But SEVEN is the real scale of nature, in Occultism, and 7 has to be multiplied in quite a different way and method unknown as yet to European nations.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 656 fn.
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 47-49.]
Ambition to amass wealth is universal. The base on which our civilization rests is finance. The citizen's power, even in a democratic state, lies in his moneybags. All great sages, on the other hand, have referred to poverty as a virtue necessary for the higher life. A new slant on the practice of poverty emerges from a contemplation of the ideal of the Rajarshis. The example of Janaka and others indicates that the Trusteeship idea stressed by the ideal Brahmana of the twentieth century, Gandhiji, is not a new one. His favorite ISHOPANISHAD verse, as explained by him, brings out the fact that a yogi and a Rishi may dexterously allow the coins of gold and silver to roll for the good of the whole and all.
The amassing of wealth is an art that ordinarily cannot help being classified as a black art. The mighty magic of money is most often performed by those whose motives and methods are neither pure nor unselfish. "Get on, get honor, and get honest" is the accepted plan. Thousands of young men and women ruin themselves in advancing from the one to the next step at each of the three stages. When the last stage arrives, when a few of the rich are ready for living honestly, many find their hopes shattered and the fruits of their arduous sowing and reaping turn sour and bitter.
There are, however, hints in the sayings of the sages that teach that the amassing of wealth can be a practice of the art of white magic. Thus in the Chinese Canon of the celebrated DHAMMAPADA we come upon the advice of one of the most practical minds in the history of humanity, who moved his fellow men to Noble Living. In Canto XIX of the Chinese Text entitled "Old Age," the Master handles this subject with his usual consummate skill. Here is the story:
The Enlightened One was residing in the Jetavana. In a nearby village, there was a Brahmana school where 500 youths were training themselves in the secret lore of their caste. They were full of disdain for all others and spoke of the Buddha slightingly -- "His talents reach but a little way compared with ours. We ought to challenge him to come and debate with us." The Master responded and came with his Bhikkhus. While they were waiting, there arrived on the scene an old Brahmana and his wife, begging for food. The Master knew the couple of old. He asked the youths if they knew who the old man was. "We know perfectly. He was formerly rich, but took no care of his money, and was foolish in using it. Now look at him. Fool!"
Thereupon the Buddha spoke: "There are four things difficult to do. Those who can do them will certainly obtain merit and escape poverty. What are the four? They are related to the four ages of men:
In the heyday of youth, do not be disdainful. Learn how to earn rightly. In the prime of life, do not seek sense pleasures. Learn to acquire wealth and not squander it. In middle age, be Mindful of Charity. It is not easy to dispense Charity righteously. In old age, seek the Wise in the art of becoming a Trustee of all your possessions.
It is for want of observing these four rules that this old Brahmana gentleman has come to his present condition and is like an old stork sitting beside a dried up pond.
Again, continued the Master, there are four opportunities given to every one to enrich life:
In the heyday of youth, seize the opportunity to make high moral resolves. In the prime of life, seize the opportunity to plan for a just distribution of riches. In middle age, seize the opportunity of widening your capacity for gaining more merit. In old age, seize the opportunity to gain knowledge of the Three Honorable Ones.
By Grace F. Knoche
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1950, pages 5-14.]
These letters of Saint-Martin and Kirchberger do not lack in human appeal. Besides the tender and affectionate exchanges between two patricians bred in the grace of noblesse oblige, we find as backdrop the dramatic scene of the French Revolution. The tortuous days, commencing with that fateful tenth of August 1792 are thrown in bold relief as Saint-Martin casually, yet continuously, makes references while discoursing on the lofty theme of "their object." As he later wrote to Kirchberger in 1796, he felt the power of a great force behind the upheaval, "which springs from grounds unknown to those who have taken part in this great drama" (page 235).
The great picture of our wonderful revolution rivets me; I am best situated here [at Paris] to contemplate it EN PHILOSOPHE.
-- page 99
I listen to everything, I see all that come ... There are some who had described to me beforehand, almost to the very letter, the shaking we have just experienced , in which I have again seen how fortunate and powerful the star is that presides over our revolution.
-- pages 177-8
Do not believe that our French revolution is an indifferent thing upon the earth; I look upon it as the revolution of human nature, as you will see in my pamphlet; it is a miniature of the last judgment, with all its features, except that things succeed one another in it, whilst, at the last, everything will be done instantaneously.
-- page 184
The pamphlet referred to was a treatise of considerable size and importance entitled, "Letter to a Friend, or Philosophical and Religious Consideration of the French Revolution," published in 1796, and which he hoped Kirchberger would translate into German for circulation among the German speaking countries. But though the Baron was deeply impressed with Saint-Martin's original, and in some instances startling views, and considered this the most remarkable treatise of its kind, he feared greatly that the Germanic peoples at that time would only turn it to bitter use.
There was plenty of danger for Saint-Martin during those years, who "walking on the borders of fire" (page 223). He suddenly become persona non grata of the proscribed classes, and whose Order of Arrest was soon to come. Yet, those who "walk with God" are under His care, and we find Saint-Martin not too surprised but deeply sensible of the "numerous proofs of the divine protection over me, especially during our revolution" (page 150). He afterwards wrote to Kirchberger on April 30, 1797:
There were many reasons for suspicion and arrest for one in my situation, civil, pecuniary, literary, social, etc., and yet I have been quits with an order once given to arrest me, which did not reach me until a month after the fall of Robespierre, who issued it, and which was cancelled before it could be executed. Moreover, I have three times passed through every crisis; I lived a whole year on the borders of La Vendee, and you will be not a little surprised when I tell you that, during these infernal agitations, when I went everywhere just like anybody else, things have been so ordered on high, that, since the Revolution, I have literally not heard the report of a cannon, except those which were lately fired here to announce peace with the Emperor (of Austria). You can tell this, if you like, to Mr. Jung, with my kind compliments. Do not let him take this for miracles; I am not worthy that any should be enacted for me: it was simply the care of Divine goodness, for which I am very grateful.
-- page 297
The import of this correspondence is not the temporal events, however fascinating these may be. Of chief concern to our theosophers is the search after the Central Principle, the Divine Source, God, or Sophia -- whatever name came most readily to hand. We should not imagine, however, that the all-absorbing power of the inner life in any wise detracted from the performance of worldly duties for Saint-Martin or Kirchberger. Ample evidence is given in both cases that their duties in the world of men were fulfilled with diligence, exactitude, and imagination.
Choice bits of wise counsel enrich the letters, where Saint-Martin kindly, affectionately, but always directly urges Kirchberger to eschew the secondary or external way. It is difficult for us today to realize what a network of SECRET bodies, possessing in greater or less degree "Masonic connections," had surrounded the entire continent of Europe by the late eighteenth century.
Offshoots of original theosophic efforts, the dying embers of magical incantations, theurgist practices, secret formularies with numbers, passed on their knowledge "behind closed door, with mouth to ear." Masonic, Rosicrucian, Kabalistic Orders, so called, flourished by the dozen, not openly as today with far less danger to the unwary, but SECRETLY, hidden under the spell of mystery, with mystifying signs and passwords, occult rites and ceremonial, "initiations," "traditions," and what not. "Brothers" of the different occult bodies would travel from one country to another, contacting isolated members of these fraternities.
From time to time, a few deeply intuitive and inspired "masters" did undoubtedly participate; but as with all such Orders, unless they kept the flame pure and tended by selfless motive, the fire dies and only the smoldering ashes testify that another "attempt of the Lodge" has failed.
Saint-Martin would have none of this mummery. Invited to participate in the reopened school of Martines de Pasqually in 1784, which now called itself the Order of Philalethes, he refused, stating that they seemed "to speak and act only as freemasons, and not as real initiates, that is, as united to their Principle," as Monsieur Gence records (page v).
His uncompromising strength and chaste spirituality have cumulative force as one reads, consecutively, letter by letter. Never does this theosopher and adept deviate one hair's-breadth from the Central Core, which to him was the only direct road to God. One is tempted to quote passage after passage, but the following will be suggestive evidence of the luminous quality of Saint-Martin's purpose:
I know, in short, that the whole earth is full of these prodigies; but, I repeat, unless things come from the centre itself, I do not give them my confidence. ...
