed under the First Object which says, all are one. I shall quote the almost hackneyed phrase of John Donne: ‘Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee’.

Fully Experienced Unity

This absolute oneness of things is realized in spiritual awareness. It is an attribute of causal consciousness which is completely selfless. There is no ‘I’ and ‘mine’ as something separate from ‘yours’ and ‘you’.

There prevails an unrationalized but fully experienced unity in which the idea of separateness cannot arise. It is very valuable to get that down here, because so much of our suffering comes from the ac­centuated state of selfishness. The more we can get away from it and universalize our consciousness, the less are we vulnerable to the hurts and pains of life. There is a little story of two ladies who were talking and one said to the other, ‘Have you ever been snubbed?’ The other re­plied, ‘Yes, often, but it never mattered because I was never there! ’

This spiritual experience was called by St Paul ‘The revelation of exceeding greatness’. It is the vision of the eternal wheels of Ezekiel and Dante, ‘The knowledge that passes all the argument of the earth’, according to Whitman. Carpenter described it as ‘The inner illumina­tion by which we can ultimately see things as they are, beholding all creation, the animals, the angels, the plants, the figures of our friends, and all the ranks and races of human kind in their true being and order’.

So the illuminati bear testimony to the experience of the subjec­tive light, illumination. Naturally, then, there is a moral elevation. Per­sons touched by the spirit are morally exalted, especially if the divine nectar of spiritual awareness is drunk again and again, in regular con­templative self-exaltation. There is also the intellectual illumination, absolute comprehension. There is the sense of immortality, and the loss of the fear of death. No negatives can enter the causal conscious­ness, the frequencies are too high and death and fear of death are nega­tives. The Ego itself is relatively immortal compared with the physical body, and the innermost spirit of man, the dweller in the innermost, is imperishable, eternal and immortal. The pain of bereavement, still felt in the heart, is eased, because it is known that the loved one still lives and has not gone anywhere, because there is nowhere to go. All are one in a unity of spiritual essence.

There is also in causal consciousness a loss of the sense of sin, it is as if the soul is washed clean and the gnawing pangs of remorse for er­rors and mistakes vanish. For sin is a negative and cannot enter the bliss and the undisturbable serenity of the inner self of man.

Illumined Individual

Then it is found that spiritual illumination brings an added charm to the personality, and the people can be strongly attracted to the illu­mined individual. Even a transfiguration of a subject’s appearance can be noticeable to others when the cosmic sense is active, he is beautified beyond description. One thinks of Moses descending from Mount Si­nai where he had been enveloped in the glory of the Lord, and when he came down he wist not his face that did shine. ‘I’-ness is reduced to a minimum. There is a sense of inward divine grace as if touched by

Some illuminati say that suddenly, without warning, they have the sense of being immersed in a flame or a rose-coloured cloud, or a sense of the mind itself being filled with a cloud of glory. They become at the same instant bathed in the emotion of joy, assurance, triumph, salvation.

We so seldom know anything down here, you and I, of the life that we are living in our real selves, but in our diviner moments—taking up some great cause, serving where service is needed, pouring out love, whether reciprocated or not, giving the hand of friendship, the touch of inspiration in work—these experiences, even if we do not recognize them, often come from our inner selves. It is the touch of the living God, which we really are, upon the dull instruments of brain and mind.

The purpose of yoga is to help us to gain this experience so that by withdrawing our consciousness we can be there in the kingdom of heaven, in the realm of light and bliss and serenity. Then it is useful to bring that centre of self-consciousness into the mind deliberately, into the emotions and into the body, bringing the full fruits of the expansion down to be used in the daily life. If we will practice this regularly, day by day, something will begin to draw us into that state which is such a happy and uplifted one, and, if we keep on, not only will we enter into our own inner serenity and peace, but we will gradually be able to lift others—perhaps those in stress and trial, and sorrow, and bereave­ment, and sickness—out of their limited earthly life, if only for a time, into that condition of being, that inner sanctuary of the soul, where God is enshrined, where He may be known and heard and felt and whence His light may shine through us for the enlightenment of our fellowmen.

(Unrevised notes of an address to the Blavatsky Lodge,

Sydney, September, 1961)

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 5 October 1962, p. 3

15
When the Pupil is Ready, The Master Appears

Whenever a worthy neophyte’s aspiring thoughts are turned in search of those aspects of the eternal wisdom which he can assimilate, and of that Temple of the Mysteries where that wisdom is to be found, he is never refused admission to the Sanctuary, for this is a law both of life itself and of the Mysteries, under which law no one ever selflessly cries for light in vain. The sincere search for truth, understanding and knowledge, sought for their own sake and solely with altruistic motives, must always be assisted by the Guardians of those treasures and granted in the full­est measures to the neophyte according to his karma and interior development.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 39, No. 4, 1979, p. 78

16
One Word for All Aspirants—Try

Stairway to Discipleship

Following our Keynote for 1979: ‘One word for all aspirants: Try’, from the revered Master Kuthumi, I offer thoughts upon the Path­way to Discipleship which is in actuality a stairway. The disciple to be mounts this stairway step by step and ultimately arrives at the ‘door’ of the Master’s ‘house’ and ‘home’ and His Presence therein—a wonderful experience; for the Master’s consciousness includes a state of uttermost selflessness, resultant happiness mounting on occasion to bliss and the ability to solve all problems ‘intellectually’ as it were and to know all truth from the most mun­dane—the atom—to the most sublime—the Supreme Source of all, the Godhead without and within him (one Being).

The disciple, of course, enters this Presence very gradually and guardedly with the Master watching as each ‘stair’ is mounted—sometimes joyously and with relative ease, sometimes with re­strictions but always with high endeavour.

Each mounting and each successive ‘step’ brings its own interior award, reward—chiefly in terms of participating in the Master’s state of consciousness. This includes reductions—step by step—of the il­lusion of separateness and entry into the experience of the truth of unity.

 

Eventually, as Adeptship is approached and reached, the to­tality of one single life in every separate form is fully known. Thus, Jesus is made to say ‘I and my Father are one’.

This wondrous path, this ‘stairway’ is ever present and al­ways available to the individual who instinctively believes in its existence and unyieldingly resolves to find and ascend it to the ‘heights’—namely, realized unbreakable oneness with all else that exists and so of course with all sentient creatures and beings.

On the summit, mystically though very effectively, stands a ‘Caller’ or an embodied ‘Power’, an incarnate ‘Truth revealer’ who calls perpetually to all human beings but is heard in this ep­och by only the few.

The message includes the ‘Call’—‘Mount these stairs, for on the summit which is attainable by you, exists indestructible peace of heart and mind, a serenity that nothing on earth below can ever destroy’.

‘Climb, then, for the banisters exist to which you may turn when­ever aid is needed, especially a sense of the danger of falling into the depths below or lack of the strength needed to reach the heights’.

Since the ‘Caller’ is ever there and ever ‘calling’, no one at­tempts the great ascent in loneliness, the required help being ever available.

One warning is included in the ‘Call’. It tells of one danger from which the whole undertaking may fail, if only temporarily. This danger is in one word—selfishness—meaning, a personal desire to bene­fit in some aspect of human life from occult and spiritual success.

‘Therefore’, says the ‘Call’, ‘even at the very first step, before it is taken, in fact, eliminate wholly and completely every trace of desire for personal gain of any kind; for this is the tragic mistake the “Judas Iscariot” error—the betrayal by a kiss, a pretence of devotion, for personal gain which can lead to occult or even physical suicide, as in his case’.

‘Fill your whole being’, the warning continues—‘every atom of your heart and your mind with ONE IDEA, ONE IDEAL: THE

WELFARE OF ALL THAT EXISTS and, of course, especially of all that can and that does ever suffer.

‘THIS IS THE GREAT SAFEGUARD, the one salvation by means of which alone the great interior ascent may successfully be made—COMPLETE SELFLESSNESS’.

This, of course, leads to the holding out of a helping hand to others in whom may also be born the yearning for the heights.

This is the surest ‘banister’ of all, the unbreakable and im­movable support, holding on to which success in the great inborn endeavour is assured.

In the words spoken to His disciples by the great Teacher of the New Testament: ‘Become Fishers of men’, meaning seek, find and help others similarly inspired.

Such, in part, are thoughts associated with our ideal for 1979: ‘One word for all aspirants—TRY! ’

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 40, No. 2, 1979, p. 33

17
Failure and Success

When the soul looks back at its own defects, it sees that they are numerous, far out-numbering the victories. Year after year it seems to have been beaten, to have weakly given way. At the time each defeat seems final. Despair of victory becomes a constant bitter draught. True, the soul struggles on after each defeat, but victo­ries seem few and fleeting, whilst failures are continuous.

If, however, one looks back later in life, when perhaps there may have been certain victories, one sees less the defeats and acts of surrender, than the struggle which preceded each of them. Then it is perceived that every effort, every attempt at self-mastery, even though temporarily unsuccessful was actually developing power: No defeat is all failure. Struggles which are apparently ineffective are never entirely futile. Their effect is cumulative. Every moment of effort brings an accession of strength until at last strength matches weakness, becomes sufficient for all demands.

Thus there is a law of conservation of energy in the moral as well as the physical world. No genuine effort is ever wasted, and as long as an effort is made, no defeat is a complete failure.

All failures come from within, as do all successes. No external power is either to be blamed for the one or praised for the other. The seeds of both are present in the aspirant from the beginning: which shall sprout and grow the stronger depends upon the individual, especially his mode of thought and life.

Occultism infallibly shows a person up. Everything good or bad in him comes out. That is the value of it to the strong, the danger of it to the weak. Occultism is a force which can either bum up dross and reveal fine gold, or light up passion, inflame desire, accentuate pride.

The same agency is capable of either effect. All who approach this devouring flame should beware; for it both exalts and consumes. The pure of heart have nought to fear. The prideful and the passionate are in danger from the taking of the first step. ‘Be on guard’ is blazoned over the doorway leading to the Outer Court. ‘Watch closely’ is writ­ten on the walls within. ‘Know Thyself appears above the door lead­ing to the Sanctuary.

It is not the Hierophants Who are responsible for the dangers, the tests and the falls. It is Nature Herself—especially Nature manifest as man. The Hierophants have neither the right nor the power to deny any individual entrance to any door that he can find open and pass through. They may warn, guide, inspire, but They may not use force. The ardent soul that presses on takes his own life in his own hands.

The Hierophants but watch, knowing that both victory and en­lightenment and defeat and failure occur.

They also know that these are experienced within the auric enve­lope of the candidate for Adeptship.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1942, p. 66

18
The Pathway of Light

One of the greatest sources of inspiration for mankind must surely be the ideal of the Pathway of hastened attainment or quickened evolutionary progress. The aspiration to tread this Path is entirely an interior experience brought about when the phase of development is entered at which both the Path may be found and trodden and guidance along that Path be received from a Master of the Wisdom. Upon this Pathway, the possibility exists of the attainment of Discipleship of one of the Masters, and in due course, acceptance as an Initiated member of the Great Brotherhood of Adepts.

Broadcasting in America

A wealth of spiritual, philosophic and scientifically occult in­formation and guidance on treading the Path exists in the form of books and letters, some of these being written or inspired by Mas­ters of the Wisdom, they themselves having retained physical bod­ies. Such truly great works include: The Mahatma Letters', The Voice of the Silence—H. P. Blavatsky; Light on the Path and The Idyll of the White Lotus—M. Collins; The Bhagavad Gita -trans­lated by A. Besant; In the Outer Court and Our Elder Brethren—A. Besant; The Buddhist Catechism—H. S. Olcott; The Masters and the Path—C. W. Leadbeater; The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom—Shri Shankaracharaya; In His Name—C. Jinarajadasa; At the Feet of the Master—J. Krishnamurti.

These books are also regarded as priceless contributions to the welfare and progress of all humanity. I venture to say, therefore, that the elimination or reduction of references to the existence of the Path of Discipleship and the possibility of its being trodden would be a very great deprivation both to members of the Society and to readers of theosophical literature. This is especially true in these days when spiri­tual guidance and moral upliftment are so urgently needed.

A great Master has written: ‘Nature has linked all parts of her Em­pire together by subtle threads of magnetic sympathy, and, there is a mutual correlation even between a star and a man; thought runs swifter than the electric fluid, and your thought will find me if projected by a pure impulse, as mine will find, has found, and often impressed your mind. We may move in cycles of activity divided — not entirely sepa­rated from each other. Like the light in the sombre valley seen by the mountaineer from his peaks, every bright thought in your mind, my Brother, will sparkle and attract the attention of your distant friend and correspondent. If thus we discover our natural Allies in the Shadow-World—your world and ours outside the precincts—and it is our law to approach every such an one if even there be but the fee­blest glimmer of the true “Tathagata” light within him—then how far easier for you to attract us’.[10]

To fail to keep within the teachings of Theosophy the great ideal of Discipleship of an Adept Teacher would, I am personally assured, be to take the Heart and the Soul out of the Ancient Wisdom; for the Path concept constitutes the hidden Life and Light of Theosophia.

How the Masters May Become Realities for the Student of Theosophy

1.    Dwell in thought upon all available material concerning the revered Masters.

2.    Carefully note a special interest in One or more of Them arising in your mind and heart as you do so.

3.     If so moved, become absorbed in Their purpose: ‘To Popu­larise a Knowledge of Theosophy’.

4.      Perceive increasingly the tremendous importance, both to humanity as a whole and to every single individual, of this Their purpose.

5.     Form and follow the habit of dwelling upon these great Pres­ences, granting Them ever increasing time and place in your own thought and your unfolding motives for living, thus becoming increas­ingly absorbed in the concept of the existence of the Great Brother­hood and, when natural, of an individual Master.

6.     Do not always regard a Master as being restrictively located or using physical consciousness. Rather remember, and often repeat, the following beautiful words of H. P. Blavatsky: ‘He standeth now like a white pillar to the West upon whose face the rising sun of thought eter­nal casts its first most glorious beams. His mind like a becalmed and boundless ocean stretcheth out in shoreless space. He holdeth life and death in His strong hands’.[11]

7.     Allow these ideas increasingly to absorb your interest in life, and in your most effective and practical work to be done for Human­ity’s sake. Form the habit of healing and helping groups and individu­als, if only mentally and privately, invoking and visualising the Masters’ Names and aid.

8.     Very privately and humbly offer yourself as a channel for the Masters’ benedictions to the world and, when so moved, mentally re­peat His Name or Their Names.

9.     Permit and even enforce all the above to become increasingly the very meaning, purpose and motive for your existence, your present incarnation, and your work, dedicating yourself without the very slightest thought of personal gain.

10.    Regularly and wisely practice the Science of Yoga.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 44, No. 2, 1938, p. 42

19
The Pathway to Sorrow-Less-Ness

The Theosophical Society may perhaps be described as an aid provided by the Masters, using which man may travel more easily, and more safely, and more swiftly than is normal, to the evolutionary stature of Adeptship. Hastened progress is very important both to the individual and the race, because it lifts them both out of sorrow, thereby reducing the extent of the pain in the world. Indeed the whole Race of men on earth—and indeed on other planets on the Round and Chain—is thereby lifted onwards towards sorrowlessness. The compassionate heart, whether of man or Superman, is ideally ever preoccupied with this one urgent ne­cessity—the reduction and ultimate removal of sorrow and suf­fering from the world. All the efforts of all the Adepts may be said to have this as their main objective. In other words, to bring all men to Nirvana is the paramount objective, as far as the human race is concerned, of the Great Brotherhood of Initiates and Adepts.

This supreme purpose is nowhere more clearly revealed than in the life and teachings of both the Lord Buddha and the Lord Christ. Their compassion for all creatures was immeasurable. None were excluded from their perfect love, none overlooked, none forgotten, none ignored. All beings, from the smallest insect to the most sensitive man, were included in Their consciousness and became the subjects of Their meditation and ministration.

Compassion for all that lives expressed in thought, motive, word and deed—this is the age-old message of the Teachers of the Race to a world seeking health, happiness, serenity and peace.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 38, No. 4, 1977, p. 87

20
The Ideal of Selflessness

Christians are familiar with the story of King Herod of Judea who carried out the terrible crime known as the Massacre of the Inno­cents. The account is given in the second chapter of St Matthew:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him....

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

We are reminded of a not dissimilar ‘fall’ or ‘descent’ by Judas Is­cariot. Judas Iscariot had been chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ as one of his disciples and must therefore have been regarded as a trustworthy devotee. Unfortunately, however, Judas fell under the temptation of fi­nancial gain, and betrayed his Master for thirty pieces of silver. This he carried out in the Garden of Gethsemane, St Matthew records the event as follows:

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him....

And while [Jesus] yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying.

Whomsover I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master; and kissed him.

And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

Thus, not only did the trusted disciple betray his Master for per­sonal gain but he did so by means of a pretence of devotion (this is a warning to all aspirants to discipleship and advancement in the inner life that from the time of taking the first step forward—even before it is taken, in fact—every trace of selfish desire must be wholly elimi­nated from their character).

If this defect exists the aspirant’s progress will always be threat­ened by the danger of attempting to use whatever occult or spiritual powers may have been developed for personal benefit. In order, there­fore, to be saved from occult suicide, it is necessary to fill one’s heart and mind with a paramount ideal—the welfare of all that lives and es­pecially of all that suffers. This is the great safeguard against the Judas Iscariot tragedy; it is the one means by which the spiritual ascent may successfully be made, namely, total and unwavering selflessness.

One is reminded of a somewhat similar but less destructive action of King Kamsa, the uncle of the Lord Sri Krishna. In the Hindu scrip­ture we read:

Kamsa was driving his chariot when a voice from the sky addressed him and said: “O fool, the eighth child born from the womb of the girl you are now conducting will be your slayer”. Kamsa was extremely wicked and sinful, ruthless and impudent, nay, a veritable disgrace to the family of the Bhojas. As soon as he heard the voice he seized, sword in hand, his cousin by her braid with a view to killing her on the spot.

Fearful that a child of Devaki would rob him of his throne, and even his life, Kamsa placed her and her husband Vasudeva in prison and ordered that every child that was born of them was to be immediately destroyed. His evil plot was not fulfilled, however, when the Lord Sri Krishna was born, for the bars of the prison were magically unfastened and the guards put to sleep. Thereupon Vasudeva, the father, took the new-born child across the river into the forest where his foster-mother was also being delivered of a baby. He persuaded her to make an exchange, so that Sri Krishna was thereby saved from attack by the soldiers of Kamsa.

When the spiritual life is entered upon and the aspirant presses forward towards the highest ideal, then it is that great trials appear to menace his progress.

During his ministry, the Lord Gautama Buddha gathered around himself a number of chosen and so, presumably, faithful disciples. It is recorded in the Buddhist scriptures that all of these were indeed trust­worthy save one, his own brother Devadatta who ardently desired the leadership of the Order and plotted against the Buddha.

In the midst of the discourse [by the Lord Buddha], Devadatta rose from his seat and, arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, stretched out his joined palms to the Master, saying:

“Master, you have now grown aged and stricken in years.

You have accomplished a long journey and the span of your life has nearly run. It is time that you dwelt at ease in enjoyment of that happiness which is reached even in this world. Let the Exalted One give up the direction of the Order to me. I will be its leader”. Devadatta was an accomplished speaker with a clear enunciation, and the beauty of his voice captivated people. But even so, a murmur of dissent ran through those that heard him. The Master looked upon him with great sorrow and said quietly: “You have said enough, Devadatta. Desire not to be the leader of the Order..."

This was the first attempt that Devadatta made to overthrow the Master . . .

Then Devadatta knew that if the Master was to be killed he alone would have to do the deed. With this object in view he climbed a crack on Vultures’ Peak and stood on the edge of it. And when the Master paced to and fro in meditation along the path beneath, Devadatta hurled down a mighty rock. But it struck a projecting piece of the mountain-side and only a small splinter of it hit the Master ’ s foot, mak­ing it bleed. The Master looked up sadly, saying: ‘Oh foolish one, Great is the demerit you are bringing upon yourself.'

Devadatta, having failed in this second attempt to supplant the Master, now went to the keepers of the fierce elephant, Nalagiri, a man-slayer, and said: ‘As you know, I am the King’s confidential ad­viser and also I can arrange increase in food rations and in pay for men who do my bidding’.

‘Yes, Venerable Sir’, they replied, knowing what he said was true. ‘Whatever are your orders, they shall be carried out by us’.

Devadatta continued: ‘When the sage, Gautama, passes down this road, let loose the elephant Nalagiri’.

As the people were speaking, the Master was putting forth his power of friendship and suffusing Nalagiri with loving heart.

Before he reached the Master, the elephant put down his trunk and went quietly up.

The Master stroked his forehead and spoke to him. Then Nalagiri took the dust from the feet of the Blessed One and went back to the ele­phant stables, turning round from time to time to look at the Master, and to those who saw, it seemed that the elephant’s eyes were filled with the same love as the Master’s. From that time, Nalagiri was tame and docile, and people said: ‘Elephants can be tamed with sticks and goads, but the great elephant among men tamed Nalagiri without any of these things’.

From Footprints of Gautama the Buddha by M. B. Byles The Theosophist, Vol. 103, April 1982, p. 262

21
The Virtue of Humaneness

Since kindness is of such supreme importance to the health and happiness of man, it merits close examination. There are, I submit, at least four basic reasons for humaneness:

1.     By kindness alone can man ratify the fact of the unity of Life. The One Life has been described as a conscious, hyper-sensitive, electric, creative energy. All effects, pleasurable or painful, pro­duced upon one living creature are communicated by this electric, ‘telegraphic’ Life-force, elan vital, throughout the whole of mani­fested life. Cruelty to sentient Life in one form is cruelty to all, for Life is one. Injury even to a single being can have far reaching ef­fects, harm to one causing harm to all. The same is true of humaneness.

2.     Universal love is the highest possible ratification in conduct of the fact of unity. One must be humane for love’s sake. All else is hate, darkness, disobedience, cosmic lawlessness.

3.    The health and the happiness of all sentient beings depend upon their mutual, humane relationship. We are all dependent upon one an­other for our well-being, progress, fulfilment. Especially are all an­imals dependent upon man, being helpless before him.

4.    Under the law of compensation, or cause and effect, man reaps as he sows. Cruelty inevitably brings suffering, kindness brings happiness.

There can be no evasion, no permanent, scientific self-protec­tion from the results of the breaking of the laws of unity, harmony and love. There are no law-raid shelters. The whole vast product of the modern world’s pharmacopoeia and medical practice cannot avail to protect mankind from the results of breaking the law of Life, the very law of being, which is love. The prevalent ill-health of modern man demonstrates this principle of immutable and inevitable law conclusively.

Fortunately, the crusade for kindness is growing in volume and power. It is a glorious crusade, for it has two objectives: to banish cru­elty from the world and to lead mankind along the way of health and happiness.

I repeat that, in addition to the wise conduct of life, humaneness, which is obedience to the law of love in thought, feeling, word and deed, is the only way to enduring physical health as also to lasting world peace.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1976, p. 86

22
Spiritual Vision [1]

One cannot deny that there are certain difficulties and even dan­gers inseparable from the attempt to achieve interior vision at this period of human evolution. If one has followed this path in other lives and can live at least a part of one’s present life in retreat, then the practices of yoga, carried out under expert guidance are reasonably safe.

Those aspirants who are born in western bodies in this life, often find that their work consists largely of action, that their dharma now is active service of the world. Yet, to be effective, service must be wisely planned and intelligently directed and this demands a measure of spiri­tual vision.

There is a great need at the present time for originality of thought and action, for more personal realization of spiritual truth and less de­pendence upon book knowledge and the vision of others. We require far more first-hand knowledge of spiritual truth and far less vain repeti­tion of second-hand information, if we are to stand firm amid the many diverse points of view, both religious and scientific, which are now be­ing presented to us. The burning question for all would-be servants of the world is: How can each one of us establish ourselves firmly on the rock of first-hand knowledge? How can we know for our selves?

One answer is: By the development and use of the Intuition.

Here we are on perfectly safe ground, for everyone of us possesses the faculty of intuition in embryo; it is already beginning to show itself in the world as the power of synthetic or causal thought and especially in America, where it is known as the ‘hunch’. There is hardly a single subject upon which we cannot gain first-hand knowl­edge by the process of intuitive investigation. This demands that we free ourselves from the habit and limitations of analytical and deduc­tive thinking, and, rising above the concrete mind, enter into egoic consciousness wherein intuition is the natural means of cognition.

Browning truly said: ‘To know rather consists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned Splendour may escape, than effecting an entry for a light supposed to be without’.

By clairvoyance alone we see only that which is without; we are limited to objective vision, and see but the form which hides the truth. We must possess the power to see, know and identify ourselves with the life within the form in order to discover truth itself.

These two, clairvoyance and intuition, used together, constitute a perfect instrument for research. But the truest vision is the intuitive; all supposed seership which is not based upon intuitive perception can never be perfectly reliable and scientifically accurate. The true seer must be an interpreter, for without the gift of understanding, all vision fails. Knowledge lies within us and there must we seek for it. Simi­larly, knowledge lies within the object of research, not in the form which covers it; for Truth is life, not form.

The following are among the many definitions of intuition which have been given:

‘Intuition is primary knowledge antecedent to all teaching or rea­soning’.—Practical Standard Dictionary.

‘There is an intuition which is verily the Voice of the Spirit’.

‘Intuition is a recognition of truth at sight’.—Annie Besant.

H.P.B. [Helena P. Blavatsky] says ‘Intuition soars above ratioci-native thought; changeless, infinite; ‘that absolute wisdom’ which transcends the ideas of time and space. It is the ‘eye’ of the seer; a fac­ulty through which direct and certain knowledge is obtained. It is ‘in the sanctuary of the heart’; does not waver between right and wrong; ‘it is clear vision’; in a region where truth dominates; as if all knowl­edge was brought to a head. “By will he collects his mind into itself’; it seems to act “in a vertical manner”. ’[12]

Emerson in his highest moments has the true intuitive vision as is clearly shown in such a striking sentence as:

‘Our globe, seen by God, is a transparent law, not a mass of facts’ (Circle).

‘And this, because the heart in thee is the heart of all; not a wall, not an intersection is there anywhere in nature, but one blood rolls un­interruptedly an endless circulation through all men, as the water of the globe is all one sea, and, truly seen, its tide is one’ (The Over Soul).

Of such a vision, such a knowledge, Mr Krishnamurti says:

‘Knowledge of the Self is life eternal; for the Self is the eternal; it has no beginning, and in the end, no death, and no birth. It is’.

A report was made by Professor R. A. Baker of the College of the City of New York, who with Dr Washington Platt of Syracuse had sent questionnaires to 1,450 scientists inquiring into their experience with hunches as applied to their work. Of the 232 who replied, only 17 per cent had never experienced the phenomenon; 50 per cent had done so occasionally and the remaining 33 per cent frequently.

The hunch, as defined by Professor Baker, is ‘a unifying or clari­fying idea which springs into consciousness suddenly as a solution to a problem in which we are intensely interested’. ‘In typical cases’, he adds, ‘it follows a long period of study, but comes into consciousness at a time when we are not consciously working on the problem. It springs from a wide knowledge of facts, but is essentially a leap of the imagination in that it goes beyond a mere necessary conclusion which any reasonable man would draw from the data at hand. It is a process of creative thought’.

Hunches may have various degrees of completeness and accu­racy. The overwhelming majority of scientists who reported having had them said that the revelations came as a central idea only. Several stated that when the central idea had presented itself, their minds then with great rapidity filled in the details. A small but notable minority said that a hunch presented the plan complete in all detail’s. Only 7 per cent reported that their hunches always turned out correct. The rest gave figures of correctness varying from 90 to 10 per cent.

Nineteen per cent said that their minds were fully conscious when the hunch came along: 28 percent said they were ‘on the margin of con­sciousness’, and 13 percent said they were unconscious. Forty percent were not clear or gave no answers.

Fifty three per cent of the scientists answering the questionnaire said that they deliberately used devices to create conditions favourable to the hunch. The commonest of these devices was ‘temporarily aban­doning the problem and taking up other work’. Others included ‘a pe­riod of idleness and complete relaxation not spent in attacking any other problem; going over the problem just before retiring for the night; physical occupation or exercise’, and the use of stimulants.

Professor Baker, discussing the conditions for helpful action of the mind on the margin of consciousness and beyond, says: ‘We must have a great interest in the problem and a desire for its solution. Mate­rial should be stored in the mind in a systematic fashion and should be well digested, so as to be useful. There must be a sense of well being and sense of freedom from interruption. There should be an absence of obstacles to the proper functioning of the mind. And finally, there are certain types of direct positive stimuli to mental activity. This last in­cludes some form of contact with other scientific minds, either through reading or discussion’.

The value of temporary abandonment of a problem is more than mere rest, Professor Baker believes. It allows the scientist to attack his work again from a new intellectual standpoint, especially if he has not worked on the matter for some time. ‘A problem unsolved remains in the mind as a challenge to its ability’, he says. ‘Again and again, semi-consciously, unconsciously, the mind attacks the problem. While we are consciously at work on something else this process continues.

‘When we finally take the problem up anew, the mind has made actual progress toward its solution. Sometimes, indeed, the complete solution appears in the form of a hunch. There are many instances of this recorded in literature as well as in the answers to our questionnaires’.

The above, in substance, was taken from an issue of The New York Sunday Times.

How is this vision to be attained so that it can be used with cer­tainty and at will?

Upon this path of knowledge, as upon all others in the end, the as­pirant finds himself flung back upon the life within himself. He must rise above the forms of things into the formless worlds, there to investi­gate; for, there, all knowledge lies open to him. To become a seer he must open up the unused channels between the higher and lower self, between the life and the form of the cosmos of his nature.

First we must be quite certain of our motive and of our goal. There is a grave danger in all attempts to awaken and use the higher powers of consciousness and the hidden powers of the body before the tempo­ral man is thoroughly purged of all personal ambition and desire. The only permissible motive wherewith to approach the inner sanctuary of Nature and to develop increasing power, wisdom and knowledge is to become increasingly strong, wise and intelligent in the service of the world. The only permissible desire is for the union of the temporal with the eternal. All other ambition must steadfastly be sublimated into self­lessness, all other desire transmuted into will. The would-be seer must become ‘passion-proof.

This consummation demands a regular regime of self-training and character development and a systematic exercise of the higher as­pects of consciousness by meditation. Many teachers, eastern and western, have written upon this subject and the reader is directed to their many authoritative works for detailed guidance. The author has himself published three books on self-training and the study and prac­tice of meditation: First Steps on the Path; Thus Have I Heard, and Be Ye Perfect.

Mr Krishnamurti is regarded by many as a great revealer to man­kind of one way to find liberation and eternal peace. Speaking of self-training as a way to truth, he says:

‘By self-discipline I do not mean repression, but rather self-disci­pline through understanding, which will lead you to liberation—that poise of reason and love. If you would find truth, that discipline of the self, which is the seed of reason and love, must take place every mo­ment of the day, must be focussed acutely in everything that you do. Truth lies in the process, not in the attainment. While living, manifest­ing, working in the daily life you find it. In the training of that self lies the truth—in nothing else’.

‘Right comprehension does not come in a flash. It is the result of continual, ceaseless struggle, all day long. It is by continual readjust­ment, shifting, destroying, gathering, that you acquire comprehension’.

To maintain successfully a discipline which takes place ‘every moment of the day’ and is ‘focussed acutely in everything that you do’ is indeed a difficult task. In order to succeed, the attitude of the aspirant must be that of all great men who have achieved success in any field of human endeavour, especially great explorers, inventors, pioneers, statesmen and financiers. The attitude is the same, but the goal is ut­terly different. The spiritual neophyte seeks not physical exploration, but the discovery of the Self; not the aggrandizement of the personal­ity, but its disappearance as a separate organism; not worldly dominion and temporal power, but rather escape from the dominance of the world. Renunciation of temporal power is an essential step towards omnipotence; renunciation of temporal affection is essential to omni­presence and renunciation of temporal knowledge is essential to omni­science.

Much, however, can be learned from those who seek temporal re­wards, the explorer, the inventor and the man of business, each of whom is but seeking his goal in his own way, and at his stage—which may be quite a lofty one—each is using appropriate means to achieve his fullest self-expression.

Mr Krishnamurti describes self-discipline and singleness of pur­pose as it applies to spiritual achievement:

‘The uttermost simplicity in the arrangement of life, an atmo­sphere of quiet recollectedness, a relentless concentration on the real, all these must be created to make the new life a reality. Comfort that puts to sleep the alertness and intensity of life, all bustle and hurry that drown the voice of life, all distractions that are for a life that has no pur­pose, all these must go; in the quiet of a wide-awake one-pointedness must the work be done’.

And again:

‘What remains after this process of elimination, of withdrawal, of destruction of all those unessential things? I will tell you what remains. A calm mind, and a heart that cannot be disturbed, that is pliable, ener­getic, enthusiastic. Balanced, strong, certain, ecstatic, clear and pure, resolute and determined, is the mind and heart of him who has rejected all these things’.

Of the final result, he says:

‘To be liberated, to live in the realm of the eternal, to be conscious of that truth, means to be beyond birth and death—because birth is in the past and death is in the future—beyond space, beyond past and present is the delusion of time. The man who has attained such libera­tion knows that perfect harmony which is constantly and eternally present; he lives unconditionally in that eternity which is now’.

Such, expressed as only one who knows can express it, is the method of achievement of spiritual vision; such indeed is the goal of human life.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1973, p. 5

23
Spiritual Vision [2]

First-Hand Knowledge

The achievement of spiritual vision referred to in the preceding article in this series is won by gradual processes. To aid in their comprehen­sion, a brief survey of the solution of human consciousness and its modes of cognition may prove of value.

The following chart indicates the stage of human development from the beginning of human life on this planet until the end of the world period. No chart of this kind can be entirely accurate, for exten­sive overlapping, repetition of the past, and foreshadowing of the fu­ture continually occur; it will, however, serve as a guide to Fifth-Race men who seek at this period to unfold and to use the powers which will be quite normal in later races.

SEQUENCE OF DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN SENSES AND POWERS

Race

Sense

Consciousness

Objective

Apotheosis

1

2

3

Hearing

Touch

Sight

No dimension

dimensional

dimensional Physical action

Towards physical manifestation

Physical

development

and Self-realisation

4

Taste

3-dimensional Feeling

Emotional evelopment and Self-realisation

Realisation of The Supreme as Beauty

5

Smell

Perspective. Intelligence, Concrete and Abstract

Faculty of Analysis Lower Mental development and Self-realisation.

Omniscience

6

Vision of unity

Intuition Bliss

Faculty of intellectual synthesis.

Higher Mental and Buddhic development and Self-realisation. Union with the Supreme.

Omnipresence

7

Vision of the Self

Spiritual will. Power

Nirvanic development And Self-realisation. Self-identifica­tion with the Supreme.

‘The dewdrop slips into the shining sea’.

Omnipotence

 

 

From this chart it will be seen that in the present search for intu­itive, spiritual vision of truth, we are attempting to employ as an instru­ment of research a natural power or sense of Sixth-Race men. We are seeking to force Nature, to hasten the evolution of our senses beyond the normal rate of their development.

We have already considered the mechanism of consciousness, the force by which it may be operated, the character development and the self-training required for the awakening and use of spiritual vision. We may now proceed to examine changes in consciousness which accom­pany attempts to awaken and to use that power.

It is perhaps well at this point of the practical application of inte­rior powers to utter a warning against too much self-interest, too much dreaminess into the other worlds and giving too much rein to the imag­ination. In all true research, we must be supremely alert, holding al­ways in readiness the critical faculty and applying to our discoveries the sanest common sense. The effect of inner unfoldment must be to make us more and not less physically efficient and alive. If it makes us unworldly and inefficient down here, then it is not true spiritual devel­opment, and will not make us more useful servants of the Masters and of the world.

With this consideration always before us, let us suppose that we decide to become self-conscious in our own subtler bodies and on the planes of nature, to which they correspond. What do these things really mean to us? Very often merely a diagram or perhaps a convenient men­tal classification or reference file. That which is derived from a dia­gram is, at best, but from information. It has its value, but in this quest it must be supplemented by life knowledge.

If, therefore, we determine to gain a complete knowledge of our own constitution—and what more important study can there be?—we may well begin with the physical body. After attending to the pre­liminaries, concerning privacy, posture, relaxation, calming the emo­tions and harmonizing the mind, we may deliberately focus and maintain for some minutes our full awareness in the body, affirming: ‘This is my physical body, my instrument, not myself. I investigate my experience of my body and of the physical world with which I am sur­rounded. I realize myself fully as physical man’.

Then after a pause, rising in consciousness to the realm of feeling, if only in imagination at first, we may further affirm: ‘This is my emo­tional body, my instrument, not my self. My consciousness is focussed in it. I feel and know it. I realize myself as emotional man’. Gradually, from this state of positive affirmation, we may extend the conscious­ness and begin to respond self-consciously to impacts from the emo­tional world, to study and record emotional experience. During this process we must retain a measure of physical and mental alertness, re­cording, testing and experimenting with emotional consciousness.

Similarly, we may rise above the limitations of emotion, letting desire fall away, as we realize ourselves as mental man. We may grad­ually extend outwards onto the mental plane, feel the conditions there, study mental phenomena and our reactions to then. Again, we must re­peatedly experiment, test and record.

By a supreme effort of will, we may the take the leap into the formless worlds, rise into causal consciousness, affirming: ‘I am not my physical body. I am not the desires which affect it. I am not my mind. I am the Divine Flame within my heart, eternal, ancient, without beginning, without end. More radiant than the sun, purer than the snow subtler than the ether, is the Spirit, the Self within my heart’.

Then after a pause in contemplation, we may affirm with all our power of realization ‘I am that Self, that Self am I’.

Eventually this powerful mantram opens out the consciousness into the blazing light of the spiritual worlds. But at first it must be fol­lowed by further contemplation in utter stillness and mental equipoise. Spiritual awareness gradually awakens, as the consciousness reaches the apotheosis of impersonality and for a moment, or maybe an hour, ‘the dewdrop’ of individual consciousness ‘slips into the shining sea’ of the consciousness of the Supreme.

By continuous practice along these lines we may gradually learn to live in ‘the shining sea’, and acquire the art of true contemplation in which alone the hidden and inexpressible glory of the Self is revealed. By steady perseverance we may enter into and truly begin to know something of the fiery power and Splendour of the ‘Shining Augoeides’, which is the true Self of man, and realize ourselves as the Divine Spark, which is the heart of the Eternal Flame. In Chapter V of my book The Science of Seership, I describe some of the results of this particular method of exploration of levels of consciousness.

Meditation does indeed reveal the existence of a fire aspect of man, as also of the universe. Within the heart of every atom, as every man, there exists a living fire, there bums a hidden flame. This spiritual fire is the manifestation of the third aspect of the Logos throughout all Nature. It is the Pentecostal Flame, it is the divine Afflatus, the fire of genius in man. It is the power by which all Nature is continually transformed and renewed.

At this present period of planetary life, under the impulse of cy­clic laws, this hidden fire would seem to be burning more brightly and more powerfully than has been the case for many centuries. A plane­tary Pentecost would seem to be approaching, for the hidden fire is stir­ring everywhere. In the heart of the planet itself, in the earth crust, in rock, in metal and in jewel, in water and in air, in angel and in man, the universal fire is becoming newly self-revealed. An age of fire is fast approaching—an age of genius in every human activity, in science, in art, in government, and especially in religious life. Mighty forces are indeed stirring in our globe, are slowly being discovered by the chem­ist, the physicist, the electrician, the astronomer, and are being felt by artists, men of letters, as well as by men of action. They are manifest­ing as an inner driving power, and upwelling life, an inspiration to greater effort and a more magnificent achievement in every depart­ment of human endeavour. The aspirant is advised to discover and study this fiery power in himself and in Nature.

Of this fiery element, an angel sang: ‘In every rock, in every stone, jewel, plant, animal, and man, it ceaselessly exerts an influence in the direction of change; because of its presence nothing in Nature can ever stand still; it ensures the growth of the system. Its power is wielded, not only by the nature spirits who labour instinctively in the cause of change, but by the great fire-angels who consciously produce all changes throughout the system, so that the new birth which results may grow ever nearer and nearer to the likeness of its archetype in the mind of God. Thus, fire is “the power that maketh all things new” and change its universal watchword, the fundamental law throughout the whole realm of fire, the word by which its energies are freed and its denizens invoked.

‘When the spark leaps from the flint, divinity is revealed; when the fire is lighted on the hearth, the sacred Presence is invoked; where that divinity is revealed and that Presence is invoked, man and angel should both pay homage to that to which they owe their life. The days of fire worship must return; within men’s hearts and minds the sacred fire of the divine life must bum more brightly as each man knows him­self to be the earthly counterpart of the central fiery Man who reigns omnipotent, whose throne is set both in his heart and in the fiery heart of the universe.

‘Fire is the parent of Spring, the promise of renewal in all worlds; fire dwells in the heart of man, fire warms his blood; in his invisible self he is a man of fire.

Hymn to Fire

Hail Spirits of the Fire!

Hail Spirits of the Fire!

In all your countless numbers,

In all your manifold degrees,

We greet you, Brethren of the Fire!

Oh holy Fire! Oh wondrous Flame!

Transformer of the universe, regenerator of all worlds,

Life giver to. all form.

The glory of Thy fiery power fills heaven and earth,

And all the wide dominions that lie between the stars.

Thou art the spark within the stone, the life within the tree,

Thou art the fire on the hearth, the Splendour of the Sun,

Thine is the hand which paints the roseate mom,

Thine the fiery beauty of the sunset sky;

Thine the warm breath of flower scented summer breeze,

Thine the power that maketh all things new.

Fire to Fire, we offer our souls to Thee,

Draw us close to Thy fiery heart,

That we may lose ourselves in Thee.

Oh Fire Divine! Bum fiercely in our lives,

That darkness, lust and hate may be dispelled

And human souls shine forth in purity,

With all the dazzling glory of the Sun.

Cleanse us oh lordly Fire; rejuvenate our hearts and minds;

Bum up the dross, recharge the will

And send us forth to labour in Thy name,

Thy chosen men of Fire.—Amen’.[13]

Meditation on these words will lift the aspirant into the realization of the One Flame and of his identity therewith.

As he serves, perfects his character and thus mediates, he will feel this fiery power stirring within himself, will become irresistibly im­pelled towards the attainment of union with the one universal Flame. On this mighty fiery tide he may ascend, following the fiery path of Enoch and Elijah, borne upon wings of flame into the surpassing glory of the Supreme. Such ascent is quite possible, for in this state of con­sciousness the Ego of a developed man dwells continuously.

From Egoic consciousness he may proceed to explore self-con­sciously the inner spiritual worlds, plunging into the fathomless depths of his own being and discovering the immeasurable power and Splen­dour of that God which is his deepest Self.

In the buddhic world is gained the first full realization of the unity of Life. There is union. There Truth is perceived direct. Subject and object disappear, for we are above them and perceive the one Life within them both. There too is the Lord of Unity, the Lord Christ, the perfected embodiment of the Christ consciousness in the Logos and in man. There also are all Christs, Masters, Perfect Ones, and we are one with Them; one with all that lives, one with Life in every form.

Illumined by that light we may go on questioning and adventur­ing, ever seeking new worlds to conquer, new realms to explore; cer­tain of victory, we become conscious of growing power and self-mastery with every forward step.

The tears of Alexander are not for us, for with every forward step we take, new worlds to conquer are revealed, new peaks to climb, new lands for our adventuring. Even the atmic or nirvanic world is not be­yond our reach, for we have an atmic vehicle.

Still higher than the Monad is the Logos, Our Lord the Sun, whose wondrous life pervades and sustains His’ solar fields. We must reach out and try to be one with Him, to realize His centre in the Sun,

His all-pervading Immanence throughout all worlds begin to know His mighty power, to shine with His wondrous light, and to become radiant messengers of His power and light to men.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1973, p. 2

 

 

24
Meditation
Elixir of Life

(The following Talks in the form of Question and Answer were given by Mr Hodson at Pumpkin Hollow during his recent tour of the United States. They make fascinating and fruitful reading, covering many aspects of this important part of the spiritual life.)

Question: How do you prevent meditation from becoming nothing more than an exercise in thinking?

Answer: In our daily life we normally identify ourselves with our physical bodies—our flesh. It takes a real effort of will to realize that we have been under a delusion all the time. In yoga you must break that illusion and your mind is the instrument to use. Deliberately we prac­tice, saying ‘I am the Spiritual Self until it becomes a reality. It is a quick refocusing of Self identity and a transcendence of the personal self. I have done it so long that I know it is a fact. This affirmation is an exercise and you must use it as such until the reality pervades the con­sciousness. It is like beginning to learn the piano. First you learn the notes, then you learn the fingering and the touch. After this you learn some airs and then you keep repeating them until you can play them correctly—eventually you can begin to interpret the subtleties of the music. Obviously the first stage is semi-automatic.

When you begin the second part, thought becomes less and less obtrusive and when you get to the affirmation, ‘I am the Divine’ the thinking process is almost stopped. A kind of realization in light is tak­ing place—immortal, imperishable, radiant spiritual light throughout the universe. Thinking now takes on the quality of the higher manas—of intuition. With the final affirmation, ‘I am that Eternal Self, that Self am I’, thought ceases. Don’t think any more. Become as it were ‘de­mented’. I realize that this is advice which is for the average person very nearly impossible to follow since you can’t really still your mind. But in this and other forms of yoga it falls still. My mind, very early now, falls still as if mentality had become dissolved. If, in the middle of your meditation your mind falls still, do not disturb it. Don’t imag­ine that you must get on with the exercise if there comes a marvellous blessed moment when all is still without and within. Such a state means that the Ego and the Higher Self are continuing the meditation in the higher world. Don’t stir!

Question: In this meditation is the consciousness centred in the heart or in the middle of the head?

Answer: The idea of the meditation is ‘To become one with the inner ruler immortal seated in the heart of all beings’. The words, ‘the inner ruler immortal seated in the heart of all beings’, come from the Bhagavad Gita. In my opinion the meaning of the word ‘heart’ is the centre of existence—the heart of your nature. At the heart of your na­ture is the universal Deity. It is the Egyptian idea of heart. It has very little to do with the body. Seated in the heart of all beings means the heart of your nature. If you think of it as a sphere, it would be the cen­tre. If I may speak personally, nearly always now—rightly or wrongly—all my meditations go on in the middle of my head. I find the spirit situated in the third ventricle of the brain—the hypothalamus. This morning when I said, ‘The Self in me is one—the Self which I am is one with the Self of all’, for some reason this morning it was the sun which was shining everywhere within and without. I slipped away into what you might call solar reflection—perhaps a partial identity with the Solar Logos in the centre of the sun.

Some people meditate in the heart—especially the more devo­tional types. The centre of consciousness is in the heart. Don’t think you have got to obey some rule. We are all different, therefore rules don’t really govern us. That was pure Vedanta which I did with you in this morning’s meditation. It is the meditation of the great teacher, Shri Shankaracharya. Quoting from his book, ‘The meditator peels the sheafs of the self from the atma one by one. What remains is the wit­ness’. This is what we did this morning. We undressed ourselves as it were and got to the control core of our existence. It does require prac­tice since it is an exercise, but sooner or later, with diligent practice, the intellection part does fade out until there remains only a still awareness which is often more vivid and marvellous than thinking. Remain in it and refresh yourself in it.

The exact words and techniques of this meditation may be found in my little pamphlet, A Yoga of Light (revised edition, 1966).

Sometimes it is well to start a meditation by, so to speak, charging the atmosphere with a chanting of the word—the sacred word ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’ which means ‘I am my Father’—‘I am That’—‘That am I’. It means unity and implies everything a meditating yogi seeks to under­stand. It is an invocation, a benediction, a promise and an affirmation. It is an invocation, to the God which you are—to the Divine; it is a benediction, a blessing, and an affirmation. The very sound vibrations of this magical, wonderful, simple syllable sets the brain cells going as it vibrates through the head and into the aura. To some extent, it re­leases you from body consciousness.

It is important that you remember that no words or affirmations or statements of any single member of the Theosophical Society is in the least binding or to be regarded as even a correct statement and least of all a final statement of either Theosophy or the truth. So in attempting to answer any question, I shall be merely offering my thoughts for con­sideration—for what they are worth and nothing more. Everything I say will be almost inevitably coloured by my experience and studies.

Question: Is there any special kind of breathing which should be used in meditation?

Answer: The Theosophical idea of meditation, as I understand it, is a method of orienting the mind toward abstract truth in the hope of ever deeper and deeper comprehension, not only comprehension with the intellect but ever deepening awareness and experience of truth it­self and of unity with whatever source of truth there may be. While cer­tain forms of breathing could be useful, my understanding and experience is that they are in no sense necessary.

The contemplation of the Divine is a mento-spiritual activity and it would seem that the sooner you forget the body and all its procedures the better. The more you concentrate on your body and its procedures the worse. Therefore forget the body—forget the self and become as soon as possible absorbed in the Divine. This may be a very general and unsatisfactory answer but it is what I believe.

Now there are forms of breathing which have certain effects in preparing the mind and body for such successful contemplation. The simplest of all is the slowing down of the breathing. All meditation should begin by seeing that the body is in a completely relaxed state—every muscle, every nerve should be completely relaxed. Then and then alone can the inner Self make the great flight ‘from the alone to the Alone’ as Plotinus calls it. Normally, when you begin to withdraw, your breathing becomes slower by itself without attention.

There is a form of breathing in which you breathe in through one nostril and out through the other. This is called the sun and the moon breathing or the positive and the negative breathing. This is done rhythmically with pauses, the idea, being to harmonize the positive and negative magnetic forces in the body by inhaling negative and positive prana. Thus complete bodily equipoise is obtained and the conscious­ness can be addressed to the highest truths.

I want to seriously warn everybody against any form of breathing in which the consciousness is fixed upon a part of the body—espe­cially the sacrum and the solar plexus. The rule in occultism is that you should not concentrate on any organ or part of your body lower than your heart. In my opinion the ideal is to forget the body—get away from it into the consciousness of the Higher Self and beyond. In the be­ginning you may practice restrained breathing in which you inhale slowly in a controlled manner deep into the diaphragm, restrain the breath for eight, twelve, or sixteen counts and then exhale slowly. This is said to harmonize and sensitize the body but eventually such prac­tices are unnecessary.

Question: In the meditation you recommend is there any stimula­tion of the chakras?

Answer: There is a place in yoga, which is the science of achiev­ing union with the Divine or absorption therein, for knowledge con­cerning the various chakras and their functions and awakening. Yet, in pure meditation my experience has been that it is better to forget the whole mechanism of consciousness and get away from it into the high­est state you can enter and be absorbed into the One light—into one vast ocean of light—like water in water, space in space, light in light as written in the Upanishads. When you even draw near to this state the bodily mechanisms including the chakras, just fade out of the con­sciousness altogether. Any quickening or awakening of the chakras occurs naturally without your attention.

The word chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel and is applied in occultism to seven whirling centres of soul force in the Etheric, As­tral and Mental Bodies. They function as channels for the inflow of certain energies into the physical body and as gateways for conscious­ness out of the physical body. For the latter function the most impor­tant is the chakra at the top of the head known as the Sahasrara Padma or the Thousand-Petalled Lotus. If you want to concern yourself with chakras and the forces which energize them, I would advise keeping to the Sahasrara chakra which enables consciousness perhaps to free it­self more readily from the limitations of the body.

Question: Isn’t it selfish to spend much time endeavouring to at­tain a supernormal state of consciousness?

Answer: It depends on the motive—the ideal motive in yoga is to be more effective in the service of your fellow men which of course is totally unselfish. It is an axiom, so to speak, in occult philosophy that there is only One Life and that all appearances of separated individual­ities are elusive. This one all-pervading, preserving, vital power, life and consciousness is likened to an ocean pervading every atom in all things and blending them in unity. Thus we are all literally one. So far as man is concerned we are without divisions of any kind—we are a unit.

Is the monk in his cell, the nun in her cell, the yogis in jungles, caves and ashrams—all those who have deliberately withdrawn from the world and their fellows with the object of concentrating on the at­tainment of this realization—are they selfish? As far as I can answer I would definitely say no, since attainment of oneness with the Infinite by any one unit of life is shared by all. An upliftment of consciousness or increase of power in any one individual thrills throughout the whole of humanity and is shared by all since we are one. The motive must be to attain a realization of unity with the Divine.

I must qualify this answer by saying that there are people who think they can increase their power over others and bend them to their will through occult means. That, of course, would be entirely selfish.

Motivation is the deciding factor.

Question: How can one control his wandering mind and emo­tional upsets when he tries to meditate?

Answer: This is a personal problem and can be solved only by personally examining an individual to find out the root causes of his troubles. You must know the whole case through and through from childhood on. A general answer is to forget your personal self alto­gether. The key to spirituality is self-forgetfulness and it is also the key to happiness—in fact it is essential to happiness.

Yoga is a process of self-forgetfulness how to get rid of self, if you like. I am not my body. I am not my emotions. I am not my mind—these are the garments that I am wearing. I am my true essential Self—I am That. It is as if you removed all your clothes and stood naked in the presence of the Supreme. Each day, in privacy, with the body re­laxed, the thoughts must be withdrawn from the transient, ephemeral world around us and centred on the eternal verities and held there with the realization of oneness with all—‘I and my Father are One’. Or, in the words of the Hindu sage, ‘I am in my Father and I in you and you in Me’—oneness, oneness, oneness! Forget your self and get on with the great work of the spiritual Self which brings increased efficiency, in­creased capacity, increased mastery of life.

If you are going in for occultism, at the very beginning you must arouse and exercise your will. Nothing can be accomplished unless you are really determined about it—determined with a certain final­ity. Bring the will to bear—that is the answer to your question. Rise above your problems and have done with them.

Question: Does a time come when you are too old to practice these spiritual disciplines?

Answer: No, as long as the brain has the resiliency and capacity to think upon the eternal do so. When the brain becomes too affected by the ageing process you may have to stop. Meditation and contempla­tion of the Divine is one of the most health-preserving and youth-pre­serving procedures you can follow. If you touch the higher consciousness, you touch the elixir of life. You plunge into it and are, as it were, new-born each time. Thus effective meditation keeps you young.

Question: To succeed in meditation do you have to be a vegetarian?

Answer: No, no, you don’t have to be anything. In Theosophy there are no rules of life. Everybody does exactly as they like so long as they leave other people equally free and don’t infringe on their free­dom. There are no demands for vegetarianism in our movement.

Nevertheless, let us look at this question—let us analyse it. Most of the occultists from Pythagoras through Plato including Indian ashrams of today insist on vegetarianism. Why? It is not a rule im­posed by an Adept or a. guru or the head of a school—it is a law of na­ture. According to a German aphorism, ‘What you eat you are’. There is a certain truth in that since by absorbing and building into your body animal tissues, animal foods and animal matters which have been sub­jected to the influences of the next kingdom below us, you, in a sense, animalize yourself. Nowadays, in psychosomatics, it is very well known that emotions have a very powerful influence on the body con­sciousness. Nearly all food animals die in horror, anguish and terror and that is implanted in their cells. When those cells become embodied in a human being one presumes that the anguish, horror and terror enter with them into the psyche.

The objective of meditation is the realization of unity with all. When that unity is even approached, there is a strange and wonderful feeling of compassion, a sort of sublime and gentle tenderness for ev­erybody and everything. Thus, ideally, one hesitates to kill any living thing out of compassion. There is an indescribable and immeasurable amount of suffering inseparable from the meat trade so if you eat meat so it is said—you are associating yourself with that suffering. You are allowing yourself for your pleasure—you may think it a necessity—to associate with and participate in, the horrors of the abbatoir and the slaughter house. Now all this is contrary to the ideal of spirituality.

The purpose of the physical side of meditation, the breathing and the postures, the chanting and any work you may do on your chakras—the purpose of all of that is solely to make your whole being more and more sensitive, more and more refined. You develop, as it were, from long wave, through medium on to short wave reception of signals from your heavenly Self. You therefore take care to build into your body only materials which will enhance that sensitization. This is why the leaders of occult schools insist on their pupils being strict vegetari­ans. The Hindus have this beautiful idea which they call ahimsa, or harmlessness. The ‘a’ is negative in Sanskrit and himsa means hurting. Thus ahimsa means non-hurting in thoughts, emotions, words, hands, voice or person. Essentially this is yoga since the goal is to become ab­solutely compassionate, loving and kind to all both humans and ani­mals. It is a glorious ideal. Meat eating contradicts this ideal so they teach us against it as being contrary to the laws of nature. Meat eating bedulls the body, whereas the ideal of yoga is to make it more sensi­tive. It is like driving your car with the handbrake on all the time. The same is true of alcohol and tobacco. However, we theosophists are of course entirely free to make up our own minds on these matters.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1968, p. 55

25
Pathways to the Source of Light

A CONSIDERATION OF MENTAL ACTIVITY IN MEDITATION

In successful meditation three states of consciousness are entered and passed through. At first the mind is concentrated upon an object or an idea. Meditative consideration of the subject then follows. As this continues, mental activity tends to decline. Stillness descends upon the mind, consciousness becoming absorbed in thought-free ex­perience of existence as pure Being. Identity with the Eternal Principle is realized.

Absorption in infinite Light and Life is the goal, and effective concentration is the first step towards it. If an object is chosen for this purpose, comprehension of its functions should be sought. Concentrat­ing upon a cell, for example, one may consider its chromosomes, then its chromatids, and then their dispersal at cell division into the two daughter cells where, mysteriously, partners are obtained. The trans­mission of parental characteristics may be thoughtfully considered in search of the forces, processes and laws under which such phenomena occur. The life principle in the cell may be sought, sensed and eventu­ally realized as a universal property of all organisms. Cell life thus be­comes a gateway leading to universal Life. Passing through inquiry, conjecture and analysis, one is gradually led to the thought free state. The particular vanishes; the universal is revealed. Stillness pervades the mind, which has thus moved from concentration through meditation and contemplation into idea free absorption in the ocean of Life.

If an idea rather than an object is chosen, the mind may be fixed upon the Spirit-Essence which is the core of man’s existence. The fact that this Spirit in man is divine, eternal, free, may then be dwelt upon. This thought may, in its turn, be extended to include that of the unity of the Spirit of man with the Spirit of the Universe. As this pathway is fol­lowed, the divinity of the human Soul and the oneness of existence be­gin to become realities. Deep, interior silence falls upon the mind as realization of identity with universal Spirit gradually becomes the entire content of consciousness.

Such is a brief, preliminary description of mental and supramental procedures in successful meditation. In the main they are three—con­centration, meditation and contemplation—all of which depend upon a measure of thought control. Fixity of thought is at once seen to be es­sential to self-illumination.

How is thought control to be attained? Unwavering concentration upon an abstract idea is admittedly difficult, except for those with a natural facility for metaphysical thought. Arjuna says in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘The mind is verily restless, O Krishna, it is impetuous, strong and difficult to bend. I deem it as hard to curb as the wind’. The Lord Shri Krishna replies: ‘Without doubt, O mighty armed, the mind is hard to curb and restless; but it may be curbed by constant practice and by dispassion’. By constant practice and dispassion, ‘thirstlessness of mind’, mental activity may be brought under control. To become ex­pert, one evidently needs to practice constantly and to develop per­sonal disinterestedness until the poise of indifference is attained.