The inward or center is the principle of everything; so long as this centre is not open, the greatest external wonders may seduce without advancing us; and, if I may venture to say so, it is our inward that ought to be the true thermometer, the true touchstone, of what passes without. If our heart is in God, if it is really become divine, by love, faith, and ardent prayer, no illusion can surprise us.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
-- pages 62-63
Innumerable references to numbers and their significances are to be found, particularly in the letters from Kirchberger who appeals to Saint-Martin for direction on behalf of friends of his similarly inclined. Kirchberger recognizes the wisdom of Saint-Martin's judgment. In fact, his reverence for his friend's counsel adds a richness and a beauty not to be overlooked. Nevertheless, the power that numbers have to reveal facts intrigued him. Saint-Martin's sane, practical remarks give a timely warning to those today who in their over-enthusiasm at discovering part of the web of truth believe they have found all. Writes Saint-Martin:
They [numbers] have given me, and still occasionally give me, a sort of intelligence; but I never thought that they gave more than the mere ticket of the package, and not commonly the substance of the matter itself. I felt this from my first entrance into my first school. Friend Bohme came to justify this presentiment.
-- pages 194-5
Further, Saint-Martin takes pains to reiterate that numbers do indeed express laws, but that, in the case of Man.
[They are] already removed from the divine sphere: we may work them, and they will always give us the representation of the same wonders; but only as images.
-- page 209
One interesting point must be included, and that is the rigid silence maintained by Saint-Martin in regard to Cagliostro. There are at least a half-dozen references by Kirchberger to Cagliostro, whom he regards with candid disfavor, deeming him the author of dangerous practices. But never a comment in return from Saint-Martin. Did The Lodge impose a reserve upon this adept that would prevent him even from hinting to his beloved correspondent that there might be "another side" to the coin of the Cagliostro mystery?
Mention must also be made of the doings of "our other good theosophists" where Kirchberger furnishes important information on the works of Doctor Pordage, Jane Lead, and Thomas Browne of England, as well as of Gichtel of Germany who deeply impressed by Bohme produced his now famous edition of Bohme's Works of 1682, later enlarged in 1715. Silverhielm, nephew of Swedenborg, also is mentioned by Saint-Martin who had met him personally. Though Saint-Martin was conscientiously interested in all these theosophers, whether through their writings or by personal contact, and would attend "meetings" whenever he felt that some seed of wisdom might be sown, he always returned to Bohme as the primal source of inspiration.
"Would you leave your work incomplete? ... Would you lose the fruit of six years' correspondence, or, what amounts to the same thing, would you not enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the grain you have sown arrive at its full maturity?" Thus, Kirchberger appeals to Saint-Martin when he discovers, in May 1797, that after months of hoping and planning for Saint-Martin to visit him in Switzerland, the latter has decided not to undertake the journey. Why is this? Because Saint-Martin has not received, he says, "the desired opening" which points to such a visit, and "however strong this desire may be [to visit K.], until I have more light than at present I must wait" (page 299).
Kirchberger's disappointment, naturally, is keenly felt, the more so as it unfolds that he is most desirous that Saint-Martin transmit to him "certain truths" which could not be told in writing. He writes:
I beg of you to weigh all this in your wisdom; and if present circumstances do not allow you actually to make the journey, to compensate me, in part at least, by some preparatory instructions which will make me more worthy and more fit to enjoy your conversation.
-- page 300
Saint-Martin's answer (Letter CX) is a masterpiece of tender understanding yet firm adherence to esoteric principle. Initiation cannot be conferred, it must be earned. In Saint-Martin's simple direct way, he again affirms:
The only initiation which I preach and seek with all the ardor of my soul, is that by which we may enter into the heart of God, and make God's heart enter into us ... There is no other mystery, to arrive at this holy initiation, than to go more and more down into the depths of our being, and not let go till we can bring forth the living vivifying root ...
This is the language I have held to you in all my letters; and certainly, whenever I may be present with you, I shall never be able to communicate to you any mystery more vast than this, and more suited to promote your advancement ... I cannot think you are in want, and I shall think so still less for the future, if you will only work your capital wisely.
-- pages 304-305
The two friends were destined never to meet. Kirchberger died suddenly in a year or two, and Saint-Martin continued in Paris occupied with further writings. Sensing that his end was near, he said to a friend:
I feel that I am going -- Providence may call me -- I am ready. The germs that I have endeavored to sow will fructify.
-- page 10
The next day he left for the countryseat of Count Lenoir la Roche at Aunay, near Sceaux.
[After a slight repast, he] prayed in silence, and departed without a struggle, and without pain, on October 13, 1803.
-- page xi
To theosophists of the present, ingrown perhaps with too great a concern over the problems of the hour, TC comes as a refreshing spring. Somehow, it lifts one out of the narrow sphere of isolationism into the broad expanse of that ageless theosophic force which has been "active since the commencement of our racial experience," as stated in the Foreword.
For in both the Preface by Edward Burton Penny, and in the Appendix by Christopher Walton, we find theosophers in the middle of the last century, the nineteenth, boldly planning a course of theosophic propaganda. Heaven knows, if the world must grope for the light in the fifties of our present century, it was far in arrears in spiritual expansiveness one hundred years ago.
The world appreciates that Mr. Penny, of Topsham, Devon, England, translated from the French these letters. With the aid of Walton and other like-minded "theosophers" in 1863, he sent out free copies to hundreds of libraries the world over. Copies went to Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Nova Scotia, India, Ceylon, Australia, The Cape, Gibraltar, France, as well as the United States.
We ask the reader to enter the courtly and noble rhythm of this book, and discover for himself much more than is here recorded.
By Judith Ann Christie
My humble presentation of this mantra is to heal the hearts, minds, souls, and bodies of all who hear. I present it in honor of the late W. Emmett Small, a great theosophical Light, still among us in Spirit though not in body.
TAYATHA OM BEKANDZYAI BEKANDZYAI MAHA BEKANDZYAI BEKANDZYAI RANDZA SAMUGATE SOHA
Reciting the Mantra of Medicine Buddha brings many benefits, worldly and spiritual.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche said:
Medicine Buddha is called "encompassing all the Buddhas." This means that offering the seven-limb practice is the same as offering the seven limbs to numberless Buddhas, so one accumulates numberless inconceivable merits like limitless sky.
Reciting Medicine Buddha mantra has inconceivable merit. Manjushri requested to reveal in front of the "Eight Gone to Bliss Ones" (Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the Seven Medicine Buddhas), the special mantra that makes the Eight Gone to Bliss Ones quickly actualize the prayer they made in the past: to actualize sentient beings' happiness by attaining the path to enlightenment and pacifying various problems, for them to see all the Buddhas, and for all their wishes to be quickly fulfilled; for the sentient beings of the five generations who have small merit and who are possessed and overwhelmed by various diseases and spirit harms.
During that time, all the Eight Gone to Bliss Ones in one voice taught the mantra. Therefore, if one recites that mantra every day one will always be paid attention by the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, they will guide you. Vajrapani, owner of the secrecy, and the Four Guardians will always protect and guide you. All your negative karmas will be pacified and you will never be born in the three lower realms. Even just hearing the names of the Eight Gone to Bliss Ones and reciting them pacifies all the disease and spirit harms, even spirit harms that become a condition for disease; and all your wishes are fulfilled.
This is just a brief explanation of the benefits of the Medicine Buddha practice. This practice is especially good if you are helping others, especially if you are doing healing work it helps you to be more accurate and beneficial. You will receive much support, not only from the Eight Gone to Bliss Ones but from the four clairvoyant devas. These devas help you diagnose and understand the right method to heal, they are associated with the Eight Gone to Bliss Ones.
If one doesn't get the recitation of Medicine Buddha practice done it is a greater loss than losing trillions of dollars. In terms of the benefits of the practice, one has missed out, lost trillions of dollars.
MEDICINE BUDDHA SADHANA
NAMO GURUBYA (The method for making requests to the assembly of Seven Medicine Gurus)
Going for refuge and Generating Bodhicitta Until I attain enlightenment, I respectfully go for refuge To the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. To attain Buddhahood for the welfare of all living beings I shall make requests to the Seven Sugatas. (3x)
VISUALIZING THE SEVEN TATHAGATAS
On the crown of my head sits the Tathagata "Medicine Guru." His body is blue, his right hand in the mudra of supreme giving holds an Arura plant, and his left hand in the mudra of meditative equipoise holds a bowl filled with medicine nectar.
On his crown is the Tathagata "King of Clear Knowing." His body is red, his right hand is in the mudra of supreme giving, and his left hand is in the mudra of meditative equipoise.
On his crown is the Tathagata "Melodious Ocean of Dharma Proclaimed." His body is light red and both his hands are in the mudra of expounding Dharma.
On his crown is the Tathagata "Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow." His body is pale red and both his hands are in the mudra of meditative equipoise.
On his crown is the Tathagata "Stainless Excellent Gold." His body is golden and both his hands are in the mudra of expounding Dharma.
On his crown is the Tathagata "King of Melodious Sound." His body is golden, his right hand is in the mudra of supreme giving, and his left hand is in the mudra of meditative equipoise.
On his crown is the Tathagata "Glorious Renown of Excellent Signs." His body is golden, his right hand is in the mudra of granting protection, and his left hand is in the mudra of meditative equipoise.
They all wear the three robes of a monk, adorned with the major and minor marks. They sit in the vajra posture on seats of lotus and moon.
OFFERING THE SEVEN LIMBS
Merely through the touch of the smallest part of your supreme medicinal plant, you cool the fires of the deepest hell, transforming them into lotus pools. To you, Assembly of Protectors of impure beings, with my body, speech, and mind, respectfully I prostrate.
I offer a vast collection of offerings, both actually set out and emanated through the power of mantra, wisdom, and imagination. I confess all negativities and downfalls, rejoice in virtue, beseech you to remain and request you to teach. I dedicate these virtues to great enlightenment.
O Great Assembly of Blessed Ones, please listen to me. Previously you Seven Sugatas made prayers, To fulfill the promises you have made In this the final five hundred years of Buddha Shakyamuni's teachings; I request you now to show me the truth directly.
O Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfect Buddha, Great King, Glorious Renown of Excellent Signs, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge (x7)
The Tathagata "Glorious Renown of Excellent Sign" melts into light and dissolve into the Tathagata "King of Melodious Sound."
O Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfect Buddha, King of Melodious Sound, Brilliant Radiance of Skill, Fully adorned with Jewels, Moon and Lotus, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge. (x7)
The Tathagata "King of Melodious Sound" melts into light and dissolves into the Tathagata "Stainless Excellent Gold."
O Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfect Buddha, Stainless Excellent Gold, Jewel Radiance who Accomplish your Vows, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge. (x7)
The Tathagata "Stainless Excellent Gold" melts into light and dissolves into the Tathagata "Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow."
O Supreme Glory Free from sorrow, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge. (x7)
The Tathagata "Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow" melts into light and dissolves into the Tathagata "Melodious Ocean of Dharma Proclaimed."
O Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfect Buddha, Melodious Ocean of Dharma Proclaimed, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge. (x7)
The Tathagata "Melodious Ocean of Dharma Proclaimed" melts into light and dissolves into the Tathagata "King of Clear Knowing."
O Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfect Buddha, King of Clear Knowing, who Fully Enjoy a Supreme Wisdom of an Ocean of Dharma, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge. (x7)
The Tathagata "King of Clear Knowing" melts into light and dissolves into the Tathagata "Medicine Guru."
O Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfect Buddha, Medicine Guru, Great King with the Radiance of a Lapis Jewel, to you I prostrate, make offerings, and go for refuge. (x7)
The Tathagata "King of Medicine" melts into light and dissolves into me. All sickness, spirits, negativities, and obstructions that afflict me are purified and I become the Buddha, Medicine Guru.
RECITATION OF MANTRA
At my heart on a moon is a letter HUM surrounded by the mantra rosary.
TAYATHA OM BEKANDZYAI BEKANDZYAI MAHA BEKANDZYAI BEKANDZYAI RANDZA SAMUGATE SOHA
Through my virtues from prostrating, making offerings, and reciting the names of the Assembly of Seven Sugatas, may the supreme prayers that they previously made, the two sets of eight, the four sets of four, and the twelve promises, immediately ripen upon myself and all other living beings including a dear heart who was known as W. Emmett Small who has left the physical frame.
By Gerald Schueler
Picture an ineffable divinity existing outside of space and time. It is eternal, infinite, and perfect. Furthermore, assume this divinity has an inherent ability to self-express. In this sense, it is inherently creative. These must remain assumptions because we cannot prove or demonstrate them. Taking them on faith, as the initial assumptions of a thesis, we find certain concepts naturally arising.
This divinity expresses itself in rays or divine sparks called Monads because they are indivisible units. Each one is the image and likeness of divinity itself. Each is outside of space and time.
In the image and likeness of divinity, each Monad also seeks self-expression. Collectively, their creative forces produce a Manvantara on seven planes. They form it from matter left over from the past Manvantara, in accordance with karma from that time.
Note that there is no first Manvantara, nor will there be a last one. Such self-expressions are endless.
The entire manvantaric expression is dualistic. Everything has two polar opposites. We consider this Maya, because it does not really exist. (It only exists within this manvantaric expression. Its reality is relative or conditional.) The primal duality is between Space and Motion. Out of it come all other dualities.
Monads aggregate, entering a new Manvantara in a lifewave. There are seven lifewaves, one of which is our human lifewave. Each lifewave defines a collective population, within which individual activity and evolution occur. Lifewaves remain throughout the Manvantara. They mature over time.
Remaining human, our lifewave takes on different characteristics called races, nations, and families. Individuals can advance through and between lifewaves, undergoing the cycles of evolution and involution.
The human lifewave begins with its Atman, the collective definition of what a human being is. Atman self-expresses. It forms principles on the four lower planes, which attract the appropriate matter to form bodies thereon. Atman is spirit, the subjective side, and matter is the objective side of the same thing.
Atma combines with Buddhi and Manas to form the Reincarnating Ego. This is experientially a single unit, but its unity is illusory, because it is a compound. The Reincarnating Ego self-expresses as a living being on the lowest plane, the physical. The initial expression produces the elements: earth, water, air, fire, and space or spirit. These elements appear during the first of the seven Rounds.
Within this Manvantara, monadic self-expressions begin with unself-consciousness. The Higher Triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, has no sense of self. Over long periods, it gains self-consciousness, establishing a personal self with a need for survival. Over more time, it comes to see this self as illusion. By the end of the Manvantara, most will have realized their illusory nature and gained enlightenment. Others sleep until the next Manvantara.
This scheme of evolution takes place within the seven planes of our Solar System and the twelve globes of our Earth Planetary Chain. Each passage around the entire planetary chain is a Round. Each Manvantara consists of seven Rounds.
The Atma-Buddhi-Manas triad first evolves, then it involves. Its goal of evolution is twofold. First, consciousness is limited to the mineral or elemental levels. Atma-Buddhi-Manas self-expresses there as a Mineral Monad, physically as an atom. Second, consciousness rises through the kingdoms, finally attaining enlightenment.
Seeking enlightenment, Atma-Buddhi-Manas slowly rises through the kingdoms and lifewaves. Evolution into matter is largely unconscious. After a certain point, the involution into spirit is conscious. Humans become able to tread the Path consciously. Conscious involution allows one to advance beyond the collective, producing so-called fifth, sixth, and seventh Rounders. While yet in the fourth Round, they are equivalent to the collective triads in future Rounds.
We are slightly past the midpoint of the fourth Round. Our physical planet Earth is Globe D, the lowest and most material. Our human lifewave is on the Ascending Arc. We are at the point where we can choose to tread the Path consciously, speeding up our evolutionary development. The immediate goal of this Path is liberation or freedom from karmic suffering. The ultimate goal is to return to our original monadic state of Be-ness.
To become an Adept, we must combine the Higher Triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, into a Monad (an experiential unity). First, purify Manas, because only a purified mind can unite with Buddhi. This necessitates the development of ethics, morals, and compassion.