For some temperaments the procedure of the dissociation of the Inner Self from its vehicles provides the mind with the interest upon which concentration depends. Strong mental affirmations that the bod­ies are not the Self, which is distinct from them, provide the mind with subject matter that is neither wholly abstract nor wholly mundane. Af­firmations of one’s true identity as an immortal, spiritual Being can gradually lead the mind away from thought upon the bodily nature into experience of Egoic existence. A measure of mental control is needed in this, also, and the united powers of the will and the mind must be brought to bear in order to achieve the required concentration. If at the beginning the mind should wander, it should be brought back along the pathway by which it went forth, thereby achieving both stability and control. These are important, since without them the movement of the mind into the meditative condition will not occur and the later thought-free contemplative state will be unattainable.

Interest is the key to successful concentration. The mind does not tend to wander unduly when one is interested in a book, a film or a stage performance. One may usefully practice thought control by first concentrating the mind upon a concrete object, and then upon deeply interesting ideas associated with it. Mental skill is thereby developed and eventually the power will be attained to concentrate upon an idea or a principle, rather than upon an action or a form.

The devotee may think at first of something quite objective but which, like all objects, is an expression of a universal power or an ab­stract principle. A plant, a leaf, a flower or a seed will serve. As stated, the cell may then be considered. The presence of an interior, vital prin­ciple drawn from a universal Source is assumed. Meditative thought is then changed to self-identification with the life principle within the cell. Thoughts about separate objects become invalid as the current of awareness is directed with firm resolve into the ocean of universal Life. Realization of unity with that Life may then be achieved. Inor­ganic substances can similarly be used as gateways leading to the ex­perience of oneness. The fact that all atoms are concentrations of cosmic electricity may be dwelt upon until the idea of atomic units dis­appears. The I-thought is gradually transcended as identity with the universal creative and propellant power begins to be known.

In due course a very desirable, even essential, mental state super­venes. This is an effortless equipoise which deepens into complete tranquillity of mind. A profound peace descends as if the mind had be­come dissolved into its Source. This poised stillness is a threshold state, leading to complete abstraction from the Personality and its con­cerns and to absorption in the Essence of all that exists. When, like an absorbed waiting, this mental stillness descends it should not be dis­turbed. It is not brought about by a deliberate silencing of the mind, but is a natural result of the cessation of mental activity when supramental fields of awareness are entered. Practice enables one to develop the ability to ‘fall’ at will into this condition of interior silence. A centre of radiance gradually reveals itself as if from above or within the stilled mind. This is the shining of the light of the Monad, itself a ray of the Light of the Logos. If the radiance is observed without mental action, the centre of self-awareness becomes dissolved and lost therein. Such an experience has no thought content, the mind being at rest in awareness of infinite Being.

Such, briefly and but partially described, is the journey, along the inward pathway to the Source of Light and Life and Power. Such is the way to ‘the ocean of reality filled with the nectar of bliss’.

The Theosophist, Vol. 80, July 1959, p. 263

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26
Knowledge is Power

Sources of Individual Power

Since the golden age of ancient Atlantis, when members of the Great White Brotherhood [the term ‘White’ is used to denote ‘good’ or ‘positive’ as contrasted to ‘Dark’ or ‘Black’; ‘Brother­hood’ is used with no gender bias intended] lived amongst the people as priests and kings, there has probably never been a time when knowl­edge concerning occult forces and unseen influences was so freely given to the world as at the present.

The knowledge now in our possession concerning thought power, will power, love power, and the power of the angels, entails upon us a very grave responsibility for its due and proper employment. We can­not separate responsibility from knowledge: it is not possible to accept Theosophy intellectually and to disregard or deny it physically without sooner or later suffering grievous consequences. It is worth our while, therefore, to consider what use we, as Fellows of The Theosophical Society, can make of the knowledge and therefore the power which is at our disposal.

Let us begin by analysing the power available to each one of us. It is woven of many threads and is composed of at least four main strands. There is the power of the Personality, the power of thought, of feeling and of action. Then there is the power of the Ego, the power of the Spiritual Will, Wisdom and Compassion, and the fire of Spiritual

Intelligence. The threefold Ego is a source of power far greater than anything normally expressible down here in the Personality. Beyond and within the Ego, Monadic power resides deep within the heart of each one of us. It is drawn direct from the mighty power of the Logos Himself. It is the germ in man of omnipotence, omniscience and omni­presence, the triple faculty which every human being will one day de­velop to the full. This power is incalculable, inexhaustible and ever available.

Behind these three sources of individual power exists their source which is the power of the Logos. As we are cells in His being, so we are partakers of His power and His glory. The power of the Creator, Pre­server and Destroyer of the Universe, is within each and every one of us.

Scientists have discovered an energy in matter which, when re­leased even from a single atom, may destroy a continent. What there­fore must be the nature of the power within the human Monad? An unbroken chain of reservoirs is established between the inexhaustible Fount of Power which is the Logos and the Personality of each one of us. The Monad and the Ego may he thought of as locks in the ‘canal’ by means of which that power is conveyed. In terms of broadcasting, Monad and Ego are as secondary and tertiary relay stations or, to use electrical terminology, are transformers which step the power down, decreasing the voltage by the resistance which they offer to its flow so that it may safely be manifested at the lower level. Without these living ‘rheostats’ the manifestation of the Logoic power would be utterly shattering down here.

The Infinite Power of the Masters

In addition to this fourfold power of every man, further potency results from the fact that Fellows of The Theosophical Society are all channels for the almost infinite power of the Masters of the Wisdom each of whom is a mighty Lord of Power. In Their graciousness they have offered Themselves as additional Sources of power and light to those who come forward to participate in this special branch of Their work. Every Fellow of The Theosophical Society has a definite link with the Masters Who founded it, which forms the channel through which this added power can flow. When discipleship is reached—and this inexpressible privilege is not beyond our reach—the connecting link is said to disappear because the disciple and his Lord become one. Then, in so far as he can fit himself to convey it, the whole of the power of the Master is at the disciple’s disposal. The disciple becomes an Ad­ept at his level and all the powers of Adeptship are at his disposal be­cause he is utterly one with his Adept-Guru. That is why it is so important that all who aspire effectively to help the world should press forward on the occult path; for the nearer a man comes to his Master, the greater the measure of power which can flow through him to the world. Occult development enables a man to cut out some of the inter­vening transformers, to bear the strain of the higher voltage. The train­ing and the self-discipline which the spiritual life demands are intended to produce a set of vehicles which can convey potent spiritual forces without being shattered.

All these privileges and opportunities are by no means limited to any one set of human beings. Every member of the Christian Church has a link with the Lord Christ, which is equally a channel through which an aspect of His power can manifest. The same is true of the members of every great World Faith.

The Ministry of the Angels

The power and inspiration of the Angelic Hierarchy is at the dis­posal of all men. The Ministry of the Angels is a living fact. By study, meditation and service in co-operation with them, man can share min­istration and win their co-operation in every altruistic endeavour (See The Brotherhood of Angels and of Men, The Angelic Hosts, The Com­ing of the Angels, by the Author). Never let us complain that we are useless and have no power of achievement and of service. Let us for­ever get rid of that illusion, for there is no limit either to the present need of the world or to the power which every single one of us has at his disposal.

Humility is an essential virtue in the spiritual life, and we should ever remember that all power is God’s power and that man is an image and representation of his Creator.

Realization of the mighty power at our disposal must not make us egotistic, for that power is not ours. We are merely the pipes that carry it, and the more we think of ourselves as pipes and the less as important personalities the better will our work be done. A pipe serves best when it is straight and least well when it has bends and kinks in it. Let us at least be straight (impersonal) pipes! Perhaps some of us do not like the idea of being nothing more than a straight pipe, but if we are to succeed in occultism we must be ready to make this sacrifice of Personality and to regard ourselves as receivers and conveyers of power.

From this examination of some of the currents of power available to every Fellow of The Theosophical Society, let us consider how we can make use of them. Our task is to find a means of tapping and dis­tributing power throughout the world. In the spiritual life there is a law which might he called the law of flow. We shall not be able to release these powers if we desire them for ourselves. Only as we offer our­selves as channels can they flow through us. In other words, we must he outward turned, open-hearted and actively at work.

Meditation

The most practical method of tapping power is that of meditation. All our endeavours to raise our consciousness to the higher worlds have as their ultimate end in terms of power to tap and release the en­ergy of those levels. No one can do that for us. Each must set his will to the task for himself, because both the source and the channels are within us and we alone can turn on our particular current. Even a Mas­ter cannot do this for us. If our lives are dedicated to Him He can and does inspire, illumine, strengthen and uphold us, but He cannot turn the tap on for us. We must do that for ourselves and regular daily meditation is the way.

When we have contacted the source of energy within ourselves, how can we release it? To radiate power upon the world demands a conscious effort of will. We must determine with all the will power at our command that this mighty force which is in us shall flow out through our hearts and minds and fulfil the particular task for which it is invoked. We can do this at regular times in our meditation and also in our daily lives whenever opportunity offers. We should always be watching for such opportunities. In most large cities, for example, where there is so much misery, so much that is false and meretricious, so much pseudo-gaiety and glitter thinly veiling the grinning skeleton underneath, there are countless opportunities for pouring out spiritual power.

In fact, to awakened man the problem consists of the selection of opportunities rather than the search for them.

When we regard the world with the open eye we see all around us those who are in need and who may have been guided in our direction in order that we should give them a measure of the blessing which is ours to convey. Eventually the flow of force becomes continuous and almost automatic as the sense of kinship with all beings deepens and compassionate love leads to their service.

A student of Bishop Leadbeater’s, who was a pupil of one of the Masters, was employed in that way without his being conscious of it. A meeting was being held, and whilst it was in progress Bishop Leadbeater noticed that a great stream of power was flowing through one of the pupils present, he traced it and found that it was being sent from one of the Masters to a man who was lost in the bush hundreds of miles away, in order to guide him to a safe return. The Masters will always choose the line of least resistance for the flow of Their power, and those of us who know of Their existence and who have offered our­selves to Them, ought always to be the line of least resistance.

Thought Projection

Another way in which we may radiate power is that of group med­itation, and in the New Zealand Thought Projection Scheme I have suggested a means whereby any of our members who live near to­gether could meet regularly for short meditations, invoking power and blessing upon the nation and the world.

In all our big towns, which are so full of apparently insoluble problems, areas of vice and darkness would gradually disappear if we who possess knowledge of the power at our disposal would employ it for that purpose. Thought Projection Groups are now meeting regu­larly in our New Zealand Lodges, and by means of meditation, af­firmation, and the radiation of power and truth, are assisting in the so­lution of national and international problems.

I believe we could rapidly change the face of the earth and make war impossible if the 30,000 or more Fellows of The Theosophical So­ciety worked regularly in this way.

Members everywhere could meet in groups, withdraw themselves mentally from material pursuits and anxieties, sink their individual consciousness in that of the group, unify themselves, becoming for a time one living organism, over-riding the illusion of separateness. Af­ter this, directed by a competent leader, they may raise the group con­sciousness plane by plane through the Astral and mental levels to such heights of consciousness and sources of power as by practice they could reach. For example, they might aspire to release the mighty power and blessing of the Christ consciousness by meditating upon the presence of the Lord Christ and using such a sentence as ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My Name there am I in the midst of them’. This magical sentence which is not only a promise, but is also a statement of natural law. By meditation upon it the consciousness of the Lord may be touched and the group unified with Him, touching the ‘hem of His garment’ so that some of His virtue might flow into and through the group. Finally, invoking the angels and using the whole of the will power which each member possesses, the group might project the descending forces out upon the world, into the slum area of their city, into the regions where the war is causing such terrible suffering, into hospital, asylum or prison. Or they might pour out a concentrated stream of resistless power upon the whole world before which all evil would melt away.

In such ways I feel that we Fellows of The Theosophical Society may prove ourselves worthy of the priceless treasures of knowledge now being given to us so freely, may help the world in a truly wonder­ful way. At the same time we may take our share in the great conflict which is now taking place between good and evil, and so perhaps take upon our shoulders a little of the heavy burden which They, the Holy Ones are bearing Who live and labour ceaselessly to save the world.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1946, p. 13

27
Group Meditation

We can expel all evil influences and presences by the force of our own will, and, by the aid of the angels, charge the atmosphere with living light and power. Afterwards, by their presence, they will guard the place and maintain the purity and harmony which have been produced. The dark areas of vice, disease, and poverty which sully so many of our cities may be cleansed, and even perman­ently purified, by continuous endeavour along these lines.

Group meditation is always a most effective way of achieving these ends. Those who are one-pointed, and united in their aspira­tion to serve by these methods, may well form groups for this spe­cial purpose. Seated in a circle, they should direct their thoughts to harmony and unity, until they feel themselves and their angel co-workers to be one. Then the leader may invoke the power and blessing of the Lord of Love, using such words as these:

“O Holy Lord of Love, Teacher of angels and of men,

We invoke Thy mighty power in all its Splendour,

Thy undying love in all its potency,

Thy infinite wisdom in all its perfection,

That they may flow through us in a resistless flood into this place (or person).

Before the living stream of Thy resistless power all darkness shall melt away; the hearts of all men shall be changed, and they shall seek and find the way of light.

AMEN”.

A period of silence and meditation should follow this prayer, and, as His glorious power descends, the group should project it, with all the force and concentration of their united wills, upon the place or person chosen as the recipient of their aid. Then the angel members of the group may be directed to act as bearers and conservers of the power, and to labour in the cause for which it was invoked.

As the power available to those who know how to call it forth is boundless, and as the angels exist in countless hosts, there is no limit to the number of causes or of people who can be helped con­tinually by this means. If our hearts are open to the sufferings of men, and we practice co-operation with each other and with the an­gel hosts, we shall soon become Adepts at this work, thereby widely increasing the range of our activities and our usefulness in the world. We may, for example, undertake to help all the patients in a hospital or nursing home, the inmates of a prison, or the staff and patients in an asylum. Daily we may pour the power of our prayers into these places, invoking a host of‘shining ones’ to enter them and drive away the atmosphere of suffering and depression, and to exorcise the powers of darkness and disease. The angels will answer in their thousands, and, as we work regularly with them, as is already being done by certain groups, they will become an abso­lute reality to us; we shall discover, with growing joy and wonder, that a great power is in our hands, enabling us to become radiant centres of spiritual life and blessing in the world.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 38, No. 4, 1977, p. 87

28
The Importance of Relaxation in Both Meditation and Daily Life

When in incarnation, a person’s spiritual life is lived in two worlds—superphysical and physical. The first includes the life of the Ego in its Higher Mental, Lower Mental and Astral Bodies. The second is lived during waking hours also in a physical body. The whole art of suc­cessful meditation depends on the harmonization of these two aspects of human life. The superphysical must find increasingly adaptable conditions in the physical when awake for the successful living of the occult life day by day. One great necessity for this harmonized co-existence is a poised, harmonious, relaxed and of course intelligently directed bodily condition.

The first step in successful Yoga, therefore, must be the attainment and maintenance of as perfect a degree of bodily relaxation as possible. Every muscle, nerve and atom of the body and organ of the brain must be com­pletely relaxed. Sometimes the body may seem to be at rest, but close exami­nation reveals that the brain itself and the thoughts which it is made to ex­press are not sufficiently in an easy flowing, relaxed ‘motion’ or condition. Hence the advice given to us all by our Teachers includes the paying of due attention to the condition of body and so of the mind-brain. Before the men­tal and Egoic aspects of meditation, helping and healing are undertaken, time and attention must be paid to the attainment of the completely neces­sary conditions of a relaxation which is so complete that the body feels as if it were floating. Only then may the inner part of oneself and the contemplative procedure function with complete success. When time permits, there­fore, we should not begin mentally to repeat our meditative affirmations until we have managed to get the body into a completely unstrained, totally relaxed condition—yes, as if ‘floating’. Then, and not really until then, is the brain-mind able to ‘know’ the inner Self or the inner Self to make itself known to the person whilst awake; for tension proves to be an almost abso­lute barrier. Furthermore, it can be quite dangerous since, when habitual, it imposes a strain on the brain and nervous system—indeed, on the whole body. So, the ideal is:—‘A relaxed and comfortable posture followed by thought upon and mergence in one’s higher Self, the God within. As this begins even to become real, then realization of the identity of one’s own di­vine Spirit with THAT of the Universe is affirmed and then surrendered to. Such is the meditative life’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1976, p. 66

29
The Radiation of Power

Knowledge is power and the possession of power entails re­sponsibility; therefore, both pupil and teacher have serious responsibilities towards one another.

Every Theosophist almost automatically becomes both pupil and teacher, and the knowledge which he receives and imparts is of a na­ture which inevitably places a heavy burden of responsibility upon his shoulders. Theosophy is the essence of knowledge and therefore places its students in direct contact with the essence of power; the ulti­mate object of the teacher of Theosophy is to lead each of his students to the very centre and source of all power—the God within himself.

Yet how often do we hear our students complain that they feel so weak and ignorant, and that though they have studied Theosophy for years they are not conscious of any special increase of power in their lives. Humility is undoubtedly preferable to excessive self-assurance, but carried to excess it is almost as great a barrier to progress as pride.

Such humility as that described above ceases to be a virtue and al­most becomes a vice; it is referred to by the psychologist as an inferior­ity complex; so many of our brethren seem to be afflicted with this difficulty that one sometimes wonders how far it is sincere and how far a pose assumed as an excuse for failure to use the power which an intel­ligent study of Theosophy cannot fail to put into our hands.

There is no theosophical teaching more fraught with power than that concerning the control and direction of thought: by the proper use of the knowledge given us upon this subject we both as individuals and as lodges, ought to become radiating centres of power.

In order to radiate power continually we must first place ourselves in contact with a supply which is relatively inexhaustible. Does such a supply exist, and, if so, by what means can we tap it?

Let us examine some possible sources of power and the ways in which it may be contacted and released.

There are two directions to which we can turn in seeking for power; we may look inwards, to the centre of our own life, or outwards to some exalted being so evolved that the power within him is for ever pouring forth for the helping of the world.

Our knowledge of the constitution of man is our surest guide in the first mentioned direction. We know that, as sparks of the divine flame, we are in direct contact with the inexhaustible reservoir of power of which the Logos of our system is the expression, and that He in His turn is in touch with a still greater source, which is the uni­versal supply of power for many systems; and so on and on, until we approach that unthinkable state—absolute power. Between abso­lute power and man on any planet there is an unbroken connection: the links in the chain of reservoirs, or, in wireless terms, the receiv­ing and transmitting stations, are so devised that the voltage is re­duced, step by step, as it passes through the rheostats of Nature, from the absolute source to the ultimate expression.

If we would switch on the power we must study the mechanism until we become familiar with every part; in terms of water power, we may think of a reservoir high up amongst the mountains, connected with the plains by a series of smaller reservoirs through which the wa­ter flows, passing through canals and locks in its descent and finally ir­rigating the fields below.

In wireless terms, we may conceive of a vast central generating and transmitting station, in inter-universal space, which is the ultimate source of a boundless and inexhaustible power, that is continually be­ing transmitted throughout the universe and as continually renewed. It is transmitted in three wavelengths, to which have been given the names of ‘creation’, ‘preservation’, ‘destruction’. On these three themes the central station broadcasts a continuous series of essays or sermons of which no two are the same—each is complete in it­self and expresses an aspect of truth. The eternal succession of broadcast essays results in an ever more perfect and complete ex­pression in terms of time and space of the absolute and eternal ver­ity.

A symphonic concert is being continually broadcast from this central station throughout the whole universe. The three motifs, upon which the unbroken and unbreakable series of symphonies is com­posed, are ‘creation’, ‘preservation’ and ‘destruction’, and upon those themes the universal Musician continually enlarges. As He plays He transmits. Vast choirs of angels serve Him as orchestra and chorus; countless myriads of beings—human and non-human—serve Him as instruments through which His breath may flow, as pipes in the vast organ upon whose keyboard He plays His triple-motived sym­phonies throughout all eternity.

To know what means we have of tapping the universal energy we must first be clear as to where we stand in this vast scheme of power transmission. The internal series of locks, stations or trans­formers from man to the Absolute, are according to Theosophy:

Personality

Ego

Monad

Logos of a system

Universal Logos.

Each of these is triple, so that we have:

Personality: Mental

                     Astral

                     Physical

Ego:              Will

                     Wisdom

                     Intellect

Monad:         Atma

                     Buddhi

                     Manas

Logos:          Creator

                     Preserver Destroyer

Universal Logos: Eternal Creation

                             Eternal Preservation    

                             Eternal Destruction

Let us place these series of triplicates in diagrammatic ratio re­lationship and see the various circuits along which power flows.

A glimpse of the Splendour of the system may be gained by meditation along these lines and by the thought that there are un­known multitudes of beings in existence and every single one is in direct contact with the Central source by a system similar to that ex­pressed in the Diagram. Presumably there must be an infinite number of Logoi, of monads, egos, personalities and group souls, each expressing power through myriads of forms. Knowing this, have we any right to allow ourselves to think for a moment that we have no power? That we have no contribution to make to the scheme of things?

 

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When we look for power outside ourselves we turn first of all to the Great White Brotherhood. This is a synthesis of many streams of force: the power of each individual member, the power behind each of the great offices in the Hierarchy, the reservoir of power by means of which each of the world religions is supported and nour­ished during the absence of its Founder from the physical plane. The other outside source is the power of the angelic hierarchy. Let us briefly consider these in their turn.

Everyone who has been officially accepted into any of the great religions of the world, by the prescribed ceremonial, has a direct link with its Founder. While it is true that in many cases this link remains unused, it is also true that it can be vivified and employed as a means of contact both with the World Teacher and with the reservoir of power, established by Him for the support of that particular religion through­out the centuries of its existence after His physical presence had been withdrawn.

Every Christian, Buddhist, Parsi or Hindu, for example, has been given the right to invoke these mighty forces with absolute assurance of an unfailing response. The descent of the power will be in direct proportion to the degree in which his religion is to him, a living real­ity and to his capacity to serve as a channel for distributing its power to the world.

Every member of the Theosophical Society has a similar link with the members of the Great White Brotherhood and can draw upon Their power. A Master has said: ‘When a man joins the Theosophical Soci­ety I look at him’; that ‘look’ means far more than a physical or even occult glance; it means that every F.T.S. [Fellow of the Theosophical Society] is included within the consciousness of the Master, is known by Him, and has a magnetic link which need never be broken, but which may grow by use until it becomes the living union between Master and disciple.

All Masons have a similar link with the ‘Venerable Master of the Wisdom who is the Head of all true freemasons throughout the world’—the mighty Chohan, Prince Rakoczy and each can draw upon His power and upon the reservoir of Masonic power on this planet.

The Great World Teacher may be reached by at least three differ­ent and distinct channels: one is the link through membership of a world religion, one through membership of His ‘Order of the Star’, the third and most direct link is that of man’s own innermost nature (.Buddhi), the Christ principle within him—whether it be still asleep, born as a babe, or is beginning to shine forth ‘in the mea­sure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’.

By these close contacts, which the Great Ones in Their divine compassion make with Their younger brethren, a means is given to us not of contacting Their power only but also that of the Logos, which is so marvellously manifested in and through Them.

In a similar way the power of the Deva hierarchy can be contacted and drawn upon by anyone who will fulfil the necessary conditions. I have not the space to deal with this subject at all fully here, but would refer those of my readers who are interested to my book The Brother­hood of Angels and of Men.[14] It is sufficient to say that the great or­ders of the angels stand ready to assist us in all our undertakings, providing that they are in accordance with the great plan: the power of the Lady Mary and Her hosts of angel servers is ready to be freely poured out in all work for the upliftment of the woman­hood of the world and the exaltation of the ideals of love, marriage and parenthood; that of the Archangel Raphael and His hosts for all work of healing; that of the Archangel Michael for all work in which resistless floods of power are required.

As our knowledge of this subject grows, we shall learn to co-oper­ate more and more fully with the angelic hierarchy and in that co-oper­ation we shall see the dawning of a fairer day on mother earth—a day in which the culture and sense of duty of Ancient India, the knowledge and power of Egypt, the purity and occult lore of Chaldea, the beauty of Greece and the love and self-sacrifice taught in Palestine shall be united in a glorious synthesis of all that was best from the past and all that is most beautiful that has been developed since those great civilizations passed away. And on that day Angels shall once more walk with men.

Having traced to their source some of the various powers which are at our disposal, let us see how we can contact and release them in the service of the world.

The one great means of contacting and releasing these various sources of energy is by meditation. By meditation alone can we raise our consciousness to those levels at which these hidden ener­gies are stored. The first essential, therefore, is that individually and in groups, we should practice the science of prayer and meditation and tap the interior sources of power. The connections between the Personality and the Ego, the Monad and the Logos, each form a core within a core of the human cable which conveys power to the physi­cal world.

We may raise our consciousness, plane by plane, in order to con­tact the higher levels and serve as channels for this power. Or we may meditate, first upon some one we know who is in direct contact with a particular source of power, and pass through him to a sense of living unity with the power and that greater one behind him—reaching up through the various levels of the Great White Brotherhood, from the Initiate in the outer world to the Adept who is his Master, then to the corresponding official at the Maha-Chohan level, and then to the Lord Buddha and so onwards and upwards to the Mighty Lord of the World, the KING Himself.

Some reflection of the power and glory of those lofty levels and of the Mighty Ones who dwell there may be attained by such methods of meditation; we can then practice drawing down the power to the mate­rial worlds and radiating it forth for the upliftment and salvation of those who live there in slavery, so that they may be shown the way to freedom.

We may invoke the power of the angels by dwelling continually upon them in thought and calling upon them, with concentrated mind and will, to share in the activities upon which we are engaged. The re­sultant down pouring of spiritual energy may be directed forth upon the world by each one of us, working either individually or in groups.

In our private devotions we may will that the inward power shall descend upon us, passing through our heads and into our hearts, and then having opened our hearts to the sorrows and sufferings of the world we may, by a powerful act of will, release the mighty energy we have invoked so that they may thereby be healed and relieved.

The angels may be called to bear the power, to make pathways for it through the resistance which the materialism of the age has pro­duced, and to take upon themselves the task of producing the maxi­mum effect with such power as we place at their disposal.

The daily practice of radiating the powers of love and compassion upon the world is strongly recommended to all those who would be­come Adept at this work; if we steadfastly persist in it our whole nature will be changed, our hearts will open, and we shall gradually become effective channels for the beneficent powers of those more advanced than ourselves and for the forces of the higher worlds.

As groups, meeting regularly, we can do a far greater work than is possible to each of us as an individual. I suggest that, wherever there is a lodge of the Theosophical Society, a certain number of its mem­bers should meet regularly, day by day, for the purpose of radiating power upon their district. By this means they could prepare their lecture rooms for public meetings by producing an atmosphere of upliftment and power, they could attack all the social problems of their locality and could even send forth powerful currents of force for the improvement of both national and international situations. Where lodges exist in our large cities a continual stream of power could be deliberately poured into the slum areas or into particular parts of the town or city where vice and evil predominate.

A few hints as to the procedure to be followed by such a group may be welcomed. The members should sit in a circle, and after having ensured entire freedom from interruption, they should then relax their bodies and free their minds from all the personal problems and daily difficulties of their lives. Then they should make an effort to realize the unity of the group, to rise above all sense of separateness and Personality until the group is established as a single living organism, one instrument, which is offered for the service of the Masters and of the world. After this the group consciousness might be raised plane by plane—if only in imagination at first—through the lower levels up to the causal, buddhic and atmic worlds. Then a sentence might be meditated upon, such as, ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in the midst of them’, the group should then try to realize the living Presence of the Christ in this case and strive to ‘touch the hem of His garment’, which means both to touch the fringe of His consciousness and to realize the Christ principle within themselves.

Then, visualizing His love and power as descending into their midst, invoking the aid of the angels, and using all the will power they possess, the group should project the resultant force in a mighty flood out upon the world, willing that all darkness and evil should melt away before its resistless power. This force may be projected in a special direction or upon a certain area, or it may be radiated in an ever-widening circle so that it flows as a flood of living light, wave upon wave, out over the whole world.

With regular practice such a group would quickly become Ad­ept at this work and, by so doing, they would be helping the world in a most vital and fundamental manner. They would be taking their share in the great battle of light against darkness, and so would be­gin to be able to lift some of the weight from the shoulders of Those who are the Guardians and Saviours of humanity.

Many results might be expected from these practices. The mental and psychic atmosphere of the neighbourhood and even of the world would be changed, the lodge itself would become increasingly vital and powerful, the members of the group would find themselves be­coming more useful and efficient and enlightened in all their work, the sense of the reality of the inner worlds — of the existence of the Great Ones and of the angels—would be greatly increased, until gradually each one would begin to feel that he had the power at his disposal, which would make him a really effective agent of the Masters of the Wisdom.

The ideal qualities, which those should possess who would en­gage effectively in this work, are impersonality, a sense of self-conse­cration to the service of the world, purity of life, health and cleanliness of body and singleness of purpose. Given these and a sound knowl­edge of the power and use of thought with a complete trust in the Masters, and hearts that are filled with compassion and longing to heal the sorrows and sufferings of the world, immediate and clearly discernible results might be expected from the steady and continu­ous radiation of power and love along the lines that I have suggested.

If we (the 50,000 members of the Theosophical Society) would make use along these lines of the knowledge and power which is at our disposal, we should not only prove ourselves worthy of the great gift of knowledge which we have received from the Founders, but we should rapidly change the face of the earth and the fate of all the many forms of life which dwell thereon.

The Thesophist, Vol. 49, October 1927, p. 67

30
Finding One’s Life Work

Unless a person is deeply rooted, anchored, in the eternal truths, of the Ageless Wisdom, he will never be secure. Theosophy is the Rock-of-Ages as well as the unbreakable ‘hand-rail’ for those who seek to tread the steep and narrow way. It is lack of this which is responsi­ble for so many falls by people who have never understood the signifi­cance, the importance and the immeasurable value of both simple and esoteric Theosophy. One really needs to be a student as well as an aspirant in order to succeed.

One of the great advantages of Theosophy to the mind is that it can inform people of their true pathway in life. The value of this can hardly be overestimated; for it is almost everything to find and know our true way—that which we were born to do and be—our dharma in fact. Happy is the man who has found his life work!