There are two ways of gnosis, direct insight into the real. Easiest is Kama-Manas, an approach using psychic developmental. It allows us to view the inner planes in detail. It is limited to the four lower planes, and is not reliable. The lower portion of one's aura filters this perception. Only an Adept with a pure aura can use this faculty reliably.
The second type of gnosis involves Buddhi-Manas. It is harder, but we should emphasize it first, until we have purified our Manas. Meditate. Seek to combine Buddhi and Manas into Buddhi-Manas. We achieve this unity using yoga. Exercise one-pointedness, slowly bringing Manas into conscious control and eventual quiescence.
Eventually, we will fully control Manas, and we can stop thought temporarily. This stopping of thought means that we can totally ignore it using conscious mindfulness. Then we see the inner planes via Buddhi-Manas.
Buddhi-Manas is more reliable than Kama-Manas. We view things through the upper aura, which is clearer. Kama-Manas is limited to the astral and mental planes, while Buddhi-Manas includes the causal plane. The vision of Buddhi-Manas offers little detail. Its perception is in general images and ideas.
Next, we combine the Higher Triad into a Monad experientially. As described in Buddhist meditation, it is the union of one-pointedness with analytical meditation or special insight (shamata and vipashyana). It is the union of wisdom and means, of subject and object, or of gnosis and compassion.
We raise our consciousness into Atma-Buddhi while thinking and analyzing with a purified Manas. Atman, Buddhi, and Manas combine to produce the mind of an Adept. This is the state of Blavatsky's Masters.
There are more steps on the Path towards its eventual goal of full enlightenment and Buddhahood. They involve transcending Atman and raising consciousness to the indivisible Monad itself. This equates to perceptions outside of space-time altogether, and are beyond our present-day concerns.
By Madeline Clark
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1951, pages 7-15.]
Western humanity, in its religious moods, has expended much energy in speculation on its future, but this speculation has been confined almost solely to the life after death -- when, as far as this earth was concerned, there was to be an end of things for the soul that passed on. In philosophic mood, this same humanity should rightly concern itself with a far more comprehensive picture, not only of its destiny, but also of its origin and the real purpose of its existence. This it is progressively doing as the larger ideas in science and philosophy build the basis for a metaphysical conception of the Universe and man's place in it.
There are certain teachings in the theosophical philosophy that present this far-flung concept with such fundamental clarity that they may be regarded as keys -- keys that open doors of understanding not only into other aspects of the doctrine, but into the humble problems of every day.
One of these key-teachings, a phase of the philosophy of spiritual evolution, is the doctrine of Self-becoming, the doctrine of the unfolding of innate powers and characteristics from the interior being of all creatures. According to the esoteric philosophy, all evolution is through the bringing forth of powers and faculties already latent in the entity -- not through an accretion adding layer upon layer from without.
The Sanskrit word SWABHAVA is what describes this inherent power and faculty, this innate characteristic and its spontaneous evolvement. Its literal translation is just that, self-becoming: SWA, self, and BHAVA, from BHU, to become. "Everything becomes what it actually is in the heart of its being." This is the teaching of the oldest existing school of Buddhism, the Swabhavika.
The teaching is true of every entity whatsoever, be it be a star, an atom, or a human being. There is a sense of completeness, of philosophic satisfaction, in that thought. We are always becoming, we are always on the way. Our own world and all its beings are an outer manifestation of inner vital causes. The work, the activity, is within. It flows outward into the visible.
The symbols of this process are all about us in equal prodigality with the manifestations of nature. Go out on any clear evening at this time of year and see the winter galaxy peopling the sky, crowding it with brilliant and less brilliant stars, encircled by the silvery haze of the Milky Way, itself composed largely of incomputable hosts of stars. I say peopled, because there is a companionship in the stars, the companionship of greatly evolved beings, of which the stars are the bodies or vehicles for beings less evolved.
How did these beings become clothed in such splendor? They do so by unfolding that splendor from within their essential selves. They shine there as a prophecy, a promise, of what we, their younger brothers, will one day arrive at. They are the ultimate visible forms that are still brothers to us in the galactic universe.
The kinship that we feel with them extends itself to take in all the hosts of our fellow-beings, of whatever kingdom. No longer can we conceive of a static condition in any of these inhabitants of the universe. We are all moving onto greater spiritual stature, in a progress that we accomplish by the unfolding from within of already inherent powers and faculties. In this sense, we can truly say with the old Sanskritists, "Without moving, O Holder of the Bow, is the travel along that road."
So common in semi-tropical gardens, the palm-tree is one of the most obvious symbols of this self-becoming. It continually renews itself from within itself. As the old leaves drop lower around the trunk and become successively less bright and finally withered, new ones forever unfold from within the upper part of the trunk, where there is a central bud that pushes out and up endlessly. Everything that lives is verily such a symbol, so near to us are the reminders of these deep-seated teachings that comprehend life, harmonize, and revitalize it.
Consider two distinct aspects of this teaching of Swabhava. One is the thought of all the multitudes of beings in the universe ever moving out of their present selves into a greater expression of themselves. This is under the urge of a vital energy that springs from an intelligent energy, which springs in its turn from a spiritual energy, coming from a divine energy. At the heart of it all is the Essential Monadic Self, one with the Universal Self. Back of us, therefore, are the energies of the whole universe, if we can rise to a realization of this fact and in some degree make use of them.
The other aspect of the doctrine of self-becoming is that of Individuality. However minute in the great hierarchy that one may be, each has his essential characteristic or inherent character that differentiates him. At the same time, all individuals in the universe are essentially ONE, partake of, spring from, and will return to the One Life -- i.e. the Greater Being of which we are a part. In this paradox lies one of the greatest mysteries of the Ancient Wisdom.
As we become more highly evolved, this individuality becomes more marked, because we have more fully brought forth every godlike faculty. We can conceive of the Masters of Wisdom, the most evolved types of human beings, as mighty geniuses in anything they wish to set their hand to. Yet at the same time, in their relatively perfected compassion, they are more at one than ordinary men are with all that lives. Again, we have a paradox.
This doctrine of Swabhava is not solely metaphysical. None of the great doctrines is. They have their application to the most familiar things on earth. It is this fact of essential individuality in all the inhabitants of the universe that causes the endless variety of beings in all the kingdoms, a variety that leaves us no excuse for not finding life intensely, thrillingly interesting. Bring into play the imaginative faculty and see all the wonders of nature AS WONDERS, as examples of the intriguing ways in which all the creatures proceed to show forth their various quaint characters.
In the course of a morning's walk, you encounter a series of adventures. You go along beside a hedge of bright berries -- itself a wonder of vegetable Swabhava. You look into the hedge, and right into the bright eye of a mocking-bird, who looks back at you boldly without a sign of fear. Bold, aggressive, you know him for the fellow who out-sings all the other birds, sitting in his particular tree, from which he has driven off all comers. You remember his battles with other mockers, when the luscious notes of his song alter to a raucous scolding.
You walk on and come upon a lizard sunning himself on a stone. He blinks a small black eye at you but continues his nap -- apparently -- until he spies an unsuspecting insect about a yard away, makes a lightning dash for it, and you hear the click of his jaws as they close upon it.
Next, on a flowering shrub, you may see a study in contrasts: both a humming-bird (a tiny dynamo of one-pointed energy) and a dallying butterfly sipping.
You may notice underfoot the telltale burrow of a mole -- the funny little blind, velvet-coated dweller underground, whose consciousness is chiefly concerned with damp earth and worms. Even at that, there is a more evolved consciousness than that of the worm that he feeds on.
On the same walk, you may encounter a snake, with its secretive, sinuous habit, various birds, even a seagull flying over perhaps. You may find in the vegetable kingdom such divers characters as poison-ivy, ferns, the sturdy oak, and prickly cactus and in the mineral kingdom soils and rocks of varied colors and compositions.
As we come onto the higher animals, this difference among the individual characters becomes greater. They have advanced farther in the bringing out of their respective individual traits, but these traits were all latent in them to begin with. Take the coyote, an animal so cunning and intelligent that even its most inveterate human enemies are obliged to accord it a reluctant admiration.
Again, take the ancient friend of man, the little ass or donkey. Any owner will tell you tales of its sagacity. The age-old custom of these animals, when gathered together into a herd, as is their natural habit, is to detail one of their own to stand watch at the stable door at night. The custom survives from the ancient days of Egypt among the wild asses of that country, which wild beasts preyed upon. At midnight, a second ass among the herd will invariably wake and go to the relief of the one at the door.
Another most interesting animal is the pig, which has, according to Louis Bromfield:
The pig has nearly always been maligned and underrated ... The pig has countless amusing, endearing, and irritating qualities. He can never be accused of lack of character and even individual personality ... probably the most intelligent of all farm animals, and certainly the shrewdest ... Pigs make the best and most humorous pets in the world. They are instinctively ham actors and have a highly developed sense of humor ... Pigs have been associated with man about as long as any animal, and appear again and again in history and legend back into the misty reaches of prehistoric time.
-- From his review of PIGS: FROM CAVE TO CORNBELT by Towne and Wentworth.
By Victor Endersby
[CHRONICLES ON THE PATH, Part XIII. This 18-part series appeared in THEOSOPHICAL NOTES from September 1951 through November 1954.]
In favor of grim and pointed reality, there was an episode many years ago that still has a vital effect on the Movement. The effects are still thrust in the face of disconcerted Theosophists. Under the above title, H.P. Blavatsky reprinted a story from a contributor to NOUVELLE REVUE, in THE THEOSOPHIST of April 1886. The history in the article is itself interesting. Even more is told by HPB's footnote vouching for its truth and her supplementary explanation. It forms, with matter previously printed, a completing piece of a mosaic picture of a terrible episode. We also call attention to the amazing and even brutal forthrightness about moral principles in the publishing of such a revelation, and in HPB's own explanation. Here was no pussyfooting on behalf of "charity," "live and let live," and compromise on moral principles that now obscures the real and terrible nature of karma that follows certain action. I give the essential parts of the article along with our own comments.
I was feeling tired. I had been working at this report for the last three hours and had to be ready for my chief in the morning.
I sat down again at the writing-table and began to correct my sentence.
"Hence," I was going to add, "It would appear reasonable."
When all at once my hand began to tremble and after "hence," instead of "It would appear reasonable," my hand wrote the words, "I am here. I am here. I am here"
I closed my eyes. I opened them again and had difficulty convincing myself that it was not an illusion. At the same moment, my right hand was bent by an involuntary movement and wished to approach the paper. Without idea or will on my part, my pen then began to write, "I am here. I want to speak to you."
"Who are you then. Who?" I said involuntarily.
"Kimenis" traced the pen.
"What nonsense! What does all this mean? Whence comes this strange name?"
I do not know whether I was thinking or speaking aloud.
The pen wrote rapidly, "Kimenis is my name. It means beauty, for I am beautiful. I am here because I wish you well. I love you. Do not torment me by suspicion. Henceforth I shall be with you often."
I threw down the pen and left the table.
I had a vague idea of so-called spiritual correspondence, as the table-turners call it, but I had never investigated it. These stupidities in no way interested me.
Whence came all that had just happened and how was it to be accounted for, especially at a time when I was completely absorbed in my work and thinking of nothing else?
The visitation recurred on the following night. The author had become ill in the meantime.
In this unpleasant disposition, morose and irritated, I sat down to my table, and took up the first book that came to hand. I had found it uninteresting and soon closed the volume.
My left hand began to tremble. It raised itself and fell again without any volition on my part.
Could this be a repetition of what took place yesterday? I took a sheet of paper, wondering if I could manage to write with my left hand. My hand sped rapidly over the blank paper.
I shut my eyes. At length the pencil stopped. My hand rose, then suddenly falling, struck the paper as it made an energetic full stop at the end of the sentence.
I looked. It was impossible to understand anything. The idea presently occurred to me that the phrases were written in reverse, and must be read by holding the paper up to the light.
In a fine hand, as of the night before, were traced the following words:
"Your suspicion and contempt offend me. You do not want me. I am here and cannot go away. Believe me. I wish you well. You are ill but I will cure you in an instant with sea air."
I had barely time to read these lines before I felt around me a soft caressing breath of air.
"What has come to me?" I thought with terror. "Is it possible that my nerves have become affected to this extent? Whence comes this sickly imagination?"
The breath of air increased. It was sea air, the air we all know so well. It was fresh, electrifying, vivifying, as on a bright spring day when one is standing on the deck of a ship. I felt it on my face and drank it in greedily.
Reality disappeared. I was wrapped in dream, a dream of Southern seas. I seemed to hear the regular and monotonous murmur of the waves. The far-off blue sparkled before me. I breathed with full lungs.
Following this the author wrote another message with his left hand, then decided he was going mad and refused to credit the whole thing. There followed an occult phenomenon of a type described by W.Q. Judge, and an adventurous episode upon which the author seemed to place a certain amount of occult significance, where he was saved from death by something that seemed beyond coincidence.
Later he noted what seemed like traces of writing inside a new envelope just bought. He opened it and found written:
"I am gaining in strength. -- Kimenis."
This is the usual sequence of ascending potency in occult phenomena done by an astral entity. The entity first works on the mind of the medium to produce "impressions." This is followed by a partial control of his nervous system, extending to automatic writing. Something like this can happen whenever anyone is fool enough, for instance, to use or produce an ouija board.
Finally, there is direct precipitation by currents drawn from the aura of the medium, likely the case with the famous "1900 letter."
The author then says, "Hence I really believed in this Kimenis." That same evening, heralded by a perfume of violets, "Kimenis" became physically visible. This was another ascending step in the gaining of power vampirized from the medium's aura.
I had the impression that someone was gazing fixedly at me. I saw no eyes. There were no eyes. Something gazed at me fixedly. It was incomprehensible, at once sad and yet attractive, making me feel hot and cold by turns.
An instant later, I saw them -- those deep dark eyes.
The bluish cloud which became brighter and brighter. In it, a radiant form began to manifest itself. I could contain myself no longer, but threw myself on it madly. My trembling hands seized -- nothing! All had disappeared.
After trying all the next day to throw off what he regarded as madness, came the climax.
Suddenly the enormous volume that I was holding closed of its own accord and fell to the ground with a loud noise.
I trembled, rose hastily, and as I turned around I saw behind my chair -- Her!
This time it was no vague and uncertain form. It was no longer a cloud, a vapor, or a phantom. A living woman of extraordinary beauty stood before me. It was the same gaze that I had felt the evening before, the same smile.
Black silky hair braided with rows of pearls shaded her face, covered her shoulders, and fell in thick waves to her knees. Her breast was half uncovered. With one admirably formed hand, she leant on the high back of my chair. Her other arm, white as alabaster, appeared through her waving hair.
She was clad in a sort of tunic that reached to the ground. Her tunic was of two colors: white and pale blue. It was of some indescribable stuff, supple, velvet-like, and fine. It clung so closely to her lithe form that it might have been wet.
Yes, it was a woman. She was so brilliant, so radiant that she could not be compared to any human creature, even in the freshest blossom of youth and beauty. She was the incarnation of an artist's dream at the most ecstatic instant of his creative frenzy. I contemplated her ardently with a feeling of unspeakable suffering. My whole being seemed dissolved before her.
The creature is embodied from the material of one's own astral substance. One recognizes it as the famed succubus of medieval demonology and of all too real mediumistic orgiastic episodes of more recent times. It is embodied, fired, and inspired with the agonies of occultly cultivated passion DRAWN FROM ONE'S OWN SOUL. It is the dream of every sensualist gifted -- or cursed -- with a vivid imagination. Such an imagination in a psychic models in astral perfection its own destroyer.
She then spoke. Who but she could have expressed her thoughts in that mysterious rippling speech that filled my heart with terror, delight, and suffering?
"Is it possible that you are afraid of me?" she murmured with a smile as she looked into my eyes and drew herself more closely towards me.
Then, marshaling my remaining forces, I sighed, "Who are you?"
"Who? I might tell you that I was a spirit who has long quitted the earth. I might make up some interesting story. I do not want to deceive you. I do not know what I am. I have never lived as you live. I WANT TO LIVE!"
In tears, she pronounced these last words in a tone that vibrated with passion and pain.