People go astray for lack of this knowledge of their way, though also through adversities, weaknesses and the errors to which they lead. The true healer, teacher and servant of humanity is one who, knowing and fol­lowing his or her own way impersonally shows the way to others, points out each person’s pathway in life inner or subjective and outer or active.

Simply put, the true guide, philosopher and friend endeavours to put people’s feet on the right road, and when they stray, steers them back again to their true course. This, from the point of view of value to human­ity, is the greatest of the occult powers or Siddhis, one to be most highly sought for and prized, wisely to guide when guidance is sought. Whilst all ministrations and charities are valuable, it is necessary and it is best to set people on the right road at all levels at which they are capable of living—spiritual, intellectual, personal and physical.

How may this power be developed? By meditation, I suggest, for Yoga has as its goal the admittance of intuitive wisdom (Buddhi) into the brain, normally somewhat unresponsive to it in modem man. Buddhic consciousness bestows the power of intuitive insight, comprehension and the capacity to identify oneself with others. This is the real secret to be able when asked, to help people from within themselves. Wonderful though the other occult Siddhis are, this is the most immediately valuable, namely to be able effectively to identify oneself with another.

The Masters are said to need all kinds of unselfish and dedicated men and women as collaborators. Every human capacity dedicated to Their cause of enlightenment of the human mind is therefore of great value, none being declined. They need people who deeply love their fellow men, feel closely at one with them, and are ready when asked to guide them on their pathway through life.

The Masters, it would appear, work almost entirely from within peo­ple, causing Their help and guidance to arise as if from within the recipi­ent’s own mind and person. This must surely be the secret of Their-and so of everyone else’s—greatest helpfulness to another; for if and when a mode of action seems to be one’s own idea, then one readily assents and acts. In guiding a person it is important so to lead him or her to that point at which both cause and cure become interiorily apparent.

In achieving this, meditation, as I have said, is of great importance; for the opened chakras (force centres) must be combined with the opened heart, full of love for all that lives.

Yoga does not only mean union but also identification with God, His Life in the universe and in all that exists, especially animals and men who can suffer and rejoice.

Self-forgetfulness is the secret of progress in the esoteric life and happiness of one’s outer relationships.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 45, No. 1, 1984, p. 4

31
Invocations and Affirmations

Tonight as soon as I leave my physical body, I will immediately go to help and serve in every way possible …

‘May the Lords of Light and the Invisible Helpers be with those souls who have died (in...) and may They speed them to tranquillity and rest.

‘May the compassion of the World Mother be with their relatives and friends on the physical plane’.

‘O Mighty Power of Light! Ruler of all worlds! Protector of every form of life! I take refuge in Thee. I know myself to be surrounded and supported by Thy power and illumined by Thy light. Mastery of the lower self is born in me. By Thy power I rule my thoughts, my feelings and my acts. In Thy name I invoke the angels of light and power. I share their fiery strength; I am filled with their dauntless courage. Summoning them to my aid, I drive all darkness from this place. Be­fore my will—resistless now that it is one with Thine—all evil melts away. Amen’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 46, No. 2,1985, p. 31

32
Prayer and Affirmation

‘Lit by the One Light,

Empowered by the One Power, Animated by the One Life,

Pulsing with the One Pulse, Enlightened by the One Truth, Eternally merged in the One Alone, Sensing Oneness in the One Infinity, Existing in and as the One Eternity’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 45, No. 2, 1984, p. 31

33
Prayers

Some Suggestions

Here are some tentative suggestions for Prayers in the home and the school. All standing, and led by parent or Principal, each morning the children might reverently say:

Opening sentence for all:

‘All-powerful and all-loving Father, we offer and dedicate this new day to Thee’.

‘Send down from above Thine infinite Power,

Pour down upon us Thine infinite Love, That through our lives Thy Power and Thy Love may reach Thy world. Amen’.

‘Help us, O Lord, to become worthy citizens of New Zealand (or other Country), serving our people and bringing honour to our Race.

‘Pour down Thy Holy Blessing upon this our (Island) home. Pro­tect it from all evil and fill its people’s hearts with high resolve that their lives may be rich in noble deeds.

‘Lord Jesus Christ, in thankfulness and love we dedicate our lives to Thee. Amen’.

By the regular use of some such daily Prayers, I submit the youth of a Nation may grow up with a deep sense of the reality of the Divine Presence and some knowledge of the only life which is truly worth liv­ing, namely a life lived very near to God, dedicated to high ideals and devoted to the service of the world.

Furthermore, within the very heart of the Nation would be estab­lished centres in which the Lord of Love could draw near to and bless and inspire its peoples.

Opening sentence and then:

‘Throughout this day our thoughts shall be pure remembering Thy Presence,

Our hearts shall be loving remembering Thy Compassion,

Our actions shall be noble remembering Thy Kingship,

Our speech shall be true, kind and clean remembering that we must be worthy children of Thee, our Divine Father in Heaven.—Amen’.

Then might follow, or be used alternatively, a Prayer to the Sav­iour of Men:

‘O Lord Christ Who drew the little children unto Thee, draw us, the children of New Zealand (or other Country), close to Thy Divine heart of love.

‘Hold us, most dear and Holy Lord, within Thy Divine Presence, that we may draw strength from Thee. By Thy aid we shall be strong, pure and loving, growing in grace and in humility’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1969, p. 19

34
Spiritual Affirmations

‘The self in me is one with the Self in All. I am that Self in all. That Self am I’.

‘I am rooted in the Eternal’.

‘I am self-shining pure Being’.

‘I am divine, immortal and forever at one with God’.

‘I am divine, fearless, imperishable and full of joy’.

‘I and my Father are one’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1969, p. 19

35
Vegetarianism As an Aid to Spiritual Vision: Mankind’s Greatest Need

Basically the continuing world conflict would appear to arise through two forces, the will to dominate and the necessity for de­fence against domination. This is the issue with which modem man has been long confronted, the will to domination being the ruling passion of man, as Tacitus said.

The Real Scourges of Mankind

This determination to assume supreme authority, this despotism and tyranny is not limited to the international scene. Unfortunately it is universal, being observable in nearly every human institution, includ­ing many homes. Tyrants great and small are the real scourges of man­kind. What is the cause of this great fault and source of the suffering of man? It is mental and spiritual blindness, particularly to the fact of the true relationship which exists between all human beings. This is one­ness, all being members of one spiritual race which is without divi­sions of any kind.

Mankind A Unity

When one travels amongst and comes to know, the various peo­ples of the countries of the world, one finds that differences of lan­guage, custom and colour of skin apply only to the surface of their lives; underneath all are very similar, having the same hopes, fears, as­pirations, longings, happiness and sufferings. Bodies themselves are built in precisely the same fashion and are nourished by the same red blood, whilst the same kind of protoplasm forms the material of which all are built. In the light of the spiritual, mental, cultural and bodily unity of mankind, such conflicts as have raged, even in our time, are quite insane. George Bernard Shaw said, in fact, ‘If there are human beings on other planets, then they must regard the earth as the lunatic asylum of the solar system’.

The Cure

What is the cure for this age-long and continuing fault which be­sets mankind on this planet? My title indicates my own conclusion that it consists of the attainment of spiritual vision by a sufficient number of people. Happily there are many indications that this is coming about, as the founding of various world organizations shows.

Four Ways

How then may the spiritual vision which reveals what an Ameri­can poet has described as ‘the burning oneness binding everything’ to be attained? By at least four means, I think. These are study, as a result of which one gets an understanding of the basic fact of all existence which is in truth unity, oneness and realization that, as the poet said, ‘there are no others’, and as Pope said, ‘all are but parts of one stupen­dous whole’. Meditation upon the underlying spiritual truth of unity, dwelling in prolonged thought upon that truth and then passing beyond thought into experience, with a stilled mind, can greatly enlarge one’s vision. This can change one’s intellectual acceptance of the idea of oneness into direct interior experience.

The Value of Sharing

Service to one’s fellow men, whether through great causes such as vegetarianism or to individuals, enables one to get close to human­ity. By sharing people’s lives and doing one’s best to help them in their various needs, one comes to realize one’s closest unity with them and the identity of one’s problems with theirs.

A Meat-Free Diet Necessary

In the attainment of true spiritual vision, strange though it may sound, diet can play a strong part. This is probably why so many schools of spiritual training from the remotest times to the present day have insisted that their students should live on a meat-free diet. The saying, ‘as I eat so am I’, has some truth in it. Animal foods can not only poison the body and introduce into it the diseases from which food animals are known to suffer, but also animalize human nature, coarsen and desensitize those who live on flesh food. The particular or­gans in the brain through which the faculty of intuition is said to func­tion (the pineal gland), and the higher intellect which can understand the principle of unity (the pituitary gland), as well as the whole cere­bral spinal system, can be desensitized by alcohol narcotics and animal flesh, and made more responsive to higher thoughts by abstention and a vegetarian dietary.

The Way to Peace

Vegetarianism thus assumes profound world significance. The principles of health and humaneness upon which it is largely founded, give world vegetarianism great force and importance. The pressing ne­cessities of the present time give that cause added significance, for the adoption of world vegetarianism would remove the threat of a world food shortage which can contribute to world war, and—even more important—would make it more easily possible for human beings to discover both the divinity within them, and the fact that spiritually all are one. When this realization is attained, aggression becomes impos­sible and war unthinkable. This, I believe, is the way in which war will ultimately be outlawed on earth.

The New Zealand Vegetarian, Sept/Oct 1958, p. 5

 

 

36
Theosophical Order of Service

May I say how happy I am to have some part, however small, in the work of the Order here. The Theosophical Order of Service in New Zealand worked more especially by founding other or­ganizations for special purposes, and the members of our Order were the chief members in those newly-formed organizations. One of these was the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. There was no vegetarian so­ciety and not much interest in vegetarianism, and this very keen band of crusaders for animal welfare, very deeply dedicated to their cause—real crusaders -joined together before the end of the Second World War and worked to bring into existence the New Zealand Vegetarian Society, produced its own fine magazine and a considerable amount of literature. The members are moved towards the vegetarian way of life by a spirit of compassion towards the animal kingdom of nature and for reasons of health.

For example, an investigation of the meat trade in New Zealand was made. I cannot but admire those early workers who actually went to one of the big Auckland freezing works and abattoirs, and forced themselves—mostly ladies—to watch all that happened from the moment the animal was driven up the ramp, to what was then the stun­ning pen, and often to see six, seven and eight blows with a thirty-six pound hammer on the forehead of the great oxen before they fell, stunned only, to roll down and immediately be butchered, along with all that goes on in the farms, in the transportation of food animals and in that very cruel industry as a whole. The result was the formation of the Vegetarian Society and also another organization which was called the Combined Animal Welfare Organizations of New Zealand, which went into action against these same evils.

The experience of the slaughterhouse, I believe, moved us to the first of these actions. We drew up, and ultimately presented to Parlia­ment, a petition asking that it be made a law that all food animals must be slaughtered by mechanical instruments in proper repair. It needed a good deal of very hard work and campaigning, and eventually we ob­tained no fewer than 33,000 signatures to the petition. Then it was pre­sented to a special Parliamentary Committee in Wellington, and although there were some attempts to object to it, it was finally ga­zetted. It now is a law in New Zealand that all food animals must be slaughtered by mechanical instruments, chiefly the captive bolt pistol, in proper repair. This pistol fires a bolt into the forehead of the animal, which instantly loses consciousness and falls.

Then we found that there was a great deal of cruelty in sport in New Zealand. Through the Combined Animal Welfare Organizations, and in collaboration with a Member of Parliament, we were successful in having live hare coursing made illegal in New Zealand. We also suc­cessfully campaigned against live pigeon shooting, which is a very cruel sport. It is cruel not only in the immediate killing of the pigeons, but also because so many get away, wounded, carrying shot in them and flying away, slowly to die. Pigeon shooting is now illegal in New Zealand, thank goodness.

Just as Sandra and I came away, another grave evil came to the notice of the Combined Animal Organizations of New Zealand. It was the shooting of deer in the forests and clearings of New Zealand from helicopters. The venison trade is quite a lucrative one and so the firms concerned hire helicopters and pilots and they fly chiefly over the for­ests in the South Island and shoot mercilessly the deer, male, female and mother deer. One of the pilots became so revolted by the procedure that he wrote a strong article to the newspaper, describing all that went on, including the certainty that quite a number of deer would be wounded and would die slowly and in pain in the bush, or hobble about thereafter with broken legs or other injuries, and of course often young baby deer were left helpless and parentless. He felt it very strongly as a pilot and wrote quite a stinging letter to the press. We copied his letter and with a covering paragraph or two we sent it to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture and other officials, and all the other animal welfare organizations in New Zealand to enlist their aid to have this evil stopped. But replies came saying that the cruelties had been exag­gerated and that there was not all the evil in the practice which there seemed to be. So in this we failed, I am sorry to say.

Theosophy in Australia, 4 August 1970, p. 11

37
Love’s Thorns

Inseparable from the rose of love is its inevitable thorn. All bliss when experienced through a material form has its price, which strangely is its opposite. Therefore all save the very highest and most unselfish love must have its accompaniment of pain.

Even the most unselfish lover suffers when the beloved is in error, pain or need. Yet is not this part of the glory of love that, for its self-ex­pression it is ever most willing to pay its price, indeed to glory in the payment which is love’s pain.

Even the highest love which found expression in the Saviour of Men, brought Him nails, spear, crown of thorns, the anguish of loneli­ness and betrayal, and a thirst so that even He cried out in His great love that Love Itself had forsaken Him.

Therefore let all to whom love comes be ready not only to re­ceive, but indeed to welcome love’s pains. Let all who are young and look for love be warned and so prepared. But let them remember that so great is the bliss and reward of true love that the pain is infi­nitely worth while. For it is infinitely preferable to love and so to suffer than to be free from pain because there has been no love.

Is there a love attainable between man and woman and man and man that has no pain? Perhaps not, but there is a love that is so purged of self, so free of all possessiveness that the lover’s happiness is merged and lost in that of the beloved. For it is possessiveness that is at the root of all pain.

Therefore let the beloved go free, especially of soul, trusted, hon­oured, served, adored. And in that renunciation of personal possession will be found not loss of the rose of love but a veritable tree blooming unto seventy times seven.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1942, p. 66

38
Purity of Heart

Success in the quest of Adeptship depends almost entirely upon pu­rity of heart. For purity of heart implies also singleness of mind, one-pointedness and freedom from every thought of self.

Purity of heart implies transcendence of all worldly desires.

Only he who cares no longer for the wealth and glitter of the world of men, pure of heart can enter the world of the Supermen.

Only he who is free of even the slightest thought of reward, ma­terial or spiritual, in return for his labours can ever tread to its end the steep and narrow way which leadeth to eternal life.

Blessed indeed are the pure of heart, for not only shall they see and know that God which is their highest self, but they shall bestow their powers of vision upon their fellow men.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1942, p. 66

39
Gossip

One example of the prevalent misuse of thought power and speech is gossip, than which there is hardly a greater or more cruel evil.

Calumny, slander and gossip are amongst the greatest enemies of human happiness and progress. When a group of people gather to­gether to discuss the shortcomings of another, they concentrate upon and direct into their victim a powerful stream of harmful thought. Each one of them then separates to repeat the performance in another group, and so the evil spreads until an almost irresistible force in the direction of the supposed indulgence reaches the subject of their conversation.

If man must discuss the private affairs of others in their absence—and it seems that he must—then let both speech and thought be positive and beneficent. Instead of dwelling upon the difficulties and failings of others, strong thoughts of self-mastery should be sent to them.

The author has sometimes felt that he would like to form a world wide anti-gossip—or, rather, right speech—league. Members would promise, first, to refrain from gossip themselves; second, to refuse to participate in gossip and whenever possible to prevent it; third, vigor­ously to defend the victims and draw attention to their virtues; and, fourth, always to assume the highest motives for other people’s conduct.

The last of these is of great importance, for much pain is inflicted upon others by the imputation of evil motives. Analysis of one’s own motives shows how complex they may be and how frequently one is but partially aware of their various elements. Consequently, it is al­most impossible accurately to judge the motives of another. It is, there­fore, always best to assume in others the highest motive and, if not actually present, by a strong thought to implant it in them. By these means, suffering caused by calumny, slander, gossip and the imputa­tion of false motives may in some measure be reduced and relieved.

Theosophy also has a message for the victims of this evil. They are encouraged to recognize that their apparent enemy is in reality but the instrument of their own karma, and, by refraining from response in kind, to render impossible the continuance of enmity.

The Lord Buddha most truly taught that ‘Hatred ceases not at any time by hatred; hatred ceases only by love’. The Lord Christ also simi­larly said, ‘Turn the other cheek’, ‘Love your enemies’ and ‘Do good to them that spitefully use you’. These teachings should not be re­garded as impracticable. Were they so they would not have been given. On the contrary, they express spiritual and psychological truths of the greatest value. Evil is never conquered by evil, but may always be overcome by the opposite good. Anger met with anger flames into ha­tred. Anger in the presence of understanding and goodwill can no longer continue to exist.

Thought control is of the greatest importance for those are brought into close contact with children. The super-physical bodies of the child are highly sensitive to the forces of thought and feeling. Seri­ous, sometimes irreparable, harm is done to children who live in households which are divided against themselves. Constant quarrel­ling between elders, like corporal punishment inflicted in anger, can cause permanent wounds and scars upon the superphysical as well as the physical bodies of the children These in later life may cause se­rious psychological and physical disorders.

Much of the crime of the world is traceable partly to the neglect and ill treatment of children, and partly to anger and malicious thought. Every thought of anger, hatred and malice, combines with similar thoughts to form a reservoir of evil power. Some poor indi­vidual, perhaps unequally developed, perhaps wrongly treated in youth, temporarily out of control, becomes the victim of these forces and in a moment of passion commits a deed of which in his saner mo­ments he would be incapable. Similarly the larger crime of war is the result of national and international hatred and malice. Crime will not be banished, peace will not be established on earth, nor a true vision of life be attained until mankind learns to use rightly the tremendous forces of the mind and speech.

“Don’t gossip, but work.

Don’t judge, but help.

Don’t criticize, but serve”.

“For there’s so much good in the worst of us And so much bad in the best of us,

That it ill behoves any of us To find fault with the rest of us”.

[From a leaflet of the Australian Section. Also as a Leaflet in New Zealand]

40
The Great Reward

You remember when Arjuna turned to the Lord Shri Krishna in the chariot during the battle of Kurukshetra (in the Bhagavad Gita) and the Lord had been talking to him about the life of the devotee and the person who renounces self for all.

‘What reward, O Lord, do these gain who, worshipping Thee, thus renounce all?’ And the answer was, ‘Rebirth in a fam­ily of wise yogis, the most difficult of all births to obtain’.

We ought to provide more and more homes where the fami­lies are not necessarily exalted mystics and occultists, but wise yogis in the conduct of life, where some of these more advanced Egos could come and perhaps give to the world that leadership which is so sorely lacking in these days.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 40, No. 4, 1979, p. 89

SECTION 2
Theosophical Teachings

41
Discovering Theosophy

A REVOLUTION IN ONE’S LIFE

How to be happy as a fellow of the Theosophical Society [F.T.S.] is a subject of supreme importance, surely, for if we can discover the answer we shall know how to be happy in all the phases of our lives.

Curiously enough, the attainment of happiness is a serious matter. As has been said: ‘Happiness is no laughing matter’.

(Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin. 1782-1863.)

The value of Theosophy may be assessed by the world by the ap­pearance, manner, lives and of course the character of Theosophists. Cheerfulness is an oft neglected expression of the spiritual life, yet it is a religion in itself. Intelligent cheerfulness produces a natural radiance and effective channelship, which are valuable in the presentation of spiritual philosophy.

I presume that the ideal Theosophist is an inwardly happy indi­vidual for whom the very fact of existence has become an inspiration and a joy, for whom the beauty of Nature and the comradeship of men are an unfailing source of happiness.

The discovery of Theosophy can itself produce a great happiness. This can be of great value, for up to the great day and hour of the discovery of Theosophy, adult members may possibly have passed through such difficulties as spiritual darkness, mental distress, disillu­sionment, fruitless search for truth and karmic adversity. The discov­ery of a logical philosophy, a solution to life’s problems, can in consequence be a wondrous upliftment. Generally this may be both a rediscovery and as a ‘sunburst’ within one after which spiritual and mental ‘clouds’ begin to be dispersed and karmic adversities to lose their oppressive power. For many, therefore, the first rediscovery of Theosophy can be an unforgettable experience.

There then can follow a prolonged intellectual and spiritual feast. Truth after truth rings true, satisfying and elevating the seeking mind. Basic principles illumine the intellect and logically solve hitherto in­soluble problems. Despair vanishes as hope is born, the sense of chaos being replaced by the discovery of order.

Occult teachings reveal the wonders of Nature, visible and invisi­ble, without and within mankind. The future is opened up with all its limitless possibilities. The power of achievement within man is real­ized. Certainty of attainment replaces preceding despair. Hope is re­newed. Purposeful living replaces drifting. Dignity is restored to life. Intellectual awakening occurs. Spiritual experiences begin to be en­joyed.

New faculties of heart and mind germinate and are expressed. The brain, hitherto so often bedulled, displays signs of a new intellectual life and capacity. Ways of self-training and fields of service present themselves, and with a sense of privilege are entered. The Masters of the Wisdom are realized and one’s life dedicated to Them, and to treading the Path which leads to Their feet, ultimately to those glorious heights upon which They stand.

Thus the rediscovery of Theosophy can produce a revolution in one’s life. The seeker, successful at last, is changed into a blissfully happy individual, the whole mental outlook having been transformed. The irrevocable resolve is made to join the ranks of those who serve and love the world. Dedication becomes the keynote of the life hence­forth. No wonder intense happiness results, for the laws of happiness are fulfilled.

Fortunate are those F.T.S. who throughout the years that follow retain, and continuously convey to others, the inner happiness and en­thusiasm of the first Theosophical months and years. Unhappy are those for whom that first deep gratitude, that sense of wonder, delight and discovery, that inward determination to attain the heights dies out and disappears.

This does happen, can happen to any of us, especially when pre­cipitation of adverse karma is experienced; for sometimes the Angel of Sorrow puts his magic upon us, that we may grow wiser, humbler and more compassionate.

Unfortunately some then lose interest and resign. As far as one knows, the majority do not, the inner recognition of truth being too strong. Many members in the midst of great difficulties retain their membership and remain uplifted by the discovery of Theosophy, their enthusiasm and gratitude steadily increasing throughout their years of membership. This, they feel, is due to no virtue of their own. It is due to the power and beauty of Theosophy, of The Theosophical Society, and to the inspiration flowing from Those Who founded and lead it still. Such fortunate ones have found in the Ancient Wisdom an unfailing, inexhaustible source of knowledge, inspiration, joy. They have en­tered a world wide fraternity, enjoy absolute freedom of opinion and thought and have discovered complete spiritual security that Rock of Ages which for them is eternal truth and they are founding their mental and spiritual house thereon. Furthermore, those so moved find them­selves to be within reach of the great Sages, can become Their disciples and be guided by Them to Truth and Power and Peace. This, is it not, is the source of the inward happiness of F.T.S.?

How, it may be asked, can this be maintained, recovered when lost, and also shared with all? Perhaps the answer lies in the aphorism ‘Happy is the man who has found his work’, for under certain circum­stances the Theosophist has found his work ‘to Popularize a knowl­edge of Theosophy’ and so to illumine the minds and lives of others with the Ancient Wisdom. The question then arises as how then may one best give Theosophically and so live Theosophically? By practic­ing and sharing, I suggest, the safeguards against dangers which knowledge of Theosophy provides.

The world has passed through a great crisis, has surmounted one great danger enslavement by evil. Other grave dangers threaten.

Let us glance briefly at them and observe the great opportunities for Theosophical work which each one offers. In the realm of science danger exists since man is ethically unprepared for the grave dangers of added knowledge, for morality lags behind scientific progress. The one safeguard is Theosophy with its teachings of the Divinity within all that exists and therefore sacredness of life, of Unity, and therefore the brotherhood of man, and of Christhood as the goal for which spiritual purposes must rule.

In education the dangers are stultification, memorization, mass production, corporal punishment, materialism, cynicism, selfishness and self-indulgence. The safeguards include Theosophical knowledge of the evolving immortal Soul within man, its uniqueness and its goal of Adeptship; service to the God within all sentient beings; education as a lofty vocation; realization of the great Plan of evolution; recogni­tion of the youth of today as the builders of the civilization of tomor­row and their teachers as guides and directors to prepare them for that contribution; public life the greatest of all careers; the development of every aspect of human nature, and not of mental and physical alone and the supreme importance of Theosophically-illumined and moti­vated education.

In politics the dangers include the abuse of power, corruption and class and personal interests before national welfare.

Safeguards include recognition of the brotherhood of man: true idealism in the fulfilment of Office; schools and universities as recruit­ing and training grounds for public men and women: children and ado­lescents being taught to see in public life the greatest of all careers, especially civic, national and international contributions to the welfare of man.

In religion the dangers include disunity between World Faiths and within orthodox religions, and formalism, priest-craft and depend­ence upon outer observances alone.

World safeguards are: Unity in religion; A Parliament of World Religions, dedicated to individual illumination and salvation with the resultant reduction of fear, and the philosophic and mystical interpre­tation of the Scriptures of all Religions.

Such, I submit, are five wonderful ‘fields’ ready for, urgently needing Theosophical ‘husbandmen’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 41, No. 3, 1980, p. 55

42
What Theosophy Gives

Theosophy gives a sense of the worth of life, a realization of its su­preme importance which inspires and nerves its students to evolu­tionary effort.

Theosophy provides a co-ordinating philosophy of life and opens up to the thought and aspiration of the student the vast vistas of the fu­ture with their challenge to the present.

Theosophy, by revealing the great plan of life, sends the student on his way into that future confident, serene, knowing that happiness and fulfilment await him.

Theosophy offers a scientific philosophy of life which embraces both the physical and superphysical worlds, each with their varied forces and phenomena. Nevertheless, Theosophy affirms that each man can, and eventually must, win his own spiritual experience and understanding.

Theosophy teaches that every man has tremendous spiritual power at his disposal. This power, he can discover and release both for his own regeneration and for the regeneration of the race. He who dis­covers and radiates this inner force becomes as a pillar of light in both the spiritual and the material worlds.

Theosophy inculcates in the student reverence for the Divine Life in all beings and in all things, reverence for those greater than himself, reverence for every woman as mother or potential mother and pre­server of the race, for every child as symbol of the Christ Child, ‘for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven’.

Theosophy gives to each his own deeply religious faith consistent with scientific thought. This faith need not be blind. It can be founded upon direct inner experience and be therefore unshakeable.

Theosophy thus emancipates the spirit of man from the wall of suffocating dogmatism, which, upheld by formalism and the inculca­tion of fear, so long closed in upon that spirit and stifled its voice.

Theosophy strikes the note of spiritual and intellectual freedom and this great note The Theosophical Society sounds forth continually.

Theosophy teaches the divinity of man as a spirit, the uniqueness of man as a soul and the freedom of man as a Personality. Yet within that uniqueness and that freedom exists the fact of unity. From realiza­tion of unity springs the greater love, the impersonal love for all that lives.

This impersonal and selfless love guides every thought and action of the true Theosophist. By it, he knows, the world and all within it will one day be set free from the darkness of ignorance, sorrow and pain.

To that great day of liberation the Theosophist looks. For it he works, confident that by his labours, and by the labours of all who love their fellow men, the age of light, of brotherhood and of peace will dawn upon earth.

In abundance, these riches of the mind and spirit Theosophy gives to the world.

The American Theosophist, Vol. 29, Issue 1, January 1941, p. 18

 

43
A Case of Mistaken Identity

The Spirit which is man becomes clothed with material vehicles, the densest of which is physical; when awake on earth normally, knowing no other identity, man identifies himself with his named physical person with skin coloured according to Race.

The truth is that he is in no way actually identifiable with his bodily self; for this is only a garment which he assumes during prenatal life and wears throughout his life until death frees him.

One very serious effect of this erroneous self-identification with his body is the delusion that he himself is separate and different from his fellow men. The fact is, however, that the true Self in every human being is a manifestation of the One Universal, Eternal Life, which is the same in all men.

Ignorant of this fact, man thinks of himself and names himself ac­cording to his garment of flesh whilst actually he is only its wearer. If he is to have a name at all it should be ‘Wearer’ and not Mr Smith, Jones or Robinson.

The vast majority of people thus wander about on earth, self-iden­tified with their saris, dresses and suits, etc., when in fact they are merely the wearers thereof.

All the sorrows of man arise from such error, as do all wars and all crimes, and the correction of this mistake is a project of first importance; for unless this is achieved by a sufficient number, the above mentioned horrors and sorrows will remain unpreventable and incurable.

Dr Radhakrishnan (former President of India) wrote: ‘So long as we feel ourselves to have individualities of our own, we will be beset with conflicts and contradictions, pain and pleasure, but when once we disinterestedly give ourselves up to the Whole, there is an end to all discord. There are people who have transcended the delusion of self-separateness. They are called mystics. What is a mystic? The mys­tic, feeling the unity of himself and the Universe, lives in spirit, and is no more a separate self-centred individual, but a vehicle of universal spirit. These are rare and precious souls’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 42, No. 4, 1981, p. 78

44
Ahimsa

The Sanskrit word for compassion is Ahimsa, meaning ‘harmlessness’ or not hurting. This quality is regarded as one of very great importance since it is believed that the first step in the regenera­tion of man must be to eliminate cruelty. Therefore wise sages pre­scribed Ahimsa, which was regarded by them as the most effective master-method to counteract and eradicate the brutal tendencies in man.

The practice of Ahimsa develops universal love which is pure love. Where there is Ahimsa there is compassion and selfless service. Ahimsa is said to be the noblest and best of traits that are found ex­pressed in the daily life and activities of perfected beings. Ahimsa is the one sure means to attain salvation for mankind and to enjoy unin­terrupted peace and bliss, for man attains peace injuring no living creature.