"Whence do you come then? Why are you here? What is it you want of me?"
"Whence do I come? From everywhere! Long have I been about you, but I could never make myself known. I am here because I belong to you. You have created me. You have evoked me. I love you. I want to live. Give me life -- life!"
KHIMENU is the female demon created by the desires and will of a man himself. In ancient Egypt during the twelve trials of the candidate for Initiation, the purity of the neophyte was tried by surrounding him with conditions that created temptations. If the will of the candidate was strong, all was well. Woe to him if his lust was stronger. It created KHIMENU and he was caught in the snares of his own creation. The writer tells us he had never even heard the name before. He pledges his word that the facts of his story happened exactly as told and are in no way exaggerated, and his family corroborates him. A terrible nervous prostration dates from that time, three or four years ago.
-- H.P. Blavatksy
Her eyes sparkled and grew dull by turns. She threw herself on my breast folding me in her arms, and her hot lips seemed to drain the life from mine.
I felt my blood freeze in my veins and snatched myself from her embrace.
Then she gazed at me with a triumphant smile. Her cheeks a flowing red, her bosom heaving, she tried to approach me again. I repelled her with violence.
An indescribable horror seized me. All at once, I felt such a hatred for her. I could have strangled her, annihilated her. I could not move. A mortal weakness had taken hold of me.
She laughed gently and murmured, "Till tomorrow."
It seemed to me that she threw something over me. Then she disappeared.
For a time, I remained motionless, hardly able to breathe, and covered with a cold perspiration. Then I perceived on my knees a fragrant bouquet of violets. I seized them and approached my table with tottering steps. While looking at the flowers, as fresh and scented as if just gathered, I saw them dissolve and evaporate in my hand.
It is curious that the ancient Egyptian term "Khimenu" came out in this case in the Greek form "Kimenis." The native language of the author takes its alphabet from the Greek.
The author had a horrible following night. He awakened "with shattered nerves and a heavy head, but with a clear idea of fighting and conquering this visitation at any cost." Several times during the following day, he fought off automatic movements of his hand. When the vision appeared that evening, it was vapory again. He drove it away, but it returned in his dreams.
She stood before me, with flaming eyes. Her face distorted with anger, and said, "Ah! You do not want me. You drive me away. You do not give me life! Very well!"
Then she made a movement. Behind her, I saw an enormous monster of an orangutan. It threw itself on me. It began to tickle me. I might struggle as much as I pleased, but it would not release me. I was being suffocated, and felt as if I was dying in terrible pain.
I rose from my bed with a cry. Groping with trembling hands, I lit my candle.
Kimenis and her orangutan had disappeared. Imagine my horror as I felt the tickling continue! I ran round the room like a lunatic, covered with cold perspiration. The invisible paws continued tickling me. This torture lasted more than an hour. I was at the end of my strength. An irresistible impulse drew me toward the razor on my dressing table. At once, I felt such a furious thirst for life that the horror, despair, and terror were all forgotten. The insupportable tickling then ceased.
The nature of the "tickling" and "orangutan" seem clear. The supernaturally enticing aspect of the vision was created out of his imagination. Its opposite, the revulsion and horror, was likewise, created. The "tickling" in his dream is clearly that "feathery touch" on the skin treasured by spiritualists. Judge describes this as from loss of vital fluid through the skin to some obsessing entity, vampirizing the susceptible victim to the destruction of his health. (Judge is the REAL OCCULT TEACHER OF THE MOVEMENT IN THE PRACTICAL SENSE for struggling chelas, quite as much as HPB.) Without knowing it, the author essentially confirms this explanation in his closure.
I fell exhausted on my bed. Little by little, I came to myself. Sleep was impossible.
From that time, all has ceased.
Kimenis has left me in peace. Nothing recalls her existence. I am broken. There is not a sound spot in my body. Every moment for weeks -- even months -- I feel as if I was going to die. Life becomes insupportable. Can this incessant torture be called life? I am poisoned forever.
"Nervous disorder," say the doctors with a shrug of the shoulders.
Perhaps the most thrilling and terrible aspect of the whole episode is contained in the two following words, the signature of the author: Vsevolod Solovyoff.
Six years after this article in 1892, the same Solovyoff publicly-and-viciously attacked Theosophy. He lied about objective facts, and mutilating a letter of HPB in translation, to convict her of fraud. It caused a terrible row when it came out. Solovyoff frantically tried to cover his tracks. For a time the shadow of Siberia lay over him for this trick and various other unconventional things. One of these was his cohabiting with his sister-in-law, then a crime in Russia. He had recovered enough masculine energy by then to find a material substitute for Kimenis.
A strong and ill-willed astral entity can tear a wrecked body of psychic tendencies away from one and use it for sinister purpose. The earlier Vsevolod Solovyoff stood nobly by HPB, helped vigorously in the proceedings of the Movement, was visited by a Mahatma in person, and wrote the previously mentioned article. His noble character was long gone by 1892. The most that could be said at his body's death was what HPB says in a footnote in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Referring to one of similar history, she says, "Peace be to his -- SHELL." In Solovyoff's narrative is also recognizable the famous "Dweller on the Threshold." It appeared to him, as to all who meet it, in the form given it by the nature of the candidate. In this case, it appeared as a succubus.
These men were failures, traitors, but also MARTYRS. They attempted tasks too great. The karma that followed failure, one may hope, will be greatly ameliorated for the Ego by the courage that tried, and the devotion that drove the unfit instrument to its spiritual death.
The physical plight brought on by the psychosexual repercussion of Solovyoff's failure in a former test brings up an interesting thought. As a psychic and a medium, he received the rebound of his misdirected energy through an apparition that was objective to him. May some non-psychics be the victims of the same thing, not objective to them, but manifesting only in the form of the physical symptoms?
Of all the recorded careers of chelas and would-be chelas, the case of Solovyoff seems terrible and enigmatic. There is the amazing promptitude with which he gained the direct attention and help of a Mahatma, the vigor and self-sacrifice with which he served for a short time, and the equally rapid cataclysmic downfall after a certain turning point was passed. These things can only indicate one who perhaps was meant to be second in the Movement only to Madame Blavatsky and Judge. The outcome seems fitly represented only in Milton's description of the endless downward flight of Lucifer, the once divine.
By Steve Stubbs
Kant's argument was that we hold certain views about time and space that cannot be tested empirically and yet which we are unable to contradict. Imagine that you are in a space ship and reach the end of space. It is possible to imagine reaching a barrier that we cannot cross. It is difficult to imagine that space ends, that there is no space beyond a certain point. Most would say that at every point in space there must be yet another point in space beyond it, and that space is therefore infinite.
We cannot test this idea empirically, so it is not a posteriori. It is an a priori assumption, and we cannot imagine it untrue. Therefore, we hold it with apodictic certainty.
It is the same with time. For every moment in time, we believe there must be another, and cannot imagine time ending absolutely (even though the Book of Revelation predicts that it will). We cannot test this assumption. Therefore, it is a priori and not a posteriori. We cannot imagine it untrue, thus we say that we hold this idea with apodictic certainty.
Since these concepts are both a priori and apodictic, Kant argued that they have to do with the wiring of our minds, and say nothing about external reality. He therefore maintained that they are what he called "Transcendental Contents of Consciousness."
Incidentally, Einstein claims space does end, and that the universe is egg shaped. This is intriguing in light of certain statements in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, but I defy anyone to imagine an end to space.
Now suppose that space is completely empty. If you were a divine being in a completely empty universe, you would not be conscious. There would be nothing to be conscious of. As Sartre pointed out, consciousness is intentional. There has to be an object of consciousness for there to be consciousness.
In order to be conscious of distances, we would have to imagine that there were at least two objects in space. The existence of these objects would make the space between them an object of consciousness and the concept of distance would come into existence as an object of mind (Manas).
In Eastern philosophy, thoughts can be objects of consciousness just as phenomenal representations of external objects can be objects of consciousness. This makes sense. Otherwise, we would not be conscious of thinking, but only experience the products of thought, as some animals might do. In Buddhism, mind -- consciousness of mental contents -- is the sixth sense. In the ANUGITA, as H.P. Blavatsky points out, mind and understanding are the sixth and the seventh senses.