Actually it is taught that there is but one religion—the religion of love, of true kindness, of peace. There is but one message, the message of Ahimsa which is the highest duty of man. Ahimsa, or refraining from causing pain to any living creature, is thus a distinctive quality empha­sized by Indian ethics, and has been the central doctrine of Indian cul­ture from the earliest days of its history. Throughout that time Ahimsa, or non-violence has proved to be a great spiritual force.

Ahimsa is not merely non-killing, however. In its comprehensive meaning, non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury demands a harmless mind, mouth, and hands. Thus Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury; it is positive Cosmic Love. It arises from development of the mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love.

The need is most urgent. A deep disharmony exists in the world and it is being continually deepened. Horrid discord reigns on earth. Uncountable millions of human beings and many more millions of ani­mals have suffered, now suffer, and inevitably will suffer and die un­necessarily, in great pain and at tremendous financial cost. A state of emergency exists, as world statistics of premature mortality, disease, famine, and ‘accident’ unmistakably demonstrate. Blood guilt and bloodstain must be removed from the conscience and soul and life of man. As long as cruelty persists, spiritual progress is retarded, spiritual activity hampered, and every reform is delayed by obstacles created by man himself.

Individual humaneness and healthy living are magnificent first steps towards a solution of this world problem. Active societies advo­cating these three essentials to health and happiness render far-reaching service to the human race. Means must immediately be found to strengthen them and to increase their effectiveness. The gospels of hu­maneness, food reform, and the healthy life must be spread throughout the whole world with ever greater diligence and efficiency. Totality of attack is, I submit, urgently demanded.

The inculcation of humaneness must especially be accepted as an essential part of education. The child must have kindness and co-operation, not cruelty and competition, insistently taught by example and precept at home and at school. Humane education will produce a hu­mane humanity. Humanitarianism is essential to world peace and hu­man health and happiness. In the coming age, it is proclaimed, world unity, world co-operation, and world wide humaneness will be accepted ideals.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 60, Issue 4, April 1972, p. 84

45
All Life is One

An inner secret knowledge of the unity of all that lives, abides in the heart of every human being. This is the bond between man and man that in their spiritual Selves all recognize and reverence the Presence of the one Divine life in all Creation and so in all mankind.

The evolution of human consciousness from the restrictions of the formal mind into the increasingly universal outlook of the abstract in­tellect inevitably reveals this intimate spiritual unity between the Inner selves of all humanity. This development is now occurring and is re­flected physically in the movement towards world co-operation and in the attempts in the present era to establish on earth a Federation of Nations.

This universalization of consciousness and this interblending of peoples are destined to continue. The sense of human Individuality will decline as the ages pass and at the same time the sense of physical separated nationhood will decrease. A Federation of Nations is but a preliminary to the reduction of nationhood itself to increasing subser­vience to the ideal of world citizenship and world brotherhood. Any nation which deliberately resists this process, which enjoins upon its peoples an intensification of the sense and action of insular national­ism is both delaying the progress of humanity towards the realization of world unity and sowing the seeds of tribulation for itself.

One world, one humanity, one family, one brotherhood is indeed the truth concerning the human race on this planet and the sooner that this truth is recognized and ratified in action the sooner will world peace, world prosperity and world happiness be established on earth.

The Brotherhood of man extends not only as a wondrous bridge across the widest seas on earth; it reaches from globe to globe and star to star. If men there be in other worlds out in the star-strewn space, then those men are the brothers of earth’s humanity. For the Universal Di­vine Spirit present in all men on all planets, all Solar Systems and all Universes makes them one. The all-pervading Divine Life in all men throughout the Cosmos binds them in bonds indissoluble. The one Di­vine Intelligence directing all brings them to the one great goal of con­scious union with the Supreme.

Since it is Divine and omnipresent, the One Life renders all things sacred; sanctifies all substance, fills all form with holiness, and be­stows upon all beings the sign and mark of Divinity.

Humanity has forgotten its essential oneness. The human race must be helped to remember and acknowledge its family relationship. There cannot be full success in post-war world-reconstruction apart from man’s recognition of the oneness of all Life and his acknowledg­ment of the Universal Brotherhood of man.

Recognition of and reverence for the Divine is the heart of the re­ligion of every age. To lead mankind to recognition of the Presence of God and to awaken in mankind the spiritual vision upon which alone that recognition depends is the true purpose of all religion. The fulfil­ment of this purpose is all-important at this time; for recognition of unity is the sovereign remedy for every ill, its ratification in action the universal panacea.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1948, p. 48

46
The World of the Occult [1]

Who Reincarnates?

The Ego of man is said to be a vehicle for his Monad in somewhat the same way in which the Personality is a vehicle for the Ego.

The question, therefore, arises as to which part of man is actually present in the physical body during earth life.

In Theosophy man is described as being triple—the outer, per­sonal, mortal man; the inner, reincarnating Spiritual Soul which we call the Ego; and the still higher, finer Self, the Spark of the Divine Flame, the Scintilla of the Spiritual Sun, the Dweller in the Innermost, called in philosophy the Monad or the One. Thus there exists the inner, highest spiritual consciousness, the Monad; the reincarnating Spiritual Soul of Will, Wisdom and Intelligence; and the outer, bodily man con­sisting of mind, emotion, vitality and flesh. Actually the Monad and the Ego cannot be regarded as separate, since the Ego is but a manifes­tation of a ray of the Monad. Therefore you find some writers using the term ‘Monad-Ego’. It is the Monad-Ego of man which is making the great pilgrimage to perfection and which is continually reborn. I must here add that Man-Spirit, or the Monad, is in no sense different or sepa­rate from God-Spirit, or the Monad of the Universe. In one sense man has no separate, individually possessed portion of pure Spirit which belongs to him alone. His Spirit is but a ray of Universal Spirit, with which the spiritual Selves of all men are equally interfused. This is, however, not merely a doctrine concerning man; it is also an experi­ence to be entered into, a direct knowledge to be gained, an illumina­tion which is within the reach of those who will seek it ardently and by the proper means. Cosmic consciousness is one name for this direct ex­perience of the unity and the identity of the Spirit of man with the Spirit of the universe, man with God.

Proof of Reincarnation

Evidence for reincarnation of many kinds can be discovered but can hardly be regarded as final demonstrable proof. There are people who, when describing a remembered past life, correctly relate histori­cal events concerning which they could not otherwise have been aware. This is strong evidence—and there are many such cases—but it is not proof. Accurate clairvoyance could reveal the same facts. The unusual powers of child geniuses and prodigies are only explained in terms of logic by the fact of the Ego having brought over from preced­ing lives an acquired and highly developed faculty. Instinct, antipathy and sympathy without obvious reason are also said to be the results of such memories, but they are not proofs.

I personally think that one of the strongest supporting evidences for rebirth is the existence of masculine types of women and feminine types of men, both common phenomena. The masculine type of woman may have been a man in a previous life, still retaining the at­tributes, the impression and the tendencies of masculinity. Similarly, feminine types of men were, perhaps, women in the past and possibly in more than one immediately preceding life. These again, however, are only evidences and not demonstrable proofs.

The only personal proof is one’s own direct recollection or Egoic awareness of one’s own past lives, just as one is aware of yesterday. Even then, as in all metaphysical and spiritual realizations, such expe­riences can only be true to one’s own consciousness. They are proof to the illumined one, but that proof cannot be demonstrably conveyed to another. Words may describe such discovered truth, philosophers, po­ets and artists may portray it, but it is the inner experience alone which is final demonstration and proof of its truthfulness. So I must answer you—‘No, I do not think that Reincarnation, or even the Life after Death, can be externally demonstrated beyond all possibility of doubt’.

Though at first thought this may appear to be somewhat disheart­ening, there could, I suggest, be much value in the limitation; for it forces upon each sincere seeker for truth the necessity of finding his or her own light, of establishing oneself in a faith which, being founded upon direct, first-hand, interior experience, is unshakeable. This at­tainment of interior light, and perhaps still more, the effort made in reaching it, are of the greatest possible value in the development of the human mind and intuitive faculty.

The True Self and Its Former Lives

In considering the subject of reincarnation in general, and more especially, of the memory of former lives, it is important to remember that the true identity of man is not his named Personality. Rather it is the Self the mind or thinker who is employing the brain, that something which definitely is not the bodily self but of which, in one ’ s higher mo­ments, one becomes aware. Are we that in us which is time-free and sometimes seems to be all-knowing, from which on occasions there descends a kind of fiery power and knowledge which can make the named person immortal? Theosophy says it is that inner Individuality of power and wisdom and fire, the immortal genius within, which is the true Self, and that it is this Inner Selfnot the outer man—which re­incarnates.

The author of the book narrating some thirty lives of Krishnamurti, C. W. Leadbeater, does not name it The Lives of Krishnamurti; he gives the Ego a star name, Alcyone. So the book is not a record of the past lives of the Indian philosopher and teacher known to his fellows as Jiddu Krishnamurti, but of the former lives of the fragment of the Divine Self of the Universe of which Jiddu Krishnamurti is a modem manifestation. Actually, each one of us has an Egoic name in addition to this physical name by which we are known down here. This spiritual name is probably a wonderfully beau­tiful chord, every note of which is expressive of an inherent power and developed attribute and faculty, a chord or name which is growing fuller and richer as life follows life. It is this, the Inner Ruler Immortal with its spiritual name, which reincarnates.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1958, p. 38

47
Studies in Occultism [1]

(a)  Can the Future be Foretold?

Accurate prophecy is said sometimes to be the result of a flash of the energy and the consciousness of the Inner Self which tempo­rarily illumines the physical brain. A simple analogy will help us. A man walking on the ground, perhaps in a hollow, can only see for a limited distance in any direction. His present range of view may be one hundred yards in diameter all around him. Now, a man in an aeroplane, three thousand feet or more above the ground, could see that walker and the country all round him. The present time of this second person would include both the past and the future of the man below in the hol­low. The aeronaut might see thirty miles ahead and thirty miles behind the walker. He will know that if the man goes on walking he will reach a wood, then a bridge, then the main road, then a valley, all of which is in a future that has not yet occurred for this man on the ground.

These places are, however, all in the present for the man three thousand feet in the air. So, the Ego may be regarded somewhat as a high flying aeronaut, with a far greater area of now-ness and here-ness than the man on the ground. He can see that causes have been set going such as a certain man walking purposefully in a certain direction—and he will know that in due course resultant effects will follow.

Sometimes a man will receive a flash of this Egoic foreknowledge in his brain and so know in advance that a particular event will come to pass. This can hardly be referred to as either Reincarnation or Telepa­thy. Rather is it brain participation in the wider vision of the Inner Self. This pre-knowledge might be telepathically communicated to another person, but Telepathy was hardly its original cause.

(b) INTERVALS BETWEEN LIVES

The period spent in the intermediate worlds after death and before rebirth is probably governed by some major law, some great rhythm of Nature to which the evolutionary needs of each individual are adapted. There are said to be two main groups of Egos or Spiritual Souls of Men, one of which takes some fifteen hundred years between lives and the other from five to seven or eight hundred years, wide variation oc­curring within both groups. Other factors affect these periods. When certain cycles converge as at present, to make a series of crises on Earth, with all their magnificent opportunities for quickened evolu­tionary progress, I have heard it taught that as many people as possible are brought into incarnation, so that they may benefit from the critical conditions and have a chance of making unusually rapid progress.

Another modification of the period between lives occurs when a certain stage or phase of evolution has been entered, at which the Inner Self is sufficiently strong and developed to be able to take its evolution into its own hands. It can then cause its Personality to live so intensely, so vividly and so actively as to make unusually rapid progress in a sin­gle life. This entry upon the Path, as it is called, could shorten the num­ber of lives necessary to reach Adeptship. We cannot say with certainty, therefore, how many lives would be needed to achieve this, because the number is subject to modification according to planetary and racial circumstances and also to alteration by the individual. The number of seven hundred and seventy-seven has been hinted at, but this number can presumably be either increased or reduced according to the way the individual lives. Eventually the state of Adeptship is closely approached, and then the necessity for further lives is outgrown.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 17, No. 5 & 6, 1957, p. 1

48
Studies in Occultism [2]

predestination and freewill

The subject of predestination and freewill has deeply occupied the minds of scholars and students. Part of the Theosophical contri­bution to the solution of the apparent paradox would seem to be that there are at least two universal forces at work upon man under which he is virtually powerless. One of these is evolutionary pressure at all levels of his existence from within outwards such as that, for ex­ample, which physically applied produces an oak from an acorn. The other force perpetually resolves into harmony all discordant editions, continually corrects imbalance.

The principle of unfoldment under the irresistible pressure of a propellant energy operates from within the innermost essence of the universe, and the spiritual seeds or germs (Monads) of all beings. The process the maintenance of harmony is ceaselessly active throughout the universe and all it contains. This harmonization operates on man as a sequence of cause and effect, under which discordances created by his selfish and cruel actions, for example, are forcibly resolved and harmony is restored.

The Irresistible Forces

These two powers—unfoldment from less to more and reharmonization—operate irresistibly upon man, as upon all else that exists. Man can delay or hasten, but he cannot ultimately frustrate these two actions of the Cosmic Will. The operation the Universal Law of cyclic expansion and evolution is irresistible. In these two natural processes, man is helpless, in them predestined. In due course man as Monad must reach the stature of perfected and harmonized manhood. Similarly every human action, modified by subsequent actions, will in­evitably bring about an exactly appropriate reaction upon the actor. In this man is indeed powerless, and predestined.

This predestination need not in the least disturb the minds of those who become aware of it, for the simple reason that the two inner im­pulses—to expand and to harmonize—arise from within the Spirit Self of man which is identical with the Spirit-Self of the universe. Once the concept is removed of an external, controlling Deity separate from man, the sense of compulsion then vanishes, for if man is predes­tined, then he is self-destined, which removes all stigma from the fact. If man’s future is pre-determined, then he himself is the only pre-determinator and, moreover, predestined by the action of his own free will.

Co-operate with the Inevitable

Perfect happiness is utterly certain for him if he voluntarily col­laborates with these two Cosmic procedures—perpetual unfoldment and the maintenance of harmony. The man who orders his life to the end of the most harmonious and speedy evolutionary progress at all levels, will generate no friction and so find peace. The man who al­ways acts harmoniously, never unnecessarily injuring any other being, and who within himself is ever harmonious and a harmoniser—is as­sured of freedom from the painful re-attuning process. He does not provoke the retaliation of the law. Ever deepening harmony and happi­ness will be his. A Greek proverb says: ‘He who is obedient to the law, the Gods lead gently by the hand. Those who resist, they drive mercilessly’.

Thus, though fundamentally self-predestined, restriction and suf­fering are by no means inevitably pre-ordained for man. He creates them for himself and he can, therefore, do away with them for himself. In these ways man can be free and the Great Teachers who have visited mankind have, by both example and precept, shown him the way of freedom.

The problem of predestination and free will may perhaps thus be regarded, and the apparent paradox which they seem to present be par­tially resolved. Other factors are, however, also involved.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 16, No. 3 & 4, 1956, p. 17

 

49
The Reincarnating Self of Man: A Study in Causal Consciousness

As I understand there may be some members of the public present this evening, and perhaps some new members of our Theosophical Society not fully aware of our teachings of the nature of man, I will begin by briefly advancing the view that man is at least seven-fold in his nature. These seven parts all occupy the same location in space; they are here and now from highest Spirit to the densest matter. The seven vestures are the physical body, the vital body, container and conserver of vitality, and the emotional and mental bodies. These four vehicles are sometimes called the Personality of man. This is mortal; it comes into existence as a vehicle of the indwelling Self during prenatal life. After the allotted span these four bodies at death gradually disintegrate, the real reincarnating Self having withdrawn from them. This Inner Self is three-fold, being a reflection of the three aspects of the Creative Logos, spiritual intelligence, intuitive wisdom and within these the Spirit-Essence, the Atma within, the real Self of man, the core of his existences. This, in its turn, is forever inseparably united with the one Spirit-Essence of all, the Paramatma.

I am now going to share with you some fruits of study and research into the condition of consciousness of that reincarnating Self, the unfolding spiritual unit, the Ego in the Causal Body. This research is possible because we do not need to remain imprisoned in the physical body whilst awake. By focusing attention in superphysical vehicles, we can learn to become aware in them and explore them.

What, then, is the life of the human Ego? I offer, quite undogmatically, some answers born of my studies of the subject, limiting myself to pure Causal consciousness, the spirit Self of a reasonably developed Ego in its Causal Body. Conditions will vary according to development and temperament, but, I think there will be certain common characteristics. At once I am faced with difficulties because words can and do falsify abstract ideals, and experiences in arupa worlds cannot be fully translated into terms of concrete thought and physical speech. Certain arupa [abstract] conditions contradict rupa [concrete] experience. For example, in Causal consciousness there are no negatives; only positives exist. There are no contrasts. All is light all the time and physically we can hardly imagine light without darkness in contrast.

Complete freedom of existence is another characteristic. There is no necessity to make any effort about anything. Entry into Causal consciousness brings at once complete ease as if all resistance, all restrictions, had vanished, leaving only pure being, the essential existence of the divine principle in man, his true integral Self, in a serene happiness in which doubt, worry and all other stresses cannot exist. The Ego dwells in smiling and unbroken ease and serenity.

No effort is ever needed and so no planning. Indeed no thought of a plan is possible, for to Causal consciousness, all exists and is perpetually available in its fullness. Any change is but a steady, unrecognized increase in the fullness of being. No action and therefore no fatigue, no exhaustion, no boredom can be experienced, no action being called for. There is only an increasing interior fullness and deepening of existence naturally occurring. The unfolding human Ego in its own world amongst its peers is simply pure being, without plan, spontaneous, thought-free, motiveless, complete.

Mystics and occultists have also borne testimony to the causal experience of entering into supernal, infinite light, of being light itself, a centre of light in an ocean of light, the ‘true light that never was on sea or land’ and ‘lighteth every man that cometh into the world’. The Causal Body is self-radiant, an out-raying of light from its centre. Another contrast with physical life is that there is no skin, no edge to this radiance of what has been called ‘The Robe of Glory’[15]. Causal consciousness is virtually universal and the sense of division, of being separated from anyone or anything does not, cannot, exist in this state. One is light in a world of universal light. When once this state has been entered and particularly when dwelt in until it becomes part of consciousness, that same light can be seen in all beings and all things. The lower worlds are ‘seen’ to be bathed in and permeated by the vast ocean of spiritual light.

Another strange experience on entering this plane of existence is that the time sense is greatly changed, almost lost, as if the Inner Self were independent of time. Time is not a factor in existence and awareness. The Ego abides in duration or time without limits. Here we live amidst past, present and future. Of these it is said only the future is actually real, the past having gone and the present vanishing whilst we think of it. The future approaches all the time. Causally this is not so. All is in complete existence all the time. The Ego does not actually dwell in eternity, in the eternal now. That appertains to a far deeper state within universe and man, at the level of the Spirit-Essence, the Atma, within us. When we touch that deeper layer, our Monadic self, then perhaps we may know eternity and that all exists in uttermost fullness all the ‘time’. Processes of beginning, developing, evolving, achieving, have there little or no meaning; for all exists all at once. Physically, this is negated, is just not so. Egoic consciousness is somewhere between the two relatively independent of time, dwelling in time without limits.

Awareness there can bring strange phenomena into one’s experience; for example, physically, a swiftly moving body, a bullet fired through the air or, far more swiftly, a sub-atomic particle, an electron, perhaps, shot with great velocity passes invisibly. When one tries to examine with heightened vision these swiftly moving sub-atomic particles and perhaps the root particle, the anu [16], these are causally and even in some strange way, clairvoyantly, observed to be motionless — a contradiction of physical experience, and there are many others, all of which can nevertheless be living and repeatable experiences whilst in the physical body. A physically moving object, then, can be observed as if there were no such phenomenon as motion, there being nowhere to go, to come from, to reach, as if everything exists now, here and all at once.

What, then, is causal knowledge? Here, as we grow up, are educated and educate ourselves, we have the experience of receiving information, of considering it, meditatively, contemplatively in some cases, as if something external to ourselves had come to us. Physically, then, a process occurs of gaining knowledge from without. That is negated in causal consciousness. The principles of existence, of emanation, unfoldment in successive degrees, of an underlying harmony of the whole universe, and all other basic equations and formulae of life, Egoically are not received ideas. We grow up with them as part of the very nature of our existence. They are built increasingly as it were into the construction of consciousness in the higher worlds, after a certain level of development has been reached. Even those words are contradictions because suggesting time. Egoically, the processes of Nature operate all around and within and upon one. They are observed and known intuitively as beyond question or necessity of thought. All natural principles and processes are, in fact, continually lived and in no sense observed as if external. They are ‘parts’ of the unified fabric of being. Now those words have falsified what I want to say, and I find it extremely hard to bring these causal, arupa, concepts in their vital significance into terms of the concrete mind. The brain is especially limiting and still more so words.

Let me, then, deliberately provide some concrete ideas. We, Theosophists, are taught, we believe, and some of us know, that this Inner Self of universe and man gradually unfolds its inherent powers, reaches one standard of development after another by virtue of successive lives on earth, the whole process operating under a flexible Law of Cause and Effect. So in our thought, we say we have had past lives. We lived on earth in another body, for example, two, three, four, or five hundred years or so ago. That life came to an end. It finished. It is now a past life. Behind that again hundreds of other existences as personalities, lived their little day and, with the civilizations with which they were a part, have all gone into the past. Now, imagine a state of consciousness in duration or time without limit in which this simply is not so, those former existences still continuing here and now. If we were in Egypt once or twice in those lives, then they are still going on. A past life is, causally, not finished and done with. The whole procedure occurs here and now, very much as we attending this gathering have been all together a few minutes before it started when we found our seats and we waited for what had to be done and is now being done. Whilst physically all events were in succession, they are still present in our consciousness, still going on. We are here together in a continuing, non-temporal, process. Something like that, but far more subtle and extensive, obtains in causal consciousness. Thus the Ego dwells in timelessness.

A peculiarity of physical embodiment is that consciousness is continually snapped off, broken, lost. Every time we go to sleep, briefly, or for the night, consciousness is lost, put out like a candle that is extinguished. For us physically all then vanishes including ourselves. We, Theosophists, may believe that consciousness continues and there is activity in an inner world but, physically at any rate, consciousness is intermittent, being continually broken. This is not at all the case for the Ego in the Causal Body. There — a falsifying word — consciousness is unbroken, continuous as if the Ego dwells in continuity with everything going on all the time, without any break in awareness or any change. If there is any change, it is as of a perpetually unfolding sphere, which from within is ever unfolding; from a centre or germ within one there is welling up all the time more and more spirit-essence; more power, life, love, vital energies and awareness and understanding are perpetually increasing, like a sphere of light with continually increasing range.

Thus in causal consciousness there cannot ever be any sense of lack, of want, anything to be striven for. All is fully available all the time, and Egoic existence consists of a perpetual expansion due to the continuous up-welling from an infinite source of light, life and energizing, dynamic power. All that ever can be is already present in this sense of growing fullness in timeless experience. As I said in the beginning, the experience of causal consciousness in whatever degree is thus one of rest, peace, great and smiling ease.

Another contrast with physical awareness, a contradiction in fact of our three dimensional consciousness is that of infinite withinness. Physically, we know that all objects can be expanded limitlessly in size. Apart from obstructions on the physical plane, space is limitless, and so we are able to conceive of limitless outward expansion. Movement outward is for us without restriction, but when we try to penetrate limitlessly into the interior of things we come to the impassible centre. Now imagine a state where that impassibility does not exist, where there is also infinite withinness. This is applicable to both universe and man and if he so focuses his attention, he can indeed penetrate in consciousness deeper and deeper towards his inner nature without ever coming to a stop, a barrier, an absolutely resistant centre.

This is a very strange experience and again in examining sub-atomic particles, for example, one finds that deep within the minutest of them there is another kind of existence, penetrating into which one comes to another world from which the force that makes the object appear in the physical world is coming. This can be pursued into successive interior states until presumably you come to that centre which H.P.B. [Helena P. Blavatsky] says is everywhere with circumference nowhere — inconceivable physically. The brain cannot conceive it though it is good to meditate upon. Egoically it is a natural characteristic of consciousness in the causal world.

Then, again, the integrity of the Ego is unstained[17] and unstainable a wonderful state! Wholeness, actuality, of that which you are is a causal attribute. You are what you are. How difficult to attain down here, where we are continually shaped, moulded and conditioned by all sorts of external influences and uttermost trueness, integrity is almost impossible. But, causally, there are no external influences. All is within and part of the fabric of one’s being. There is nothing to attain, nothing to manoeuvre[18] for, plot for, plan for, deceive for. The jewel of sincerity shines in the crown of the Inner Self of Man

Imagine also a condition of consciousness in which not only time is not a factor in existence, but space also. To the Ego, space and distance hardly exist. The Ego of man is independent of location. There is no geography in the causal world. It does not matter where one is, existence not being in any way affected by position in space.

There is no going away because there is nowhere to go. There is no losing someone or something, because all is always here, all ever available. The only necessity for communion is attunement. If one can attune with any other being in the causal world or with great ideas and principles of existence then they are present in fullness. Death of course cannot exist, for the Inner Self is immune from death. Only the body dies. Having been born, it must die, but the shining Self of Light is virtually immortal. Egoically, for us all there is no death, no separation, no bereavements. Perhaps the analogy of radio might help us in this. It does not help to have the receiver close to the transmitting station. Receivers are generally fairly independent of location. If you can tune in adequately, all things being equal, you can pick up a chosen station. Carry that up into terms of pure consciousness and realize that distance, separation, other locations are not part of the content of such consciousness.

If that consciousness is blessed by knowledge of a Master, if there is a sense of having dedicated oneself and one’s life and being to a great Adept, then He is ever present and can never be lost as long as the power to attune with Him remains. So in this sense, the Guru, the Adept, the Master, is not away in an ashram. He is here, an ever-present living Light and Presence and Power within one’s Inner Self. The Himalayan Ranges cannot separate the disciple from his Guru, for He is here and now and within one all the time — a blessed thought for the devotee! Even more blessed when it is a fully conscious experience as we are promised it can be.

I expect some of you are mentally asking: ‘How can we know some of this wondrous life, this serene content, this poised harmony, and tranquillity of soul and mind?’ Indeed this is the great question: How to know? Most of you know full well and will answer, by the practice of Yoga. May I simplify that and say, ‘by strong focusing of attention’. Awareness can be established at that point where your thought is focused. So we should focus our attention out of the unreal into the real, out of this relative darkness into the light and out of this death into immortality. By following the habit of living there in thought, of being often focused there, the doors, the double doorway, opens and we can pass in to the holy of holies of our inner nature where is enshrined the Atma, the immortal Spirit-Essence of our real selves. Simply put, it is done by thinking. Think constantly on the eternal and the eternal will become ours. I have written an affirmation with which I will close. Lifting consciousness above the physical, astral and mental levels, we may frequently affirm: ‘I am a divine and immortal being. I live for ever in radiance, in eternal youth, and in oneness with God’.

A Convention Lecture delivered at Adyar on 26 December 1950

 

50
The Royal Secret

What is the supreme Theosophical revelation? What is the highest Truth, the ultimate fact, the ‘Royal Secret’? What can we, Theosophists, say to a world of men perplexed, confused, frightened, disillusioned, cynical, trusting, if in anything, in physical science alone? The answer can be given in one three-lettered Sanskrit word, which must of course be translated into the language of the people addressed. This, I conceive, is our task to translate that one essential word, and to convey convincingly that translation to humanity.

What is that short word which reveals all, solves all, satisfies all? It is the name of God given to the Aryan Race by the Rishis of old! It is spelt AUM and pronounced OM. One translation into English of this three-lettered word which is pronounced in one syllable is ‘The Divine Source is threefold in manifestation and one in essence’. This divine essence constitutes the essential Self in every human being. There are not two essences, but one. Such is the one truth, the Atma Vidya, the Supreme Wisdom.

Why is this apparently simple and not unfamiliar idea so important and so potent? Because it solves man’s two greatest problems — those of religion and human relationships. Applied to a religion, AUM directs man’s thoughts to his Divine Source, and links him therewith when meditated upon and correctly chanted as a Mantram. AUM  leads, therefore, to the vital religious experience of

In these days, certain parts only of the ‘Grand System of Correspondences’ have been given to mankind by the Adept Teachers of the Race; for knowledge is power and only the more innocuous aspects of the Science can safely be put before humanity at this stage of its evolution. While this reservation would appear to be a limitation, it is, in fact, a challenge to the intellect and intuition of those students in whom the determination to know has awakened; for to those organs of consciousness all knowledge lies open, and in seeking to fill in the gaps in the present revelation the student exercises, and so develops, his powers of intellection and perception.

The Lord Buddha is reported to have said: ‘In this very body, six feet in length, with its sense impressions and its thoughts and ideas, is the world, and the origin of the world, and the ceasing of the world, and likewise the Way that leadeth to the ceasing thereof.[19]

Thus, because of the underlying unity of this tremendous pattern of unfoldment, man contains in himself every element that is found in the universe. In the chain of being, everything is magically contained in everything else. Where you stand, there stand all the worlds. Kabbalism — the Theosophy of the Hebrews — adds to the Hermetic axiom — ‘what is below is above’ — the statement that what is inside is outside, and also acts upon everything else. Man himself is portrayed as a symbolic transparency through which the secret of the Cosmos may be discerned. Kabbalists stress the interrelation of all worlds and levels of being, affirming that everything is connected with and interpenetrates everything else according to exact though unfathomable laws. Everything possesses its infinite depths which from every point may be contemplated.

The Theosophist, Vol. 103, November 1981, p. 46

 

51
Atlantis: Fact or Fable?

Soundings and explorations of the bed of the Atlantic Ocean and re­cent expeditions in search of facts supporting the existence of Atlantis, have drawn public attention to the idea that such a conti­nent may have once existed.

According to Plato, who first related the story publicly, the people of Atlantis formed the oldest civilization in the world. They possessed great cities with palaces, temples of gold with huge golden images of its deities, roads of great size and, length, chains of canals, and rejoiced in a climate so benign that they reaped two harvests a year. They owned ships and war chariots, and bred the finest horses and cattle. Atlantis, said Plato, was situated in front of the Straits (of Gibraltar) then called the Pillars of Hercules and led to a succession of islands through which one might pass to the whole of the opposite continent, that is to say, to what is now America.

How did Plato hear all this? From his grandfather, Solon. During a visit to Egypt, Solon, the famous Athenian philosopher and lawgiver, was told of Atlantis by an aged priest at Sais, who added: ‘There dwelt in Atlantis the fairest and noblest race of men who ever lived, of whom you and your city are but a seed or remnant’. The original Atlantis, he said, was pre-eminent in laws, performed the noblest deeds, and pos­sessed the finest constitution, its antiquity being such that it was ‘founded by the goddess Athene a thousand years before Sais’. It was ‘a great and wonderful empire, which had rule over the whole island and several others, as well as over parts of the continent. A mighty power invaded it and also endeavoured to subdue our country (Egypt) and yours (Athens) and the whole land within the Straits (of Gibraltar). But violent earthquakes and floods in a single day and night caused the island and its warlike men to sink beneath the seas’. Such in brief, is the ancient legend repeated by Plato. A great continent existed, suf­fered invasion by a mighty host, a great war, and ultimate submersion through violent earthquakes and floods.

Geographical Evidence

Justification for a belief that such a great continent linking the Americas with Africa and Europe did once exist rests on quite a num­ber of physical facts. Here are a few of them.

The Dolphin Ridge, a plateau 9,000 feet above the Atlantic ocean bed, extends from near the coast of Ireland to the coastline of South America near French Guiana. Dry land fossils have been brought up from the bed of the Atlantic. Lava from this plateau brought up by cable-laying vessels is demonstrably dry land lava erupted less than 15,000 years ago. Mayan literature contains flood and creation stories closely resembling those of Genesis, Egypt, India, Babylon and Chaldea.

Egyptian manuscripts discovered by Dr Henry Schliemann, dis­coverer of Troy, have convinced him that Atlantis existed. One such manuscript records that an expedition was sent by a Pharaoh about 7,650 B.C. to seek traces of the Motherland from whence Egyptians first came, but found no traces. Indeed, all had disappeared in the flood of 10,000 B.C. It is, however, a fact that Egyptian civilization has no known root and no primitive period. A papyrus found by Dr Schliemann, written by the priest-historian Manetho, gives reference to a period 13,900 years ago as the date of the Kings of Atlantis in Egypt. At Troy, Schliemann found an ‘owl vase’ bearing Phoenician hieroglyphics reading: ‘From King Chronos of Atlantis’. This peculiar owl vase was duplicated in a collection of objects from Tiahuenaco, South America.

Then again, pyramids, monoliths, and semicircles of stones like the Druid formations in England were found on the Island of Bonaca off South America. Furthermore, the step pyramids of Egypt are dupli­cated in America. In American Indian languages there are over one hundred words that are similar to words of the same meaning in the Arabic and Greek languages. The myths of Greece are repeated in In­dian and Mayan tradition, as for example that of Atlas. In fact the peo­ple of Atlantis were called Atls: A-T-L-S, and the syllable Atl is the root of many place names in America today, e.g. Atlanta, Popocatapetl, and in the name of the Toltec ruler and lawgiver: QUEXAL-CO-ATL. A close correspondence exists between the flora and fauna of the Southern U.S.A. and that of Europe. The monk seal does not frequent the open ocean. Yet it is to be found in both the Mediterra­nean and the West Indies. Certain exactly similar ants are found in the Azores and U.S.A. Moths and butterflies of the Canary Islands are identical with those in America. But none of these could fly across the Atlantic. The Basque language has no affinity with other European languages; it rather resembles aboriginal tongues of America in gram­matical structure. Cro-magnon skulls found in France resemble those found in Logoa Santa in Brazil. I think you will agree that these simi­larities cannot all be coincidences. There must once have been a land connection to account for them.

Theosophical Story

What has Theosophy, whose teachings are the fruits of the occult investigations of countless generations of initiated seers, to say about Atlantis and the Atlanteans? A great deal, as reference to Theosophical literature will demonstrate. The history of Atlantis is said to be divided into four epochs separated by four cataclysms. Up to 850,000 years ago, when a great flood occurred, Atlantis extended from a few de­grees east of Iceland to about the site now occupied by Rio de Janeiro. It embraced Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, the southern and eastern states of America, Labrador, and the area from there to Ireland, Scotland and a small portion of the North of England. It reached also from Brazil to the African Gold Coast.

The distribution of the land after the first great catastrophe of about 850,000 years ago, in the Pliocene Age, shows that a consider­able portion of the north of the continent was submerged, and the rest was much rent. The growing American continent was separated by a chasm from the remainder of Atlantis, which then occupied the bulk of the Atlantic basin, from about 50° N. Lat. to a few degrees south of the equator.

Great subsidences and upheavals in other parts of the world also took place. The British Isles, for example, then formed part of a huge island embracing the Scandinavian Peninsula, the North of France, all the intervening and some of the surrounding seas.

The land surface after the second catastrophe about 200,000 years ago was much changed, although this cataclysm was relatively smaller than the first one. Atlantis proper was now split into a Northern Island called Ruta, and a Southern Island called Daitya. The future North and South America were separated from one another. Egypt was sub­merged and the Scandinavian Island, which included the British Isles, was then joined to the future Europe.

A stupendous planetary convulsion took place in 75,025 B.C., the third of the four cataclysms. As a result of it, Daitya, the Southern Is­land, almost entirely disappeared, Ruta was reduced to the compara­tively small Island of Poseidonis, which was situated at about the centre of the Atlantic ocean. The other land surfaces were then roughly as they are today, though the British Isles were still joined to Europe, the Baltic Sea was non-existent, and the Sahara Desert was still ocean.

In the fourth and final cataclysm of 10,000 years ago Poseidonis entirely disappeared and the submergence brought up the Sahara Desert out of the sea and caused huge tidal waves in the Mediterranean countries. This is the historical basis for the story of the Deluge in the Bible and other ancient books.

Concerning the civilization and people of Atlantis, Theosophy agrees with the descriptions given by Plato and also has much further information to give. The Atlantean Race was the fourth of the seven major races of man which will occupy this planet during this present period of activity. The fifth or Aryan Race is now in process of development.

The Atlantean peoples are still numerically preponderant on the earth. Here is a list of some of the nations which belong to that Race: The Laplanders, the Patagonians, the American Indians of both North and South America, the inland Chinese, the Basque people of Spain, the Magyars of Hungary, the Japanese and all the Mongolian, religion, politics and social structure was displayed throughout the long period of Atlantean development. Occult records exist of a very high state of civilization achieved about the midpoint of the Atlantean race and cen­tred around the capital city. This was the famous City of the Golden Gates. This epoch is sometimes called the Toltec Golden Age; for an almost perfect, communal society then existed for some 100,000 years. This civilization was based upon this central idea: from each according to his capacity, to each according to his need. During this time there was practically no crime and the most serious punishment consisted of banishment which was dreaded. The Atlanteans were great colonizers, sailors and merchants. They founded an empire in Peru and earlier still in Egypt. Eventually, serious malpractices, including very evil forms of sorcery, developed and threatened the progress of the whole Atlantean race. They eventually recovered, however, and gave birth to the Aryan race to which most of us belong.

The progress of humanity thus continues. Indeed, the Theosophist cannot despair, cannot fear that all human achievement could be swal­lowed up in unheeding, everlasting night. The Theosophist knows that mankind moves through innumerable ages to ever-increasing power, wisdom and glory.

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 10 August 1951, p. 7

52
Study Corner [1]

Some definitions

The Auric Envelope

The human aura is described as a subtle, invisible essence or fluid that emanates from human, animal, and even inanimate bodies. It is a psychic effluvium, superphysical and physical including the electro-vital emanations from the physical body in the case of man. It is usually oviform or egg-shaped and is the seat of the Monadic, spiri­tual, intellectual, mental, passional and vital energies, faculties and potentialities of the whole sevenfold man.

The auric envelope refers to both the edge or extreme range of the auric radiations (envelope) and the presence of germinal powers, par­ticularly those retained in the immortal vesture of the triple Self known as the Causal Body. This vehicle is more especially symbolized by the Arks of the flood legends of the Scriptures of ancient peoples, and by boats introduced into other allegorical narratives such as those of the ships built by Argus and Deucalion (Greek mythology), that built for Vaivasvata (Mahabharata, the Puranas and the Brahamanas), and that upon which Christ performed the miracle of the stilling of the tem­pest (Matthew 8:23-26).

In general the auric envelope is the edge and sum total of the substance of the seven human bodies, physical and superphysical, and their subtle radiations.

Parabrahman (Sanskrit)

‘Beyond Brahma’, the Supreme, Infinite Brahma, the absolute attributeless, secondless reality, the impersonal, nameless universal and Eternal Principle. Brahman (Sanskrit). The impersonal supreme and incognizable Principle of the Universe, from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns.

Creation

The emergence and subsequent development of a Universe and its contents is regarded in occult philosophy as being less the result of an act of creation, followed by natural evolution than a process of emana­tion guided by intelligent Forces under immutable Law. The creation or emergence of Universes from nothing is not an acceptable concept, all being regarded as emanating from an all-containing, sourceless Source, the Absolute.

The Ego

The threefold, immortal, unfolding spiritual Self of man in its ves­ture of light, the ‘Robe of Glory’ of the Gnostics and the Karana Sharira, or Causal Body, of Hindu philosophy. This higher Triad evolves to Adeptship by virtue of successive lives on Earth, all linked together because they are reincarnations of the same spiritual Self. Thus the Ego, in its turn, is an individualized manifestation of the Monad, which is the eternal Self of man, the Dweller in the Innermost, a unit of the Spirit-Essence of the Universe.

The Absolute

In occult philosophy the term ‘God’ in its highest meaning refers to a Supreme, Eternal and Indefinable Reality. This Absolute is incon­ceivable, ineffable and unknowable. Its revealed existence is postu­lated in three terms: an absolute Existence, an absolute Consciousness, and an absolute Bliss. Infinite Consciousness is regarded as inherent in the supreme Being as a dynamic Force that manifests the potentialities held in its own infinitude, and calls into being forms out of its own formless depths.

God

This word appearing in the first verse of the first Chapter of the Book of Genesis is a mistranslation, and a very misleading one, of the Hebrew word in the original Elohim. This word denotes the male-female Hierarchies of creative Intelligence or Potencies through which the Divine produces the manifested Universe: the unity of the powers, the attributes and the creative activities of the Supreme Being. ‘Elohim’ is a plural name, the singular form of the word being ‘Eloha’, i.e. a ‘god’. ‘Elohim’, therefore literally means ‘gods’,‘ personifica­tions of divine attributes or the forces at work in Nature. Admittedly the ‘Elohim’ are also conceived as a Unity in the sense that they all work together as One, expressing One Will, One Purpose, One Har­mony. Thus their activities are regarded as the manifestation of the Eternal One, the Absolute. ‘Elohim’ might therefore be explained as ‘the Unity of gods’ or ‘the Activities of the Eternal One’, namely God omnipresent and revealing Himself outwardly in creative activity (Partly paraphrased from The Unknown God, P. J. Mayers).

Ring-Pass-Not

The outermost edge or limits marked out by the Logos within which His System is to appear. Macrocosmically, it is the presumed boundary within which is contained the consciousness of all beings evolving within the circumscribed field or area of Space—microcosmically the Auric Envelope.

Applied solely to states of consciousness, this term signifies the circle or frontiers, great or small, to which realization and awareness are limited. In the course of evolution each entity reaches successive stages of unfoldment out of which its consciousness cannot pass to the conditions attained at later or higher phases of development. This ap­plies to beings at all degrees of growth, from the animal to the Solar Deity, each having a limit to its range of awareness, this being appro­priate to its evolutionary stature.

For animals the Ring-Pass-Not is self-consciousness, which they lack. For man it concerns full spiritual Self-awareness and ability to re­alize dimensions of space beyond the normal three. These limitations may also be regarded as portals or ‘points of transmission’ leading from one plane of existence to another.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 26, No. 3, 1965, p. 60

53
Theosophy as Interior Experience [1]

What IS Theosophy?

We, theosophists, have discovered within ourselves a wellspring of life, of happiness, of inspiration. Theosophy has led us to this discovery. If we choose to become active theosophists — and happily we are quite free in this choice — our task is to lead humanity to its own truth as we have been led. Our work is to re-establish the Wisdom-Religion on earth.

Before we can effectively fulfil this function, we must answer to our own satisfaction the question: ‘What is Theosophy?’ The usual answer is based upon the Greek words from which the name is derived Theo-Sophia, meaning divine wisdom. Madame Blavatsky’s definition is: ‘Theosophy in its abstract meaning is Divine Wisdom, or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universethe homogeneity of eternal good; and in its concrete sense it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by Nature, on this earth and no more’.

I wish to draw attention to one phrase in this definition: ‘Theosophy’, says Madame Blavatsky, ‘is the aggregate of the knowledge and the wisdom that underlie the Universe ... it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by Nature, on this earth, and no more’. What may we assume is meant here by the phrase ‘as allotted to man by Nature?’ In what sense may Nature be said to have allotted Theosophy to man?

In seeking an answer, we at once perceive that according to this definition Theosophy is not a wisdom, a knowledge, a power separate from or outside of man. It is something allotted to man by Nature. It is therefore part of man. Being divine, it is therefore eternal. In consequence, Theosophy must be regarded not only as a science of life studied and partly comprehended by the lower quaternary, the mortal man. Theosophy must also be regarded as an attribute of the higher Triad, the immortal Self. Thus Theosophy is not only a divine wisdom which by study and practice becomes incorporated into man as an enrichment of his mind, an enlargement of his concrete knowledge. Theosophy, being eternal, appertains to the eternal Self of man.

Since that Self is triple in Its nature, we have a threefold definition of Theosophy. In its wisdom aspect, Theosophy is an attribute or manifestation of the Buddhic Self of man. In its intellectual aspect, it is an attribute or manifestation of the higher Manasic Self of man. In its power aspect Theosophy is an attribute and manifestation of the Atmic Self of man. In a phrase: Theosophy is the innate wisdom, knowledge and power of the inner Self of man, latent or active in varying degrees.

Before proceeding to examine this concept and its implications, let us consider a question which arises out of it. If Theosophy is within you what is the place, value, of the externally propounded doctrines through which most of us first learn of the existence of Theosophy? What is the relation between the Theosophy of the inner Self and the Ancient Wisdom in its concrete form delivered to humanity age by age by the Adept Teachers of the race?

The value of doctrinal Theosophy is, I think, abundantly clear. Apart from its great practical usefulness as a guide to intelligent living and therefore to happiness, it constitutes a pathway or gateway leading from concrete to abstract levels of consciousness, from an externally perceived scientific philosophy to an interior illumination, from time-conditioned exposition to eternal truth.

Theosophy as it exists in our books and is taught in our lodges is therefore in no sense an end in itself. As must ever be remembered, external Theosophy can never possess the attribute of finality. However brilliantly grasped and expounded it will ever remain unfinished and its concepts of truth entirely relative. The marvellous collection of doctrine, of knowledge of ideas — Theosophy-of-the-books — whilst of the greatest value as a practical philosophy of life, is of infinitely greater value as a bridge leading ‘from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality’. Recognition of this fact in no way decreases one’s appreciation of the doctrines-in-time. Indeed, if anything their value is enhanced; for is it not far more valuable to exist and function as a gateway leading to wider fields than to be the end of a road?

Returning to the main theme, we may ask: Of what practical value is this concept of ‘Theosophy as interior wisdom, knowledge and power?’ What are the implications for Fellows of The Theosophical Society? This concept can be of the greatest help to all of us and especially to the teacher of Theosophy. Throughout his expositions he is, or should be, continually aware that whilst he is imparting to his hearers doctrines as guides to life down here, he is also pointing out to them a road leading from external Theosophy to the wisdom, the knowledge and the power which are the very essence of the interior Self.

The function of the theosophical teacher is now seen to be at least dual. Whilst he expounds doctrines pointing out their intellectual and their practical implications, he also leads his students to the discovery of their own truth. Here at once we are face to face with one of the great difficulties of our work. It is the relative scarcity of teachers who are able to fill this dual role. This difficulty exists partly because we are a society of men and women who are active out in the world. Nearly all of us have worldly duties which prevent us from giving ourselves wholly to the study and exposition of Theosophy. Very few of us are in circumstances which permit either prolonged study or the regular practice of yoga.

Even to those free of temporal activities and obligations, fulfilment of the dual role of teacher and spiritual leader demands the highest qualifications. Expositions of doctrinal Theosophy may not be difficult for those who have the interest, the education, the leisure and the intellectual capacity required. For them success depends upon self-application, upon effort. Successfully to impart the main theosophical teachings and in addition to elevate the consciousness, truly to illumine the minds and hearts of listeners and students inspiring them to set forth on the great quest of their own inner Light such a task is indeed difficult of fulfilment.

Why is this so? Is it not due to the operation of a natural law? According to this law only the self-illumined can illumine another. Spiritually, no man can give to another that which he does not possess himself. He who has not found his own inner Light cannot be a light in another’s darkness.

Thus we are led to one conclusion. Since Theosophy is within each one of us and our task is to lead our fellow men to their own Theosophy, practical, intellectual and spiritual, we must each one of us, first discover our own Theosophy. We must find that Theosophy which is the knowledge and the power of the inner Ruler Immortal.

Self-Illumination

How shall this discovery be made?

First: I submit, by a recognition of its necessity, hence this address of mine. Second: by an application both to our daily lives and to our intellectual and spiritual evolution of the theosophical teachings concerning the way of self-illumination.

With regard to necessity, in my Convention address of last year I stated that Discipleship whether of a great Being or of a great Ideal was the hope of the world. I repeat that affirmation now. For the events of the past, twelve months have abundantly demonstrated the failure of a statesmanship, the principles of which emanate from the concrete analytical mind. The crying need is still more painfully evident now for a statesmanship in the conduct of life individual, national and international, the principles of which emanate from minds illumined by the light of wisdom and established upon the limitless power of the spiritual Self.

Theosophy completely meets this need. As I have already stated, it is the bridge between the lower and the higher, the mortal and the immortal, the time-imprisoned and the eternal Self of man.

Mere contemplation of a bridge, however intelligent and complete, will not carry the traveller across the stream. The study alone of a gate and a gateway, however comprehensive and exact, will not lead the student to the fields beyond. The bridge must be crossed. The gate must be opened and the traveller must move forward. So with ourselves, if we would become teachers of the Wisdom, we must pass from the intellectual grasp of doctrinal Theosophy into living experience of Theosophy itself, the interior light, life and power of our inner Selves.

What shall we find when the bridge is crossed?

What is the Theosophy of the Ego?

My own interior experience is admittedly limited, but in answer to those questions I propose to share a part of it with you. Ideally I ought first to say something concerning the means whereby the bridge may be crossed, the gate opened and passed through. An interesting subject, attempted exposition of which I must however reserve for a future occasion.

Meantime many books on yoga exist, some of them valuable as guides on the pathway of self-illumination.

Come with me, if only in imagination, through the twin portals of feeling and thought into that temple of light which is theosophically termed the Causal Body of man. Let us perform together an act of yoga. Physically relaxed, affirm with me: —

“I am not the physical body. I am the spiritual Self within.

(Pause).

I am not the emotional body. I am the spiritual Self within.

(Pause).

I am not the mental body. I am the spiritual Self within. (Pause).

I am the divine Self .... Eternal .... Immortal .... Indestructible.

(Pause).

Radiant with divine Light, shining throughout the universe.

(Pause).

I am that Light,

That Light am I”.

Thought ceases. The mind is still, the centre of awareness having been transferred from it into the Self within. Consciousness now consists no more of effort, of speculation, of analysis. These are displaced by effortless, thought-free certitude and by a vivid awareness of freedom. No longer now do we think of the Causal Body, the shining Augoiedes, as a kind of captive balloon floating somewhere above and partly within the physical, astral and mental bodies, connected thereto by a silver cord. We know it now as the ‘home’ of the Self, the centre of our existence, the bodies its appendages.

Consciousness is focussed now in the heart of our existence. We abide in, are surrounded by a great radiance, a robe of light richly hued. Each brilliant colour is also delicate, the whole aureole of light irradiating the personal vehicles and shining forth on every side. Looking outwards at the other Selves, within this radiance perchance a form is visible, a face perhaps, a highly spiritualised representation of the physical face, the eyes alight with spiritual power, expressing ecstasy, bliss, yet strong with the assurance of immortality and indestructibility.

Causal Consciousness

In what state or condition of consciousness do we find the inner Self? Upon what activity, if any, is it engaged?

The first impression which one generally receives on entering Egoic consciousness as I have said is that of light, of being at the centre of a great radiance, indeed of being light itself One discovers one’s Light-Self and perceives something of the glory of that everlasting Light in which all Egos are bathed. Later, through meditation upon the Light aspect of the Self, the inner or ‘true’ Light of the Solar System, begins to be more fully perceived. This light pervades all substance which is transparent to it. In it there is no differentiation and no form. There is only a shining sea of light with gradually-realized light-centres of varying degrees of brightness within it, representing the Egos of other beings. Sometimes the experience is less of light alone than of fire. The universe appears as flame-like, as if one were at the heart of the sun as fire and conscious in every electron of its flame. The student himself is that light. No sense of duality is present, the universe being penetrated everywhere with the one everlasting light.

Sudden entry into this state can at first produce a certain shock which flings one back into brain consciousness. By practice however the condition can be sustained. One becomes steadier and can to some extent investigate the experience and explore the field of his inner consciousness. Whilst at first too high in frequency safely to be sustained in brain consciousness for long periods it is quite normal at the causal level where there is no slightest sense of strain. Actually, in order to bring the impressions into the brain the frequency must be greatly slowed down, a process which is constantly occurring in ordinary awareness. The experience of genius is a direct manifestation in the brain of this play or movement of consciousness at super-mental frequencies, of the temporary descent from the Ego unimpeded and at its own intensity into the brain of the divine fire of the Self. For the Ego is found to exist in a state of white-hot genius, of overmastering inspiration, of capacity raised to the nth degree.

Next is the experience of intensity of existence, of life at an enormously increased voltage. If one imagines the condition at the centre of a terrific explosion at the moment of its occurrence and conceives of that condition being normal and continuous, then one may realize somewhat the exaltation and vividness of Egoic life. One must however remember that this analogy but partly applies. In Egoic consciousness there is no resistance, though the intensity of life resembles that of sudden release of highly compressed energy. Actually a further experience is that of the complete absence of all resistance, indeed of that duality of power and mechanism, consciousness and vehicle, will and resistant matter ever present in personal life. The ascent into Egoic consciousness might perhaps be compared to the sudden releasing of a balloon which for long has been straining at its moorings in a high wind.

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 3 June 1939, p. 3

 

54
Theosophy as Interior Experience [2]

This is not infrequently accompanied by an indescribable inner happiness, mounting even to ecstasy, not unlike but almost infinitely greater than that produced by the realization of reciprocated love. This sense of joy also resembles that experienced at the sudden grasp of a new aspect of truth, the discovery of a philosophic principle or on being greatly inspired in the execution of some piece of creative work. Afterwards a divine bliss and gentleness may pervade the whole nature. All past suffering seems wiped away. The soul is healed and abides in a state of absolute harmony.

At other times the predominating sense is of immense power, of being a veritable giant of spiritual strength, omnipotent within the field of one’s own manifestation.

At all times the immortality of the Self is known. The fear of death, though not necessarily of dying, vanishes forever after the first experience of Egoic consciousness.

There is also a sense of standing alone — not in loneliness but alone-ness. One enjoys an entrancing solitude in which all fullness is impersonally present. One is not swallowed up in light or life. One begins to realize that one IS the Boundless All, always has been and always will be. There is no sense for example of an external watching Deity. But the interior existence of a divine principle throughout all Nature comes to be realized and brings with it a sense of the sacredness of all things.

Amidst all this there is a region of Egoic consciousness which is in silence. When you enter there you find yourself dark. Yet the darkness seems pregnant with light, the utter stillness charged with the potentiality of all sound. For this inner centre of stillness is not empty. Paradoxically, it is rich and full as if within one there were an abyss of truth.

Emerging, the mind is filled with a sense of freshness, newness, of perpetual spring, of harmony, of light, of power.

Strangely, physical sensory power is sometimes enhanced. Nature appears to be more beautiful, radiant, alive. Tennyson’s words are fully appreciated:

“Let no one ask me how it came to pass

I only know it happened, that to me

A livelier emerald twinkles in the grass

A purer sapphire melts into the sea”.

There speaks one who had known the exaltation of the higher consciousness experienced the enhancement of sensory powers which results.

The Ego and Reincarnation

From this elementary study of the nature and the interior life of the immortal Self of man as it is lived in formless worlds, let us now turn to the ‘external’ experiences, of the Ego. For we know that one aspect of the Ego is concerned with, temporarily limited by and sharply focussed in, the process of evolution through reincarnation, contact with and experience of the worlds of form. Let us try to look, for example, at reincarnation, karma and astrological influences as the Ego experiences them.

When a new incarnation begins the Ego as it were throws itself open to experience in the three lower worlds, the mental, astral and the physical. In the period between incarnations, save for the temporarily dormant thread of life and three permanent atoms, the Causal Body is self-contained or closed as far as the lower worlds are concerned. Forces are constantly welling up within it or, diagrammatically, are descending into it from still higher worlds. In inter-incarnation periods these flow through and beyond the Causal Body in all directions but only on the Higher Mental Plane.

When incarnation is to begin the Ego may be thought of as opening a funnel leading from the centre or heart of the Causal Body into the Lower Mental world. This creative act permits a certain measure of the forces from the planes of Atma, Buddhi, Manas to flow as a threefold ‘ray’ through and from the Ego into the form worlds.

This funnel, which closes again or is withdrawn after devachan, has its point or apex in the very centre of the Causal Body at the point at which the inner forces continually arrive. Some of these continue to empower, vivify and irradiate the whole Causal Body thereby maintaining individualized causal life or Ego-hood. Some of them however flow down the funnel as the creative forces, which pass through the resistant barrier of the fourth sub-plane of the mental plane and in the course of time bring the new set of vehicles into existence.

The width of this funnel is of great significance. In a savage it is very narrow; in civilized man it is wider; in the man on the Path it is wider still. In the active and conscious Initiate it consists of at least half of the Causal Body and in the Adept there is no funnel because the whole Causal Body is itself a funnel leading from still higher worlds. Naturally — karma apart — the degree of Egoic manifestation in the Personality depends upon evolutionary stature which decides the amount of higher forces available. Only in the Adept can the maximum possible degree of Egoic-Monadic manifestation in the body occur.

What does the Ego experience when incarnation opens and the funnel is formed? An added fullness of life, a sense of heightened expectancy and of vernal joy at the opening of a new cycle of activity. The inner powers are felt to be pouring rhythmically through the Causal Body. Their compression in the funnel causes their presence and rhythmic flow to become far more apparent than when flowing free throughout the Causal Body. For when between incarnations the forces flow undirected and uninterrupted throughout the whole Causal Body their presence and rhythm are scarcely observable.

This sense of added life, of joy, together with the experience of expansion, growth, enrichment resulting from life’s experiences continues throughout the whole five-fold life cycle of incarnation. By contrast a distinct feeling of quiescence, of reduced vitality is experienced when at the end of the life cycle the funnel is closed again and the directed rhythmic flow of power, life and consciousness into the lower worlds comes to an end.

As far as external awareness on its own plane at this time is concerned, the Ego is in causal communication with the many other Egos with whom it has links from the past — links which will draw the new personalities together. Thus there is an inter-communion between such Egos, some of whom may have already incarnated as the parents, elder relations and friends. Others will incarnate at about the same time and others later on perchance as offspring or younger friends. Between such groups of Egos there is an intense harmony, a very close mutual comradeship which brings joy to them all.

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 4 August 1939, p. 12

 

 

 

55
Free Will and Fatalism [1]

Freedom and Karma

To some minds the existence of the Law of Karma and of a Plan for the evolution of life and form suggests determinism and even fa­talism. Yet Theosophy teaches positively that man is above all things free. The Great Plan, therefore, must be flexibly fixed! The great racial and sub-racial launchings, developments, and culmina­tions are presumably timed to within a thousand years, and some of them no doubt much more precisely, even to within a hundred years. These time periods appear to be decided, however, far less by the Di­rective Intelligence or by the Inner Government of the World than by the Law of Cycles.

Minor and major wave periods, troughs and crests, can all be computed with fair accuracy, and one conceives that the Great Ones adapt Their work to them. They must constitute the time key for all the special efforts and activities of the members of the Great White Broth­erhood, who at the same time maintain a continuous evolutionary pres­sure upon all consciousness evolving on this globe, and in addition maintain a highly efficient and constantly expanding routine of activity.

The flexible or undetermined part of the Plan concerns the degree of response of humanity and the lower kingdoms, first to the ascending cycle pressure of the life-force, and second to the work of the Elder

Brethren and the devas. Since humanity must be left free in this matter and undue pressure must not be brought to bear upon it, one assumes a certain flexibility in the Master’s plans and the existence of at least two and sometimes many more possible roads to the goal to be achieved.

Sometimes important people must fail badly at critical times. Sometimes they must exceed beyond expectations, while sometimes apparently normal or sub-normal people unexpectedly display remark­able powers of response. At certain nodes or crests in the waves, results are probably dependable; individual and racial response can be counted upon at those times; but at others within its main outline the Plan must be susceptible of modification.