THE SECRET DOCTRINE says that space was entirely empty during the Maha-Pralaya. More precisely, one can distinguish no point in space from any other at that time. Say two Monads appear in previously empty space. It then becomes possible to distinguish between where the Monad is not (Not-Being) and where the Monad is (Being). It is all Being, so the language is imprecise.
Science calls the point at which Not-Being ends and Being begins a boundary condition. It is the existence of these boundary conditions which makes consciousness possible. They are the primitive objects of consciousness. Without an object of consciousness, there is no consciousness. The process by which these boundary conditions come into existence Blavatsky calls differentiation.
Imagine that a further development takes place. Consciousness turns on itself. There is consciousness of consciousness. It uses itself as an object. This is what Sartre called reflexive consciousness. Consciousness must exist before it can use itself as an object. Blavatsky says that this is the third stage.
Now keeping in mind the idea of great cycles of universal existence, the Pralayas and Manvantaras, apply this to your own consciousness. You are asleep at night (Pralaya) and awake during the day (Manvantara).
There are examples of much-shorter cycles. A television screen flashes fifty-to-sixty still pictures a second. It creates the illusion of continuous movement before your eyes. This is because our consciousness of the world is not continuous.
Instead of continuously viewing the world, we experience it as a series of what James called "specious presents" and what Aristotle intuitively called NOW's. Ten of these NOW's are experienced subjectively as ten times as much time as one of them. That is why Einstein was able to say that ten minutes waiting for your lover to show on a street corner might seem like ten hours, whereas ten hours with him or her might seem like ten minutes.
Time is a subjective experience. The NOW's exist only in our consciousness. There are no NOW's in the outside world. In this sense at least, Berkeley was right. In our consciousness, we experience time and space phenomenally, even though the experiences do not represent anything external to us.
The teaching is that the ultimate Ground of everything is unconscious. If so, then there must be no time and space for it. It is outside time and space.
A further implication of that is that it is meaningless to speak of a Maha-Pralaya as lasting for so many billions of years. I think Watts was probably right saying these numbers were to give an idea of vastness, and they are not literal.
By Isabel B. Clemeshaw
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1950, pages 116-20.]
How often in real life do we find a situation that proves fatal to one, yet another could easily have met? No doubt, Hamlet or Othello could have dealt with the other's problem. In both plays, the hero endures the shock of disillusionment. Being so unlike, one faces the foe introspective and meditative, the other outward turning and unreflective. Hamlet was intellectual, speculative, and occult, as one of a superior race shedding a glow over an otherwise corrupt environment. Othello was unquestioning, unobservant, simple, and primitive. He was the first of Shakespeare's supermen.
Black, dignified, and grand, the most stately of all Shakespeare's characters, Othello stepped out of a romantic world dark and wonderful -- another world, not ours -- one where the sun shone on "battles, sieges, fortunes" and "hair-breadth 'scapes." Mystery surrounded his descent from "men of royal siege." From boyhood, he had followed "the tented field" encountering peril and vicissitudes, and in his world, he had been sold into slavery, had traversed:
antres vast and deserts idle, Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven.
He could tell of marvelous peoples in lands where he had fought battles vague and distant. There were
Cannibals that each other eat, And Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders.
There were magic handkerchiefs where a sibyl "In her prophetic fury sew's the work," and who "number'd the world, The sun to course two hundred compasses." In Aleppo, our hero had taken by the throat a "malignant and turban'd Turk," who would do injury to his country.
We first meet Othello in the senate chamber, where he, a General, is entirely at ease, proud and self-controlled, not at all elated by honors. His sooty bosom contains a volume of force that in repose ensures supremacy over all others. We are immediately aware of an elemental strength that if aroused would rise into volcanic dimensions. Even now, in pleading his case for Desdemona, he is hotly called for as the one man who can take command of driving back the Ottomite in the Cyprus Wars. We prepare for a tragedy of passion, yet Othello was not a passionate man.
Only the "most honest" and trusted Iago, who stands supreme among Shakespeare's evil characters, could have conjured the beast from his den in one who had asked nothing from life but the privilege of service and to whom life had returned "the flinty and steel couch of war." A lesser man than Othello would have sought escape after his sudden and secret marriage, but the hero's noble nature had only one course: to face Desdemona's father, and the Duke, his
Most potent, grave, and revered signiors, My very noble and approved good masters.
Iago had expected a fight, but Othello ordered: "Keep up your bright swords for the dew will rust them."
He was always poetic. Only when completely MAD (as he falls into a trance, 4.1) did he speak in prose, as did Shakespeare require of Hamlet when he pretended insanity. Othello asked that when his unlucky deeds are related that one speaks of him as:
One that loved not wisely but too well; Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought, Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand, Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes, Albeit unused to the melting mood, Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their medicinal gum.
If aroused to vengeance he would be:
Like to the Pontic sea, Whose icy current and compulsive course Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on To the Propontic and the Hellespont.
In his world, he felt uplifted in the poetry of "Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war."
Like Hamlet, his sense of duty was inborn and marriage must be adapted to a man's duty. Cassio, his lieutenant, appears with news of trouble in Cyprus. Although this is immediately after his marriage, Othello replies:
'Tis well I am found by you. I will but spend a word here in the house, And go with you.
In OTHELLO, the heavy curtain of that Ultimate Law hangs like a dark sword. This has been called the perfect tragedy. The intensity of the feeling that accident (karma) plays throughout diminishes the authority of character to such an extent that the helplessness of two virtuous souls bound by overpowering circumstances is a terrible spectacle. Here, there is no searching for inner guidance as in HAMLET. Here, there is nothing religious and nothing relative.
Our heroes are in the lap of Fortune. The intellects have been confined to a narrow world. Their sufferings and death are not as far-reaching as that of other Shakespearean tragedy heroes. In this respect, Othello comes nearer to us than could Hamlet, Lear, or Macbeth. The State will scarcely be aware of his departure. Yet, of all the tragedies, OTHELLO may be the most appalling to witness.
There are contributing factors in the progress of Evil as a force overcoming the unsuspecting good in this play.
First, there is a shock to Othello's racially immature susceptibilities. With one such as him, love and trust are absolutes. It is a stunning blow to find evil rampant in the superior, cultured, and refined Desdemona! He watches as one speechless and unbelieving while it manifests aided by her unfortunate karma. Iago was forced to hint at the casual immorality of Venetian women as compared with Othello's attitude in such matters before the hero could entertain a doubt.
Second, Othello, racially an Ethiopian (synonymous with a Moor in Elizabethan England), was not evolved above a sexual passion, that aroused to jealousy, would liberate the beast.
Third, Iago's plot, which stealthily followed every outline of Othello's character and would have failed had he not known his master so well, is fascinating in itself.
Iago did not find his task an easy one, nor could he have won had not accident and unfortunate meetings of Cassio and Desdemona taken place at critical times, as in the temptation scene (3.3.35), and Desdemona's dropping of the handkerchief.
Not a jealous type, Othello led tardily to that emotion, first expressing surprise, then curiosity, concern, pity, sorrow, and finally horror and loss of confidence. His whole nature revolted against jealousy, and herein we find his tragedy. His deepest agony lay not in the sense of insult that called for revenge, but in the loss of his faith and love:
this sorrow's heavenly: It strikes where it doth love. . . . . . . . If she be false, oh then heaven mocks itself.
Finally, he ends it all, not for revenge: "For nought did I in hate, but all in honor," to save Desdemona from herself. His love still burning, he sinks into a state of profound sorrow. With a mind completely poisoned, he mistakes Desdemona's last words of forgiveness for a lie. Such a one, he thinks, would have a propensity for falsehood. Othello's self-control, in spite of his vehemence, is stressed by Shakespeare, in the First Act, and again at the end. Lodovico, stunned at Othello's savagery toward Desdemona, says:
Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue The shot of accident nor dart of chance Could neither graze nor pierce?
Iago, surprised at the disastrous shaping of his plot:
Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon When it hath blown his ranks into the air, And, like the devil, from his very arm Puffed his own brother -- and can he be angry?