One presumes that high Adepts can generally forecast the use to which humanity and individuals will put their freedom. Not only are They able to see wide stretches of the past and of the future and so dis­cern the forces at work to influence human judgement and action, but They are able to contact the Monad and discover its plans, see when it will put forth its irresistible power to influence the Ego and Personality at certain critical times. The Lord of the World, for example, most probably knows quite accurately how nations and individuals will re­spond, for His vision is always that of the Monad.

The Masters, living, as we are informed, in the realm of causes, must be far more concerned with great principles and forces in the world of the Real than with the details of outer events. One presumes that They can, however, know completely all that has happened or is happening in the outer world and that Their knowledge is always in ad­vance of the event, that They are never caught unprepared.

Their profound understanding of peoples and events must enable Them to forecast the course of events to a considerable extent, while in some cases They appear to direct them. Despite its deep seriousness and profound importance, one conceives of Their life and work as be­ing marvellously fascinating, with Egos, personalities, various mo­tives, passions, desires, and individual and national karma producing enmities and friendships, as the factors or pieces in the great chess problem of life. The play and interplay of all these various factors may be envisaged as the flow of many different forces, the whole evolution­ary process being in large measure a question of the play of energy, of myriads of different kinds of forces interacting, intensifying, modify­ing, or neutralising each other continually.

One may think of the Masters as working amidst these forces, combining the good to intensify beneficial effects, directing the good against the evil to modify adversities, yet all the time most respectful of each individual’s divine nature and right to freedom of action.

Thus there is a certain Egoic freedom in the great weaving process which the operation of the Law of Karma resembles and in which hu­manity constitutes the material, each individual contributing his share of the pattern, his colours, kind of thread, and so on. The interaction between individuals causes continual variations of the main theme or design, which apparently is fixed, as also is the number of Monads on the globe. Limitations are chiefly imposed upon human action by karma, by the laws of Nature, and by the continual pressure of the life-force toward the goal. These forces are accentuated and aug­mented, unconsciously by all who perform good deeds and con­sciously by idealists, occultists, and the members of the Great White Brotherhood.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25, Issue 6, June 1937, p. 133

 

 

56
Free Will and Fatalism [2]

The Great Weaver

All these influences which include all desirable activities such as the best of art, religion, science, politics, and education, though beneficial to humanity because they increase all tendencies to­ward right conduct and diminish those toward evil, definitely decrease freedom of action.

Since the number and power of these influences will steadily in­crease, so man’s freedom must steadily be growing less. This however will not be irksome to him because he will be unaware of any external pressure, will simply experience an improvement in his character. His life will become more orderly; he will generate less painful and more happy karma. The variations of the great theme which he will weave will in consequence grow more and more beautiful and conform more closely, to the great design. Yet it will appear to man that he is acting entirely of his own free will.

This throws a new light upon the much vaunted freedom of man, for actually the more highly evolved man is, the less is his freedom. Yet advanced man is conscious of no restraint, for his only aspirations are those in accord with the divine mind and the divine will. While marvellously free of the limitations which bind the average man, in ac­tion the Masters are actually far more limited, being incapable of ac­tion against the Law, the Plan, or the Will of the Logos. This is not experienced as a limitation to Them, because They know no other will than that of the King Who represents terrestrially the Will of the Solar Logos.

To return to the analogy of karma as the weaving of a great design with variations, it may, I suggest, be assumed that only the results of right conduct will appear in the completed work. At the completion of a particular design only karma which is called ‘good’ will appear on the upper side of the tapestry of life. The underside may be regarded as representing wrong conduct and so called ‘bad’ karma, which is all present in the tapestry and indeed is as important as its opposite. For there could be no beauty and no design above if underneath there were not the appearance of disorder, twists and knots and badly blended colours.

Karma, which seems so complex, so intricate to personal con­sciousness, must be far less so from the Egoic and Monadic point of view. The whole administration of karma is in the hands of a highly ef­ficient organization of lofty Adepts and Devas, who are able to see the karma of a single globe as a whole, as a great pattern which is being woven on the warp and woof of time and space, not forcibly by an ex­ternal weaver, but weaving itself, as it were, by a process of gradual growth. The threads are coloured and placed by the actions of individ­uals and nations, who really weave their own share of the great design under the watchful care of the Lords of Karma and Their Ministers.

The chief work of these officials would seem to be to prevent an intensity of sowing, and reaping, especially of reaping which would as it were bum up the threads. They are probably able to dilute, but not to change, people’s karma, to slow up the reaping process, to spread it out in time. This gives the Egos concerned time and opportunity to modify adverse karma by beneficent conduct, though they may not always be able to persuade their personalities to take advantage of that opportu­nity.

There is evidence of consultation with and advice to Egos suffi­ciently advanced to profit from them, especially at the time immedi­ately preceding re-entry into incarnation. The more advanced the Ego, the greater the karmic latitude extended to it by the Lipika. Relations with individuals, bodily, family, class, racial, religious relations are all surveyed with and for the Ego, who is helped to choose wisely as regards the speed and manner in which these various karmas will be worked out.

Sometimes an Egoic decision is made to pay off heavy debts quickly. This creates great difficulties for a Personality, which does not share the Ego’s wider vision of life and ability to counteract pain by retreat into the happiness in which in its own world the Ego always dwells.

Sometimes Egos who love each other very deeply may decide not to meet in any given life, so that each may clear up karmic debts in which the other has no part, reserving joint karma for later lives. The personalities of such people generally experience an acute sense of loneliness. They miss their loved one without knowing what is miss­ing.

The Great Weaver of All makes use of all human decisions and conduct; even the vilest is able to find a place in His Plan for every­thing that humanity does. While vile conduct is of course deplorable and unfortunate, it must none the less be allowed for, if not expected, by the Designer Who knows full well both the possibilities and limita­tions of the human material which He brought forth and of which His tapestry is woven.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25, Issue 7, July 1937, p. 163

57
Free Will and Fatalism [3]

The Nature of Freedom

Whilst it is true that He has a Plan which in the main is fixed by Him, room is left in its fulfilment for the results of the way­wardness of human beings, for all the misconduct characteris­tic of early stages of growth and the great measure of freedom which until the Path is entered all human beings enjoy.

The Path once entered, man bids goodbye forever to the freedom of his past. At first he voluntarily subscribes to a law of life expounded to him by others and for a time is conscious of restraint. Later he be­comes the Law, and though voluntarily obedient to a still more rigid code of conduct, is yet conscious of a freedom which for him is com­plete. The existence of the Great Plan and the fact that the chief events which contribute to its fulfilment are fixed, does not really imply the imposition of the will of God upon man.

So it is for the outer world to argue about free will and determin­ism and to clamour for freedom and rights. Those who live in the inner world care little for either, having found in service and duty a freedom greater than in the outer world is ever known. Thus the very word ‘freedom’ is misunderstood, its real meaning unrecognized save by the few. Do not the apostles of freedom in the outer world by their de­mands for freedom for themselves impose restriction upon others? Such freedom is a mockery; for man is only free to the extent that he recognizes and insures the freedom of others. The new freedom, the Gospel of the New Age, will wear a very different face, will be benefi­cent, kind to all, seeing in another’s happiness the result and reward of voluntarily accepted limitations.

Nothing makes a man more free than voluntarily accepted re­straint. This applies not only to individuals but to nations, and is a prin­ciple which must be accepted both in the fight for freedom by individuals and in the establishment of an order or League for the pres­ervation of the freedom of all. This should be the ideal of all future or­ganizations for the establishment of world prosperity and world peace—not mutual defence, but mutual acceptance and recognition of the right to freedom by all, expressed practically in mutual planning, that the highest possible measure of freedom may be enjoyed by all.

It need not be feared, I submit, that freedom on such a basis would be abused as is the freedom today assumed by force. Such freedom ex­ists in name alone; it is a sham. No one is more restricted than he who maintains and vaunts his freedom by force of arms. His freedom is greatest who is most concerned for the freedom of others.

An ideal for the future? Yes; but an ideal for today for those who would lead the way out of the present imprisonment of man into his fu­ture freedom. Freedom for others means freedom for all. This will be the rallying cry of the statesmen of the future. Which of the world lead­ers of today will catch intuitively its implications, sent out for the guid­ance of a world which has temporarily lost its way?

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25, August 1937, p. 171

58
Free Will and Fatalism [4]

The Great Plan

The Plan is primarily a creative concept in the consciousness of the Planetary Logos, as also of the Lord of the World and His Adept Lieutenants. Endeavouring to construct a visual image or con­crete representation to assist in comprehension of the Great Plan, I have thought of it as a centre of power with numbers of radiating lines of force, or more concretely ‘wires’, each representing a development, an activity, movement, evolutionary trend. The whole model or scheme exists in its completeness at the beginning of planetary evolu­tion, but as a sketch only, from which later a picture is to be drawn; or it may be regarded as an electrical circuit into which the power has not yet been turned.

In the case of our globe, until the arrival of the Lords of the Flame, the planetary offices were held by Devas. Parts of the Plan had by that time been completely worked out, and power was beginning to flow into the parts connected with the Fourth Root Race. Later the Fifth Root Race ‘wires’ began to be vivified, and now that process is being repeated for the Sixth. Thus the Masters may be presumed to be al­ready aware of the main outlines of the Plan for tens of thousands of years ahead.

If one imagines this piece of mechanism or manifestation of power to have also its pictorial expression, the energy (i.e., thought force of the Logos) flowing down the ‘wires’ and causing to appear, in the surrounding akash miniature pictures of the expected develop­ments and effects, as may well be the case, we are able to conceive of a means by which concrete knowledge of the Plan might be gained. Con­centrating on any one of the radiating lines, tuning in with it as it were, one might see living pictures of the events themselves as they are designed to occur.

One might, for example, see the rise of the humanitarian move­ment, trace the gradual awakening of human conscience to a sense of responsibility for the animal kingdom, pity in individuals giving birth to compassion. The formation of animal defence societies, the progress of vegetarianism up to the present day could then be observed, and looking forward one might see the abolition of blood sports, the lessen­ing of meat eating, the effects of these reforms on the subtle and physi­cal bodies of man, the improvement of the karmic situation for the whole of humanity, and at last the turning of the tide towards victory in man’s long conflict with disease.

From there one might branch off and study the progress of medi­cal science from the earliest days, when cruelty and the misuse of bodily powers first appeared on the earth in the Third Root Race, ne­cessitating and producing the beginnings of the healing art. This too could be followed into the future by concentration upon its line. One would probably see the whole trend of medical practice becoming less and less physical, more and more etheric, doctors relying increasingly upon changes in the psyche to heal the body. And so on into the Sixth Root Race when disease will have become a rarity because brother­hood will be an accepted fact and the body recognized as a temple of an indwelling God.

So with all lines of human development—religious, political, ed­ucational, scientific, and cultural—the past and the future must in considerable measure be known to the Masters, whether by such means or by others.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25, September 1937, p. 201

59
Free Will and Fatalism

Theosophy Throughout the Ages

In imagination one may study the Theosophical part of the Plan, trace the bestowal upon humanity of the Divine Wisdom. The Law of Cycles will be clearly seen in operation as one looks over vast pe­riods of hundreds of thousands of years. Theosophy will doubtless be seen to come to humanity as it were in waves, the peak periods of the great civilizations of the past representing the crests of such waves. At those times all the forces of light, all the upward tendencies in every department of human life are at their strongest, and the Masters choose those times for Their offering of Theosophy to men.

One would trace the movement in China, Egypt, Persia, Greece, and India, see the periods of Theosophical Renaissance in each age, and study with great interest the last incarnation of the Theosophical Society in the Near East with Alexandria as the Adyar of the times.

Then followed a deep trough, the dark ages, followed in its turn by the present gathering of the waters of life for the formation of the next great wave which will carry onwards human enlightenment, hu­man progress and the fulfilment of the Plan to its next great stage, to the crest of the wave of the coming epoch.

In all of the past incarnations of the Theosophical Society—inci­dentally, contemporaneous with incarnations of many of its members and chief workers—one would see Theosophy as the driving force and very core of the current of power which lifts the waters of life up to form the crest of the advancing wave.

Up to now Theosophy has always been for the few. Never before in historical times have the inner teachings been broadcast as is the case today. Rather have they been closely guarded and given only to those who had proved their trustworthiness.

Looking at the present, the movement today is seen to be in its in­fancy yet already affecting the world as never before; this time the greatest effect is produced by the impact of Theosophical thought upon the mind of humanity, this being the most important and far-reaching result of the sixty-one years’ work.

Success now seems assured for this incarnation of the Theosophi­cal Society. It promises to live and grow and never again to pass into pralaya. There will of course be the troughs of the future, when Theo­sophical activity will be physically diminished, but there is reason to hope for an unbroken line of life for the Theosophical Society on into the future when the whole world will be theosophised.

Every Theosophical worker of today is sharing in that future achievement. The work of each member is of immense importance. Knowledge of the brotherhood of man, of reincarnation, karma, inner and outer evolution, the goal of Adeptship, the existence of the Adepts, of planes and states of consciousness beyond the physical, and above all the existence of the realm of the Real, the source of all power, all wisdom, all knowledge, of all substance and all form, must reach the mind of man as soon as possible.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25, Issue 10, October 1937, p. 219

60
Free Will and Fatalism [6]

Light and Darkness

The East has for long displayed a remarkable stability throughout the periods of rise and fall, being far less affected by them than the

West. This may be presumed to be due in large part, though per­haps not entirely, to the establishment of Shamballa in the East. From this point of view, Shamballa is a stabilizing agent to the whole world, and it seems natural that the East should feel Its influence most. Civilizations have their rise and fall in the East as in the West, but there the Divine Wisdom never disappears. The East remains, probably throughout the life of the globe, its centre and source of spiritual life and power.

Thus studying the Great Plan one realizes that its fulfilment is constantly resisted. In addition to the inertia of matter and the opposi­tion perpetually offered by substance and form, there is evidence of a very determined resistance deliberately exerted.

There would seem to be a second law in addition to that of cycles, which might be called the law of opposites. Apparently every spiritual impulse when released automatically produces or induces its own op­posite; so that for every good there is a bad, for every centre of light there is a corresponding area of darkness, and these two opposites are perpetually in conflict.

They are implacable enemies between whom there can be no truce. Evidently matter demands a certain penalty for every advance of spirit, every new or fuller expression of consciousness and life. It is the price paid by the Logos for incarnation in matter, for objective self-ex­pression, for the opportunity to perform His creative composition.

This is the principle behind the existence of the dark forces. Both aspects, the light and the dark, of this principle have their individual embodiments. There are Egos who work for evolution; these are the great majority. There are also Egos who work against evolution, at the present stage of evolution, the few. Their number diminishes age by age, and finally they will disappear, absorbed in the forces of light. We are taught that in certain parts of Tibet centres of sorcery and black magic exist, while out in the world there are very powerful individuals highly developed intellectually and occultly, but not spiritually, the whole aim of whose existence is the attainment of personal power and resistance to the outworking of the Great Plan.

Strange and even unphilosophical though it may sound, they and their activities must have a place in that Plan. For to repeat in closing the theme of these articles, although the Great Plan exists and will be fulfilled, every human individual is free to resist or cooperate in its ful­filment.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25, Issue 11, November 1937, p. 249

61
Free Will and Fatalism [7]

Questions and answers

(The article under the above title evoked the following question in a letter.)

Re the article in the August issue of The American Theosophist en­titled: ‘Free Will and Fatalism’ by Hodson.

‘It is my understanding that another instalment is to appear and I am confident your readers will greatly appreciate his replying to cer­tain pertinent questions suggested by the subject.

‘The oak tree is potentially involved in the germ of the acorn, and man can do nothing that will change the destiny of the oak tree from that which was planted in the germ. The same may be said of every plant and animal. Its destiny for the incarnation immediately ahead is definitely planted in the germ.

‘In the case of identical twins, we see another illustration. The life story or destiny of identical twins is apparently locked up in the germ of the original cell. When this cell divides into twins, then each individ­ual developed from the half is impressed with the same identical des­tiny.

‘May we assume therefore that the original germ-cell has locked up within it, potentially, the destiny for the incarnation immediately ahead and that this destiny cannot be changed except in minor detail?

As an illustration, a person in incarnation cannot change any of the fundamental characteristics of his body or of his mind. He cannot change his type of body, his colour, his mental make-up, or the funda­mentals of his psychology. May we therefore assume that at birth a person’s destiny for the incarnation immediately ahead is definitely fixed? This of course is not fatalism, as we must still answer the ques­tion, ‘Who fixed the destiny? ’

‘May we reason that the individual in any one incarnation, through the power of thought, his prevailing desires, and demands, is sowing the seed for the next incarnation, and that seed comes to its fru­ition at birth into the next incarnation? In this sense therefore it would appear that the statement “as you sow so shall you reap” is absolutely true. As we sow in any one incarnation, so we reap in the next ’.

Theosophy answers affirmatively, though the reaping need not occur in the ‘next’ incarnation.            G. H.

‘The law of causation (karma) again holds good and determines the individual’s destiny.

‘Assuming this reasoning to be correct, then it follows that as anyone reaps in any incarnation so has he sown in the previous incarnation. If a man be murdered, is it proof that in a former incarnation he was a murderer; if he be kidnapped, is it proof that in a former incarnation he was a kidnapper; and so on through the entire field of human experience? ’

Our knowledge up to date does not permit us to be so precise as this. In general principles the reasoning appears sound, but room must be left for the many modifying influences released by preceding and subsequent conduct.                                                                                G. H.

‘These questions indicate the practical application of the subject, and all thinking people desire a definite answer to these questions, supported by citation of authority and logic ’.

Neither authority nor authoritative statements exist in Theoso­phy. From the oldest to the youngest we are all students, each offering his views of the time for the consideration of his fellows. The only pos­sible Theosophical authority is the individual’s own intuition, reason, and experience.G. H.

I cannot agree with the statement made in the fourth paragraph that ‘a person in incarnation cannot change any of the fundamental characteristics of his body or of his mind. He cannot change his type of body, his colour, his mental make-up, or the fundamentals of his psy­chology’.

The members of the sub-human kingdoms being relatively mind­less cannot do this, but man having mind can and does change for better or worse everything he inherits. It is a fundamental of Theoso­phy, as I understand it, that ‘what a man thinks on he becomes’ and that a man can change his bodily, mental, and psychological characteristics to a very considerable degree.

We have only to look at certain men or women of fifty, especially those who have either risen high or sunk low, to see the nature of that change. When we meet in their fifties friends of the twenties they are sometimes almost unrecognizable.

The Theosophical answer to the question of the later lines of the same paragraph ‘Who fixed the destiny?’ surely is: the Solar Logos, Himself part of a larger cosmic Self of Whose destiny solar destiny is an outworking. Similarly human destiny is an outworking of the desti­nies of the solar destiny and these are not three beings and three desti­nies but one.

In the next article I will endeavour to work out the implications of this idea in terms of human freedom, using and expanding the material already published.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 25 December, 1937, p. 271

62
Free Will and Fatalism [8]

(Reply to a Question)

In a preceding article[20] on this subject I began saying: ‘To some minds the existence of the Law of Karma and of a Plan for the evo­lution of life and form suggests determinism and even fatalism. Yet Theosophy teaches positively that man is above all things free’.

Fatalism implies duality. It is based upon the existence of an ex­ternal ruling power, whether Principle, Law, or Being, on the one hand, and dominated subjects on the other.

According to my reading of Theosophy this idea is false. There is no duality. Unity alone exists. As stated in the closing lines of the first article in this series, there is but one Power, one Life, one Conscious­ness, one Law, and one Plan which operates equally for all beings, high or low, Solar Logos or newly individualized Ego. Therefore there can be no imposition of an external will, no subordination of an individual will to that of a greater and more powerful being.

The continued beating of the heart keeps the body alive. But the heart is not a separate organism. It is part of the totality of the whole body which lives and moves as a unit. So also ‘individual’ man, whose sense of separated Individuality is an illusion. All egos and all Monads together constitute one ‘organism’ which is the Solar System as a whole.

If this be admitted, then while pressure in certain directions must also be admitted, that pressure is not external but interior, it is the pres­sure of the larger Self of which the lesser self is a manifestation.

Even in the great weaving process which the operation of the Law of Karma resembles, there is considerable Egoic and personal free­dom. Each individual by his thought, feelings, speech, and action con­tributes his share of the pattern, his colours, kind of thread, and so on. The interaction between individuals causes continual variations of the main theme or design, which apparently is fixed, as also is the number of Monads on the globe.

Although limitations are imposed upon human action by karma, each individual makes his own karma, decrees his own limitations and his own freedom. Although limitations are imposed by the laws of Na­ture and by the continual pressure of the life-force towards the goal, man himself is the law, is Nature, is the life-force and so in all he does is self-influenced even if unconscious of the fact in the early evolution­ary stages.

At the same time it must be admitted that while the Ego of man in possession of this knowledge as a living experience can take this point of view, the Personality not thus illumined finds it difficult to do so. Not only the evil deeds of others, but also all beneficent influences, such as the best of art, religion, science, politics, and education, though beneficial to humanity because they increase all tendencies towards right conduct and diminish those towards evil, appear to the Per­sonality definitely to decrease freedom of action. Since the number and power of these influences will steadily increase as evolution pro­ceeds, the Personality might argue, so man’s personal freedom must steadily decrease.

This will not, however, be irksome to him, answers the Ego, be­cause he will be unaware of any external pressure, will simply experi­ence an improvement in his character. His life will become more orderly; he will generate less painful and more happy karma. The vari­ations of the great theme which he will weave will in consequence grow more and more beautiful, will conform more closely to the great design. And in this very conformity it will appear to enlightened man that he is acting entirely of his own free will.

For the test of enlightenment is the degree of self-identification with the whole. As enlightenment increases the sense of separateness decreases and with it the sense of individual action and the desire for personal gratification and possession. Eventually these disappear. The enlightened man grows out of these quite naturally, his apotheosis be­ing complete and conscious self-identification with all that exists. Conformity with the plan for all that exists brings therefore not limita­tion and pain but expansion and happiness.

This throws a new light upon the much vaunted freedom of man; for actually the more highly evolved man is the less his apparent free­dom. Yet, because his only aspirations are those in accord with the Di­vine Mind and the Divine Will, advanced man is conscious of no restraint. While marvellously free of the limitations which bind the av­erage man, in action the Adepts for example are far more limited. They are, presumably, incapable of action against the Law, the Plan, or the Will of the Logos with which They are consciously self-identified. This is not experienced by them as a limitation because They know no other will than that of the Solar Logos. The Adept has solved the prob­lem of free will and determinism and His solution is perfectly ex­pressed in the words, paradoxical and incomprehensible to unenlightened man: ‘In His service is perfect freedom’.

The Path of Swift Unfoldment once entered; man bids goodbye forever to the freedom of past. At first he voluntarily subscribes to a law of life expounded to him by others and for a time he is conscious of restraint. Later he becomes the Law, and though voluntarily obedient to a still more rigid code of conduct, is yet conscious of a freedom which for him is complete. Thus it would appear that the existence of the Great Plan and the fact that the chief events which contribute to its fulfilment are ‘flexibly fixed’, does not imply the imposition of the will of an external God upon man.

Theosophy in Australia, Vol. 26, January, 1938, p. 13

63
Immortality

Study Note

Within the Self is an atmic will, which is omnipotent, a Monadic steel which is unbreakable. No outer circumstance, no bodily experience, has power to move that will or break that steel.

At the heart of every experience, in the centre of every joy, in all true friendship, especially in love, this inward fire of God, this white flame of Atma must be present as the immovably stable and irresistibly potent controlling influence.

The real purpose of incarnation in the flesh, of the battle between spirit and matter, Self and vehicles, is to draw out this power, just as Siegfried drew his sword from the tree of life and King Arthur drew Excalibur from the waters of emotional experience. Without this inner, spiritual Will all experience is ephemeral; joy, friendship, love are transient, mortal. Atma bestows immortality, is the Elixir of Life, the secret of eternal youth and of everlasting life.

The secret of the power of this inward Will lies in its universality. Though the very substance of which the Self is made, it is beyond the Self. It is the Fire of the One Self of the Universe.

When awakened in man, the consequent individual manifestation of this Will always occurs in surrender to the Universal Will.

Atmic man says with the Christ, whether in illumination on the Mount or in darkness in Gethsemane: -

‘Not my will, but Thine be done’.

This discovered, released, surrendered, Atma is the secret of im­mortality.

Theosophy in Australia, 3, 2 April 1938, p. 10

64
Life After Physical Death

Study Notes

The true, essential Individuality, the Spiritual Soul of man, in its very nature, is immortal, is immune from death. This true Self is gradually unfolding and evolving as a result of the experiences of life—here on Earth and in the superphysical worlds. Only the body dies. This is the Theosophical answer to the main question. This fact can be known direct. The body is not the Self. The student of Theoso­phy does not think and say: ‘I have a Soul’. He says: ‘I am the Soul and I have a body’.

One moment of Egoic awareness is sufficient to solve the prob­lem of death in terms of personal experience. This is not blind faith. It is possible to know oneself as an immortal, Spiritual Being.

Meditation is the way to discover both the Inner Self of man and that it is one with God and, through Him, with all that lives.

Direct positive knowledge resulting from this discovery is avail­able. Seership is latent in man.

Six Significant Ideas Must be Advanced at this Point

(1) Character is not changed (after death). This fact is very impor­tant, because conditions and experiences there are governed by charac­ter and outlook.

(2) Moreover, it is not a strange world. We go there every time we sleep, as we shall see in detail shortly.

(3) All human beings are passing through.

(4) The speed of withdrawal to higher states depends on age and the degree of spirituality.

(5) Sudden deaths are an exception. The review and a period of temporary unconsciousness are not usual in such cases.

(6) Interests are followed, such as, for example, the pursuit of knowledge, beauty in the arts, etc.

Is there time, business, work, pressure? There is time, but no pres­sure. There is, however, work to be done voluntarily. With regard to suffering, service and ministration, see Invisible Helpers by C. W. Leadbeater, and my book, Through the Gateway of Death.

The Seven Principles of Man

At death the physical body, the Etheric Double, and the physical vitality for which the latter is the container, are laid aside. The physical body and the Etheric Double disintegrate together the latter conform­ing to the shape of the former throughout the process.

In ordinary burial this occupies a certain period of time, during which the Etheric Double can become separate from the physical body and float over the surface of the grave, or in the air immediately above it. This is one form of the wraith or ghost of a deceased person and it can, under certain conditions, become temporarily animated and more readily visible.

The threefold inner self is then clothed in the bodies of emotion and concrete thought, in which it passes through the intermediate phases of the life after death. Ultimately the emotional body is laid aside at what is sometimes called the second death, slowly to disinte­grate and also to be susceptible of temporary animation, as by the mag­netic fluid of a spiritualistic medium and circle, by nature spirits, by other deceased persons or by magicians, whether black or white. When thus animated this ‘shell’ can display some memory of physical life and some of the characteristics of the physical Personality. It cannot originate ideas, however, nor does it usually communicate with an in­telligence equal to that which the personal identity possessed on Earth.

When the physical body is laid aside, the centre of consciousness is withdrawn through the intermediate or Astral world, gradually to be­come established in the mental body, the instrument of concrete thought. The blissful happiness of a heaven-like existence is then slowly entered into. This, in its turn, draws to a close; the mental body is discarded and consciousness is focused wholly in the Augoeides, the body of light, the Causal Body of the Abstract Intellect. Thereafter, the process of reincarnation begins to be repeated.

In the process of the withdrawal of the centre of self-consciousness, awareness and observation from the physical to the spiritual ve­hicles, a separation gradually occurs of the spiritual attributes of the deceased Personality from the lower instincts, impulses and recollec­tions. The higher qualities are all drawn up into the Inner Self and the lower remnant is discarded.

The immortal Ego, the spiritual Individuality of Will, Wisdom and Abstract Intelligence, then exists in a spiritual condition of beati­tude to which I have referred as a heaven-life and which, in the Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, is called Devaloka, Devachan, or the place of the Gods. The self-conscious Personality of the deceased as it was on Earth, with its higher feelings, aspirations, affections and even tastes, or rather the higher essence of all these, enters Devachan.

This portion of the constitution of man is sometimes referred to as the Individuality, and it is this which enters into Devachan and later is reincarnated. The more sensual feelings, desires and tendencies of the late Personality cannot experience Devachan. They are left behind to float off into the earth’s atmosphere with their vehicle, the Astral Body, as it disintegrates, its elements being returned to the source from which they were originally drawn to form that body.

Invisible Helping

Experiences of being fully self-conscious, and even of seeing the body, when ‘out of the body’, as when dozing, sleeping, fainting, or in anaesthesia, are fairly common. Accounts of seemingly miraculous es­capes from serious injury or death constantly appear in the Press, such as, for example, of children who fall but are not seriously hurt, and sometimes are not hurt at all.

By what principle do these events occur? Sometimes as a result of intervention by people whose bodies are either deceased or asleep.

Can the power thus to travel, to act, to be aware and to serve dur­ing sleep be developed, and if so how? Theosophy provides the infor­mation. Can the inner man, the Thinker, act independently of the body and display physically, supernormal powers? Theosophy says, ‘Yes’, this answer being based upon knowledge of the make-up of man.

Theosophy Supplies the Knowledge That...

Man is a duality, a Spiritual being incarnate in material bodies.

Also he is a triplicity; Spirit and Matter being united by Intellect. The occult definition of man is: ‘That being in whom highest Spirit and lowest Matter are united by Intellect’.

Man is a septenary, having seven Bodies operated by one con­sciousness. They are the Physical, Etheric, Astral, Lower Mental (these are mortal), Higher Mental or Causal, Intuitional or Buddhic and Atmic, or the body of the Spiritual Will.

In sleep and in death the physical and etheric bodies become inop­erative, unconscious. The Ego is then five-principled and is able to function in the Astral or Mental Bodies or both, according to evolu­tionary stature, mode of life and training. The study of Theosophy, reg­ular meditation and the practice of yoga quicken the evolution of the subtle bodies and increase self-mastery and effectiveness in superphysical travel and action.

It is possible—many Theosophists do it deliberately—to be­come an Invisible Helper chiefly by studying the subject, meditation, resolving to do so before falling asleep, and by being a visible helper on the physical plane.

The Human Ego can Act Independently of the Body

(a)    In physical sleep, when the Ego is astrally awake, with varying degrees of self-consciousness and power of action. Service of various kinds then become possible.

(b)    During all departures from the body, as in fainting and anaes­thesia.

(c)    After death.

Death

The death of the physical body is not a tragedy but a freedom.

Death is the becoming still at a lower level, that a higher may be known.

Shelley: ‘He is not dead. He has made death his ladder to the stars’.

‘He hath awakened from the dream of life’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 43, No. 4, 1982, p. 80

65
Life Does Make Sense!

The late Very Rev. Dr Martin Sullivan, KCVQ, Dean (Emeritus) of St Pauls, London, some time ago posed the following questions:

‘The issue of Christmas might be summed up in this question: Do the things that exist and happen in the field of the natural sciences, the things that we say and do in the world of ethics, politics, religion and art, belong to a universe which makes sense?

Or, on the other hand, are they clues in a puzzle which has no dia­gram or pattern into which they fit? ’ (New Zealand Herald, 24/12/79)

Whilst recognizing external signs, Theosophy presents, I suggest, amongst others, the following ideas which point to a Universe which does ‘make sense’!

Man is that being in whom highest Spirit (Monad) and lowest matter (body) are united by intellect. Man’s spiritual Self perpetually unfolds potential capacities, this being the result—purpose indeed—of his existence.

This process culminates in the attainment of perfected manhood, Adeptship.

The method of human evolution is by means of successive lives in physical bodies or rebirth and human conditions and experiences therein are the results of human conduct under the Law of Cause and Effect, or Karma.

Simply put, kindness brings health and happiness, whilst cruelty brings disease and misery.

The processes of evolution can be delayed, can proceed normally, and furthermore may be hastened. Delay is caused by ignorance of these truths and so by failure to conduct one’s life accordingly. Unfoldment generally, proceeds normally at physical, emotional and mental levels. Eventually it is hastened by the recognition of and the intelligent application to one’s life of age-old and unchanging rules and laws.

Thus The Kingdom of Heaven can be taken by storm and this calls for self-training, regular wisely-planned meditation and utterly selfless service without thought of reward. In consequence century by century a perfect Man arises, the rare efflorescence of the human race.

Certain perfected men and women, Adepts, decide to continue upon Earth in physical bodies. Under Their inspiration, The Theo­sophical Society was founded in 1875, in order to ‘Popularize a knowl­edge of Theosophy’[21] for throughout the Ages Adepts have continuously shared Their discovered wisdom with humanity. This knowledge is named in Sanskrit Brahma Vidya and Gupta Vidya, in Greek Theosophia and today Theosophy.

In further reference to the quoted Article, thus viewed, the experi­ences of life, do belong to a Universe which makes sense.

Indeed for those aware of Theosophy, they do NOT constitute a puzzle which has no diagram or pattern into which they fit.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 42, No. 1, 1981, p. 18

66
Our Heritage of Glory

Individually we are all prodigal sons, both as Egos and as personali­ties—men. We came forth as pilgrim gods on our quest of life and light and glory. Eventually we passed through the portals of birth down here in the densest of abodes, the physical world, and we are now eating of the ‘husks which the swine did eat’. But this is not a mistake, not a fall. There has been no error. That is one of the fallacies of theo­logical teaching. On the contrary our arrival in the physical body is the only possible means whereby the purpose of our life can be fulfilled. It is only here, by mastery of the physical world and of this body with all its powers and energies, by eating to repletion, symbolically, of ‘the husks which the swine did eat’, by gathering all possible experiences, that we gain the vision and the strength to say, ‘I will arise and con­sciously begin my journey home!’ When we reach that home our pur­pose will have been fulfilled. Those powers which were latent in us as seeds when we began will be fully developed when we have flowered; the latent becomes the potent, the man becomes the god.

That then, is the purpose of it all. That is why we are here. All the experience which comes to us is part of a great educational system es­pecially designed to educate, to draw out of us those innate divine ca­pacities of our own. Remember that. As experiences are passed through, either of pleasure or pain, great or small, nothing is ever wasted. We can make out of every incident of our lives, if we are really alive, something of importance to the immortal soul within. From pleasure we gain expansion; from happiness and love fulfilled we gain growth, beauty, joy; from sorrow, affliction, pain and anguish we gain strength, endurance, understanding, compassion, sympathy with the sufferings of others, knowledge of what life means. Between the two extremes of pain and loneliness and the ecstasy of love fulfilled there is in fact the whole gamut of life. As we experience all the many phases of life we grow, we move, though at times we seem to stand still, to­ward our goal. If you can remember this in times of pain it will strengthen you, if you can recap it in times of joy it will give you con­trol; you will hold ever before you the goal to be reached. That goal is Christhood, perfection, Masterhood—beyond that summit after sum­mit, mountain after mountain looms ahead until at last the state of fully developed Godhood is attained. What was planted as a seed becomes a god. Then in our turn we shall become the creators, sustainers and transformers of our own universe, peopled with myriads of beings, all aspects of our own life. That is the glory inconceivable towards which we are steadily moving—a glory entirely without limit. A measure of that glory plays about each one of us even now. No matter how weak or unimportant we feel, how lost in the crowd no matter how often we fail or how prone we are to forget our divinity, still we are pilgrim gods and glory is our heritage.

The Secret of Happiness

When once an individual discovers that evolution to a higher state is the purpose of his existence, then the intelligent individual collabo­rates. On earth the whole secret of happiness is as if you said to your­self, ‘I understand what God wants: I understand the great plan: I understand that there is an irresistible propellant power under the oper­ation of which every living thing unfolds from less to more. Very well, I am for it. I will myself collaborate and I will help everybody else on this journey’.

That is the secret of happiness and the start of the journey back to the Father—to place yourself in collaboration with, in frictionless harmony with, the one Will. Be for it; work with it; put your shoulder to its wheel—evolutionary wheel and be at peace.

A rising young politician went to Shaw and asked how he could get on in life and politics: Shaw said this, ‘Find out what the life force is doing and do the same’. Profound wisdom! This attitude is the real beginning of the journey home of the Prodigal Son which is man.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 32, No. 3, 1971, p.

67
Study Corner
[3]

The Transcendence of Self

When a certain advanced phase of human evolution is entered upon the illusion of being a self-separated Individuality is tran­scended. This would seem to have been portrayed in the Bibli­cal account of Abraham’s surrender of his son Isaac, the son of his old age. Especially beloved, Isaac personifies that which is held most dear and under normal circumstances would be greatly treasured and safely preserved.

In another form of symbology self-separateness is represented by the human skin. In inspired allegories and myths all injuries of divine, semi-divine and heroic dramatis personae are susceptible of the same interpretation as ‘mystic wounds’. The submission by Jesus to flagel­lation and to the piercing of his skin by thorns, nails and a spear, por­trays a similar self-emancipation.

The vision splendid of the oneness of all life, the knowledge of in­terior unity with that life, the faculty of direct, intuitive perception of truth in whatever guise and under however deep a covering these at­tainments are recognized as attributes of universal existence and in no sense as individual achievements and possessions. When the Initiate has ascended to that level of awareness where unity is the basic princi­ple, it is realized that the one divine life-essence contains all, produces all, is all. Nothing else exists save ‘allness’. Self-separateness is then perceived as an illusion, self-attainment as a delusion; for the very ef­fort, the struggle, the strain and the attainment are now known to be not those of a single unit of life, but of the one life[22] as a whole.

The Water Spout

This change from Individuality to universality may perhaps be il­lustrated by the phenomenon of a waterspout, gyrating and speeding across the surface of the sea and temporarily linking ocean and cloud. It is composed of electrically charged air, vapour and water. For a time as a funnel, a cylinder, rapidly gyrating and swiftly sweeping onward on its course, it exists as a phenomenon of Nature, a single separate fact. When its electricity is discharged, however, it collapses and ceases to exist. The air within it again becomes free air, the vapour joins the clouds, whilst the water sinks back into the ocean. Nothing then remains to show that a waterspout had ever existed. In terms of human perception it was for a time a physical reality. All its phases from its first beginning to its final disappearance had been objectively real. Although all its essential elements electricity, air, water and mo­tion—remain, the waterspout itself is no more.

The mortal Personality of man is similarly real at the levels men­tal, emotional and physical of its temporary existence. Its form and its appearance are, however, impermanent and in that sense are to be re­garded as unreal. When the evolutionary phase (Arhatship[23]), allegori­cally portrayed by Abraham in the later years of his life, is entered the illusion is transcended and the ultimate reality is known. Just as the waterspout breaks down and disappears so does the mortal self ‘die’. In their universality, however, the constituent elements of both of them continue to exist.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 28, No. 1, 1967, p. 16

68
The 3 Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine

1.     An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable Principle upon which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and can only be dwarfed by any unknown ex­pression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought. In the words of the Mandukya Upanishad, that boundless Absolute is ‘unthinkable and unspeakable’. It is above every name and is generally indicated by the word THAT.

2.     The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; peri­odically to become ‘the playground of numberless Universes inces­santly manifesting and disappearing’, called the ‘Manifesting Stars’ and the ‘Sparks of Eternity’.

3.       The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being Itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and to this identity of all Souls is added the obligatory pilgrimage of every Soul through the Cycle of Incarnation, or Necessity, in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic Law, during the whole term.

Thus we have three basic principles:

1.      There is the Absolute, Omnipresent, Eternal all, Boundless and Immutable, called by the Kabbalists AIN, meaning ‘Nothing’, and referred to by Omar Khayyam so beautifully in the Rubaiyat[24] when he is thinking of the return of the whole maya or ‘illusory’ forms back into the Eternal.

2.      NO-THING, THEN, IS THE ABSOLUTE. The second principal is that of the Eternity of the universe as a whole, which is periodically ‘the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing’ called ‘Manifesting Stars’ and ‘Sparks of Eternity’.

3.      THERE IS THE FUNDAMENTAL IDENTITY OF ALL SOULS with the Over-Soul towards which we reach in our morning meditation and in our devotion and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul through the Cycle of Incarnation, or Necessity, in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic Law.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 34, October 1973, p. 78

69
The Cause-Less Cause

The first five verses of the Book of Genesis describe the opening phases of the process of creation as follows:

‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

‘And God said “Let there be light: and there was light”.

‘And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

‘And God called the light “Day”, and the darkness He called “Night”. And the evening and the morning were the first day’.

Originally there was duality in unity, namely the Spirit of God (the masculine creative potency) on the one hand and the face of the deep (the feminine creative potency) on the other. Thus primarily there existed a dual Principle, a positive and a negative, Spirit-Matter. Dur­ing the long creative night, which in Sanskrit is called Pralaya (rest), there was darkness upon the face of the deep. The whole of boundless space was dark and quiescent. Then, it is stated, a change occurred. The Spirit of God, having emerged from Absolute Existence, moved upon the face of the waters. The ‘Great Breath’ breathed upon the ‘Great Deep’.

Occult Cosmogenesis thus teaches that behind and beyond and within all is the Eternal and Infinite Parent from within which the tem­porary and the finite emerge, or are born. That Boundless Self-existence is variously referred to as the Absolute, the Changeless,’ the Eternal ALL, the Causeless Cause, the Rootless Root. This is Non-Be­ing, Negative Existence, No-Thing, Ain (as the Kabbalist says), an im­personal Unity without attributes conceivable by man. From That, the Absolute, emerged an active, creative Power and Intelligence to be­come the formative Deity of the Universe-to-be.

The Occult Teaching of the existence of a Universal, Directive In­telligence receives support from certain men of science, if not from all. Sir James Jeans in The Mysterious Universe writes:

‘We discover that the universe shows evidence of a designing or controlling power that has something in common with our own indi­vidual minds. . . .

‘The Universe can be best pictured ... as consisting of pure thought, the thought of what, for want of a wider word, we must des­cribe as a mathematical thinker.

‘Considerations such as these led Berkeley to postulate an Eternal Being, in whose mind all objects existed.... Modem science seems to me to lead, by a very different road, to a not altogether dissimilar con­clusion’.

Sir Arthur S. Eddington has stated: ‘Something unknown is doing we don’t know what—that is what our theory amounts to.... Modem physics has eliminated the notion of substance....Mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience. ... I regard Consciousness as fundamental!’

J. B. S. Haldane: ‘The material world, which has been taken for a world of blind mechanism, is in reality a Spiritual world seen very par­tially and imperfectly. The only real world is the Spiritual world...

The truth is that, not Matter, not Force, not any physical thing, but Mind, Personality, is the central fact of the Universe’.

Dr Kennedy’s A. Walter Suiter Lecture, Buffalo, April 29, 1941, published in the New York State Journal of Medicine, October 15, 1941, contained the following, reproduced in ‘Main Currents in Mod­ern Thought’, November 1941:

‘The notion of “space-empty” or “space-ethereal” has today been abandoned, and Nature is now viewed as Energy, patterned into Worlds, patterned variously also for every stick, stone or bit of life upon them. Man thus becomes one with his environment, which per­vades him wholly and into which he extends himself hugely; born ac­cording to his manner, he holds his unique pattern as a momentary opportunity for experience; a stream of creative continuity, with aim. Anywhere where vitality exists, aim is found’.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 38, No. 1, 1977, p 17

70
The World of the Occult [3]

Adept Assistance to Individuals

The question is sometimes asked, why the great Masters do not serve people in such practical ways as tracing missing persons, or healing the sick. Such questions would perhaps best be answered by asking another. Which is better to save from suffering in a single case or to teach a principle and a truth which, if accepted, would save from sorrow all mankind? That is the problem; for, great though the work and the powers of the Adepts undoubtedly are, They have their limits. The Adepts on our Earth are as yet relatively few in numbers, and are continually concerned with accomplishing the maximum of good by the exertion of a minimum of effort and expenditure of time and power.

Of course the Adepts could trace the missing persons, but that would not generally be an economic use of Their power. In occult tra­dition, however, there are many stories of such ministration. We must remember that the occult life of those who come into close touch with the Adepts, and of the Adepts Themselves, is generally quite secret and never in any way advertised. The service is given, the work is done, and it does not matter who does it, that is the attitude in the occult life. Missing persona are constantly being found, apparently by purely hu­man agency, but who knows whence came the first thought that turned the searcher, not only for people but also for truth, in the right direction? As far as our limited human mind can begin to grasp it, the chief work of the Adepts for mankind is to illumine the mind and exalt the Souls of human beings, so that they won’t get lost, whether in desert, bush, or jungle, or amidst the perplexities of life. Surely it is far better to give one a chart of the course than to go about picking up strays? If the Adepts were to use Their time continually finding the strays of the world, They would be kept so busy that much of Their other and far-reaching work would be left undone.

What may we further assume that work to be? As I have just said, They perpetually flood the minds and souls and hearts of human be­ings with inspiration, light, life, truth, with perception of principles and with courage and strength to overcome. In addition, age by age They find, preserve and give the truths of the Ancient Wisdom to the world. Such is part of Their great and major work for man, which is chiefly intellectual and spiritual. They tend to leave physical activities to human beings, whose work it rightly may be presumed to be.

Remember, also, that the work of the Great Ones is not limited to mankind alone. Their love, Their ministration and Their compassion embrace all that lives ‘one of them (sparrows) shall not fall on the ground without your Father’, (Matthew 10:29) said Jesus, and so Life in the mineral, the plant, the animal, the insect and the bird kingdoms of Nature receives Divine aid. There, too, there is unfolding Life, min­istration needs to be performed and responsibility is accepted in the name of the Lord Most High, the Divine Source of all life. Then there is the whole Kingdom of the fairies and the angels, with its countless millions of beings, all of whom receive the ministration, the wisdom and the love of the Perfected Ones amongst men. It is this larger minis­tration for the whole Life Scheme, planetary and extra-planetary, which engages Their attention and effort, rather than intervention in the life of single human beings. Remember, however, that ministration to persons by Adepts is continually occurring, a notable example being the acceptance and training of men and women as disciples so that they, in their turn, may become servants of the race.

Adept Intervention in World Affairs

What was one of the great keys to our victory in the last war? What preserved the life lines between Britain, India and Egypt? What was so valuable that the enemy made every effort to capture or destroy it and we made every effort to preserve it, and against increasing diffi­culties? It was the Island of Malta, one of the most important Islands in the world from a strategic point of view.

Look at the history of Malta. There the Knights of Malta, or the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, established their Order and beautiful Temple. You will find presiding over them at a certain critical time in world history a being called Ferdinand von Hompesch who is traditionally identified with one of the Adepts. He, with the ap­pearance of cowardice, surrendered Malta without a fight to the French, and when Napoleon was defeated Malta came into the hands of the British and it has remained in their hands ever since. There is an oc­cult tradition that the change was engineered by the Great Brotherhood.

Then there was that strange being who presented himself at the time when the U.S.A. was forming its Constitution and designing its flag. A book entitled Our Flag, by R. A. Campbell, describes the peo­ple present at these two activities which brought the Union into exis­tence. This person was called the Professor. Nobody seemed to have known his name. He is described as of commanding presence, digni­fied, courteous and gracious, so much that all present, including Frank­lin, Lynch, Harrison and General Washington, paid him immediate deference. He was the guest of a lady in Boston, at whose home they gathered to design the flag and the Constitution and to determine whether they would break free, which he, with a flow of oratory, adjured them to do. This they did.

Such attempts by Adepts and Their agents to influence world events do not always succeed. The Comte de St Germain tried to stop the French Revolution and failed. He was called the ‘Mysterious Won­der Man of Europe’, endowed with the most remarkable powers, the friend of Kings and Queens, welcomed at the Courts of Europe. He pleaded with Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI (1764-93) to ac­cede to the demands of the people and to save a national volcanic erup­tion—for royalty and aristocracy were sitting on the volcano of the bitterness of a repressed people. They declined, and the volcano erupted, in the form of the French Revolution.

That is an interesting case of apparent Adept failure. They may not force mankind; They may only inspire and advise. If you will look into history you will find many cases of such intervention. I commend to you a book entitled The Comte de St Germain by Isabel Cooper Oakley—a thrilling book containing references from the archives of the Courts of Europe and giving glimpses of the strange powers of These, the Supermen of our Earth.

Adept Ministration and the Root Causes of Human Sorrow

The restrictions and reservations of Adept aid are not so much on the part of the Adepts or the Lord Christ as on the part of man. Why do people suffer? Because of the violations of the laws of Nature. This re­action to man’s action is completely impersonal and very exact, even as is an injury from a fall caused by the operation of the law of gravity. Hurtfulness to another inevitably brings appropriate suffering to the one who hurts. Moreover, the extent of the pain is always exactly pro­portionate to the degree of the cruelty. The Adepts have said that They often find Themselves helpless in the presence of the operation of this impersonal and exact law.

What is the best way to save people from suffering? Surely it is to tell them its causes, which are strong, coarse desires and the infliction of pain upon others. This the Great Teachers have continually done. ‘Love one another’ has been Their gospel from time immemorial, as also has the fact of the existence and operation of the compensatory law. But humanity, like the people of Jerusalem in the time of Our Lord, will not heed. You will remember how Our Lord wept over the people of Jerusalem and said:

‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gath­ered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not’ (Matthew 23:37). Man’s hardness of heart and inhumanity to man, as also to animals, remains proverbial.

The Adepts are relatively powerless in the face of humanity’s heedlessness of Their teachings, and of human cruelty and its painful karmic effects. Still They teach, both directly and through Their disci­ples and other agents. Still man will not heed, as every abattoir demon­strates. The Teachers continually tell the whole world to live in obedience to the law of love, and yet man will not obey that law.

Nevertheless, far more intervention occurs than is generally rec­ognized. A wealth of testimony exists of spiritual, occult and physical assistance to man. Minds are illumined. Hearts are turned to the light. Bodies are healed. Human beings are visited spiritually and even phys­ically. No one ever cries for spiritual and intellectual light in vain. Yet all Kingdoms of Nature must be aided. More helpers are therefore needed. Would it not be better to offer oneself as one who has tried genuinely to obey the laws of love and harmlessness and who is ready to help and to heal and to save, than to question the actions of Those who are the embodiments of love and whose whole lives have for countless years been spent in ministration?

Although the Adepts have attained to very great powers, even They cannot disregard Nature’s laws. They know those laws so thor­oughly that They can work with them perfectly, and so may seem to transcend them, on occasion, but They never violate them. There is one law under which all happiness, all sorrow and all suffering comes, and even They cannot prevent its operation. It is the Law of Cause and Ef­fect, and even Their strong hands, Their loving hearts, Their compassion, are often helpless in the presence of the operation of that law. The sufferings of men represent the educative effect of the law, which has been provoked by the infliction of sufferings upon others. As St Paul said: ‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’ (Galatians 6:7) Our Lord said: ‘And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail’ (Luke 16:17).

So They, the Perfected Ones, seek to prevent our sufferings by telling us of the existence of the law, by teaching us to save ourselves by following the simple advice which They, age by age, have not ceased to give. In a phrase it is ‘Love one another’. Nevertheless, as I said before, a very great deal of such ministration and of healing from on high does occur in this world, and it is performed by none other than the Adepts and Their disciples. Of this we may be sure; far worse, far heavier, would be the sufferings of the human race were it not for this perpetual Adept ministration.

Do not let us forget that both the pleasure-giving and pain-pro­ducing effects of the operation of the law are highly educative. Unduly to modify or diminish either would not be beneficial. For example, the Principal of a University could, at the end of the year, look at the exam­ination papers of a first-year student and say to him: ‘These are full of mistakes, but we will pretend that they are perfect and that you know the subjects thoroughly. We will pass you to a higher class’. Would that be helpful? No, it would be neither helpful nor kind. Indeed, it would be a hindrance to the student’s progress. There would be a seri­ous gap in the student’s knowledge and sooner or later mistakes would inevitably be made. Even as there were cities in which Our Lord did no mighty works because of the people’s unbelief, so there are cases of ig­norance, doubt, loss and suffering in which, taking the long view, it would not always be wise to use occult powers in order to give imme­diate, personal relief. The Law of Cause and Effect both ensures justice and is educative. Out of human experience wisdom is born. This, we may presume, is one of the reasons why in some cases the Adepts must withhold Their aid.

The Lord Buddha taught that ignorance and the suffering it causes can be dispelled by the knowledge of four Noble Truths. These are: the miseries of existence; their cause, which is ever-renewed desire for self-satisfaction; the destruction of that desire as the way of sorrow’s ceasing; and the Noble Eightfold Path. This last consists of right belief, right thought, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right exertion, right recollection and right meditation. The Lord Bud­dha summed up this teaching in these words: To cease from sin, to at­tain to virtue and to purify the heart.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1960, p. 3

71
Study Corner [4]

WHAT IS KUNDALINI?

We are to consider together a theosophical teaching of great inter­est and great importance—the force which can illume, em­power, and exalt a human being, the fire of God; the Cosmic creative fire in Universe and man.

Kundalini Shakti (Sanskrit)

General:

1.      The Power of Life.

2.      One of the forces of Nature, the occult electricity intimately associated with Azoth of the Alchemists.

3.      It is the creative principle in Nature and Akasa (Sanskrit).

4.      The subtle, supersensuous, spiritual essence which pervades all space.

5.      ‘The coiled-up universal Life Principle’.

6.      A sevenfold, superphysical, occult power, in Universe and man, functioning in the latter by means of a spiral or coiling action, mainly in the spinal cord, but also throughout the nervous systems.

7.      It is represented in Greek symbology by the Caduceus, the Rod of Hermes, the seven-layered creative power in Nature and the base of the spine of man.

8.      When supemormally aroused, this fiery force ascends into the brain by a serpentine path, hence its other name, the ‘Serpent Fire’.

9.      It is composed of three currents which flow along three canals in the spinal cord, named Ida (negative), Pingala (positive) & Sushumna (neutral). These names are sometimes applied (wrongly) to the currents themselves.

When under correct direction and with wholly altruistic motives, not otherwise, Kundalini Shakti can be aroused. (One is not encour­aged to do so.)

When, under expert guidance only, and with completely altruistic motives, Kundalini is awakened, it divides itself into the three currents as above: positive (Pingala), negative (Ida), and neutral (Sushumna). Technically, these three Sanskrit words refer only to the three canals (nadis) along which these currents flow.

The positive current intertwines the spinal cord and enters the pi­tuitary gland, whilst the negative current oppositely entwines the spi­nal cord and enters the pineal gland. The neutral current ascends Sushumna, enters the third ventricle of the brain, and passes out at the crown of the head.

Some of the dangers of arousing Nature’s hidden forces in the body, unless under the direction of a Master:

(1)    Premature arousing of Kundalini with its disturbing effects.

(2)    Sex excitation.

(3)     Emotional disturbances due to incursions from the Astral Plane of forces and beings through the solar plexus on to the sympa­thetic nervous system, which does not readily rationalize and so be­comes confused. Those belonging to schools, classes or movements may already experience this.

(4)    A sense of increased self-importance from which immoderate pride can develop.

(5)     Enhancement of the powers of will and discovery of means of using will to influence others adversely.

(6)    Whirling sensations in the brain, with consequent distress and fear of insanity. (Actually there is no ground for this fear.)

(7)     Physical sensations of various kinds, such as being touched, subjected to seemingly electrical energies, a crawling sensation on the skin, especially at the chakras and a feeling of heat in the spinal cord, particularly at the sacrum.

(8)    Partially seen and therefore misinterpreted clairvoyant visions of the Astral Plane. These may increase any sense of self-importance which may have arisen.

(9)     Eccentricities of conduct, personality and speech outside of the immediate control of the mind.

(10)     Susceptibility to being influenced by superphysical beings, notably shells of deceased persons seeking renewals of their fading vi­tality and so fastening upon sensitive people, greatly to their detriment.

When arousing of the Kundalini and consequent development of the Siddhis would be deemed helpful to any person, a Spiritual Teacher will always present himself and guide the neophyte through the dan­gers and difficulties likely to arise.

When the pupil is ready, the master will appear.

The ideas of discipleship to a master can be fulfilled, no one is overlooked, qualifications: to become a selfless, self-disciplined ser­vant of humanity.

One function of the Great White Brotherhood is recruiting and training.

One function of the theosophical society: a gateway.

Theosophy in New Zealand, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1974, p. 78

72
The Death and Resurrection of the Gods: A Study of the Doctrine of Rebirth

In world Scriptures a very similar story is told. The characters, and so the names, are different but the story is almost identical. It tells of prebirth prophecies, birth or nativity, young life, maturity in great power, successful attack by self-appointed enemies who, by various and often strange means, bring about the unnatural death of a God in­carnate upon earth who, however, rises again and ascends into heaven.

This allegory is to be found in nearly all mythologies and world Scriptures. One of the best known accounts—purely allegorical, I conclude—is the Egyptian myth concerning the God Osiris. He, it will be remembered, is attacked by his jealous brother, Seth, or Typhon, at a feast, lured into a coffin, murdered, and cut into fourteen pieces; the coffin is placed upon the river Nile which carries it to the Mediterranean Sea. Bereaved Isis, the wife, and the son Horns search for the lost husband and father, find him by magic, whereupon Isis re­assembles all the parts and the God is restored to life.

Cadmus, king of Grecian Thebes, learned of a liason between his daughter Semele and Zeus, the greatest of the Olympian Gods, en­closed her in a chest which was thrown into the sea. Carried by the waves to Prasiae, it was opened. Semele was found to be dead, but the child of the union was alive and came to be known as the god Dionysius. In his turn, the young god and creator of the Greek Pantheon was murdered and tom into fragments by the Titans, the great gods. He also was restored by his mother in a mystical resurrection and ascension. In his manhood, Dionysius hired a pirate ship to take him to Naxos, but the pirates steered him toward Asia to sell him there as a slave. Thereupon he changed mast and oars into serpents and himself into a lion. Ivy grew around the mast and the sound of flutes was heard on every side. Thereafter, Dionysius reached Naxos and later took his mother, Semele, out of Hades, or Hell, up to Olympus.

The Scandinavian Edda contains another version of the story in which Baldur the Beautiful, the giver of all good, excites the jealousy of Loki, who plots his death. His mother, Freya, had prayed to the gods that her wonderful son of light would be saved from all enemies and all possible weapons from all sources. She forgot the mistletoe, however, and so Baldur, whilst immortal and immune to all other weapons, was not so to the mistletoe. Eventually Loki kills him, using a blind man as an archer and an arrow made from a mistletoe bough.

The life story of Lord Sri Krishna follows very closely this pat­tern. He, in his turn, suffered an unnatural death, being wounded in the heel by the arrow of a hunter who mistook him for a deer. After telling the hunter not to grieve, he rose all radiant into Heaven.

Brunhilde, by magic, made her son Siegfried invulnerable. Only on his back did she omit to bless him, because she knew that Siegfried would never show his back to his enemy. Later on a leaf fell on Siegfried’s back whilst he bathed in the blood of a dragon, and on that spot Hagen’s lance struck him as later he bent down to drink at a spring.

The Lord Buddha reputedly died at the age of eighty. He ad­dressed his disciples, encouraging them after he himself had disap­peared from their view to take his doctrine for their Master. He then entered into meditation, thence into ecstasy, and finally passed away from earth into Nirvana. His body was burned on a funeral pyre which lighted itself and was extinguished at the right moment by a miracu­lous rain.

The life story of Jesus contains similar incidents, including the prophecies in the Old Testament: the pre-birth announcement of John the Baptist; the Annunciation to his mother; the immaculate concep­tion and Nativity; the childhood beset by enemies; the flight to Egypt; the return in youth; the growth to maturity and the exercise of super­normal powers. Then came the Transfiguration, attack by enemies, death upon the cross, Resurrection, reappearances and the Ascension to the right hand of God. Thus is portrayed in many scriptures and myths the same story of forthgoing and return of a hero or Saviour, which was also recounted by Jesus himself in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

What, one may ask, a