We are compelled to turn our attention to the character of Iago. His sin was INGRATITUDE. His motive was jealousy engendered by that sin, and its manifestation, extreme cruelty. Here, surely was a soul on the way down, but why does he still inspire a modicum of sympathy and admiration? We are bound to admire wit, intelligence, and subtle imagination. We do not despise ambition or a strong will. What we observe and approve are the many signs of superior qualities that he possesses, even to enviable patience and self-control.
What horrifies us is to see these powers perverted and diffused in his lower psychological nature and directed against the good. Our pity goes out to one who still has a chance to save his soul. Not knowing the power of love, he is destroyed by it. Iago became enmeshed in his own webs of hatred.
I lack iniquity Sometimes to do my service.
The character of Desdemona was so noncomplex, so transparent that it needs little mention here. Her failing was in her immaturity of perception, her childlike purity that followed INCLINATION without questioning the wisdom of it. She was too docile psychologically to realize that she owed a measure of justice to herself and to her family status.
Iago did not seek out her society. His cynicism met too often with rebuke. He felt uncomfortable in her chaste atmosphere. His business was with Othello of whom he was jealous. Besides, there was the matter to avenge of his not receiving the lieutenancy. Othello, the dull "dolt" would be putty for his shaping. The Law will not long tolerate an unawakened virtuosity.
There is a higher part of the human nature to be developed, and that is knowledge. Othello represents the good, who bound to their own pursuits and beliefs have circumscribed their world, and have rejected the study of MOTIVES in self or in others. Undeveloped socially and psychologically, they fall easy prey to deception. Our hero's temptation struck at his CREDULOUSNESS. He was soon decoyed into a pitfall of inner experience. He had doubted Iago, but had not the wit to deal with complex situations, until overwhelmed by the subtlety of progressive suggestion.
One has only to think of Hamlet's humor and lightning wit to see that Othello was a beginner on psychological problems. The unaware become followers and are used as tools to destroy themselves. Meantime their false leader appears to them as an honest soul seeking justice. Iago gloats:
Work on My medicine work! Thus credulous fools are caught.
By George William Russell
[From THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST, February 1894.]
Out of her cave came the ancient Lilith, Lilith the wise, Lilith the enchantress. There ran a little path outside her dwelling. It wound away among the mountains and glittering peaks. Before the door, one of the Wise Ones walked to and fro. Out of her cave came Lilith, scornful of his solitude, exultant in her wisdom, flaunting her shining and magical beauty.
"Still alone, star gazer! Is thy wisdom of no avail? Thou hast yet to learn that I am more powerful, knowing the ways of error, than you who know the ways of truth."
The Wise One heeded her not, but walked to and fro. His eyes were turned to the distant peaks, the abode of his brothers. The starlight fell about him. A sweet air came down the mountain path, fluttering his white robe. He did not cease from his steady musing.
Lilith wavered in her cave like a mist rising between rocks. Her raiment was violet, with silvery gleams. Her face was dim, and over her head rayed a shadowy diadem, like that which a man imagines over the head of his beloved. Looking closer at her face, one sees this crown, which he reached out to. The eyes burnt with his own longing. The lips were parted to yield to the secret wishes of his heart.
"Tell me, for I would know, why do you wait so long? I, here in my cave between the valley and the height, blind the eyes of all who would pass. Those who by chance go forth to you, come back to me again, and but one in ten thousand passes on. My illusions are sweeter to them than truth. I offer every soul its own shadow. I pay them their own price. I have grown rich, though the simple shepherds of old gave me birth. Men have made me. The mortals have made me immortal. I rose up like a vapor from their first dreams, and every sigh since then and every laugh remains with me. I am made up of hopes and fears. The subtle princes lay out their plans of conquest in my cave. There the hero dreams. There the lovers of all time write in flame their history. I am wise, holding all experience, to tempt, to blind, to terrify. None shall pass by. Why, therefore, dost thou wait?"
The Wise One looked at her. She shrank back a little, and her silver and violet faded a little. Out of her cave, her voice still sounded.
"The stars and the starry crown are not yours alone to offer. Every promise you make, I make also. I offer the good and the bad indifferently. The lover, the poet, the mystic, and all who would drink of the first fountain, I delude with my mirage. I was the Beatrice who led Dante upwards. The gloom was in me. The glory was mine also. He went not out of my cave. The stars and the shining of heaven were illusions of the infinite I wove about him. I captured his soul with the shadow of space. A nutshell would have contained the film. I smote on the dim heart-chords the manifold music of being. God is sweeter in the human than the human in God. Therefore he rested in me."
She paused a little, and then went on. "There is that fantastic fellow who slipped by me. Could your wisdom not retain him? He returned to me full of anguish, and I wound my arms round him like a fair melancholy. His sadness is now as sweet to him as hope was before his fall. Listen to his song!" She paused again. A voice came up from the depths, chanting a sad knowledge.
What of all the will to do? It has vanished long ago, For a dream-shaft pierced it through From the Unknown Archer's bow.
What of all the soul to think? Some one offered it a cup Filled with a diviner drink, And the flame has burned it up.
What of all the hope to climb? Only in the self we grope To the misty end of time, Truth has put an end to hope.
What of all the heart to love? Sadder than for will or soul, No light lured it on above: Love has found itself the whole.
"Is it not pitiful? I pity only those who pity themselves. Yet, he is mine more surely than ever. This is the end of human wisdom. How shall he now escape? What shall draw him up?"
"His will shall awaken," said the Wise One. "I do not sorrow over him, for long is the darkness before the spirit is born. He learns in your caves not to see, not to hear, not to think, for very anguish flying your illusions."
"Sorrow is a great bond," Lilith said.
"It is a bond to the object of sorrow. He weeps what thou canst never give him, a life never breathed in thee. He shall come forth. Thou shalt not see him at the time of passing. When desire dies, the swift and invisible will awakens. He shall go forth. One by one, the dwellers in your caves will awaken and pass onward. This small old path will be trodden by generation after generation. Thou, too, 0h shining Lilith, shalt follow, not as mistress, but as handmaiden."
"I will weave spells," Lilith cried. "They shall never pass me. I will drug them with the sweetest poison. They shall rest drowsily and content as of old. Were they not giants long ago -- mighty men and heroes? I overcame them with young enchantment. Shall they pass by feeble and longing for bygone joys, for the sins of their proud exultant youth, while I have grown into a myriad wisdom?"
The Wise One walked to and fro as before, and there was silence. I saw that he pierced the tumultuous gloom of the cave with steady will, and a spirit awoke here and there from its dream. I thought I saw that Sad Singer become filled with a new longing for true being. The illusions of good and evil fell from him. He came at last to the knees of the Wise One to learn the supreme truth.
In the misty midnight, I heard these three voices -- the Sad Singer, the Enchantress Lilith, and the Wise One.
From the Sad Singer, I learned that thought of itself leads nowhere, but blows the perfume from every flower, cuts the flower from every tree, hews down every tree from the valley, and in the end goes to and fro in waste places, gnawing itself in a last hunger.
I learned from Lilith that we weave our own enchantment, and bind ourselves with our own imagination. To think of the true as beyond us or to love the symbol of being is to darken the path to wisdom, and to debar us from eternal beauty.
From the Wise One, I learned that the truest wisdom is to wait, to work, and to will in secret. Those who are voiceless today shall be eloquent tomorrow. The earth shall hear them and her children salute them.
Of these three truths, the hardest to learn is the silent will. Let us seek for the highest truth.
By Boris de Zirkoff
[From a tape recording entitled "Heavens and Hells," made of a private class held on October 13, 1954.]
The rivers of lives follow certain channels. In addition, they have specific times when they open or close. Picture the Panama Canal with its divisions and gates. There is intercommunication between the planes. According to the position of certain planets, some gates open and some close. It is astrological. You cannot go through any old time.
There is the pulse of the universe. We have a system like the heart with its values. It even applies to conception, the last step in the embodiment process. Conception can only take place at certain times when lunar energies go through channels that have opened for them. Medicine is completely wrong. The subject is vastly different from physiology. It involves esoteric physiology. It deals with planetary positions and the intercommunication of the principles of the human constitution. No stream of entities can go from here to there except when the gates are open.
The rivers of lives are composed of beings ranging from elementals to gods. They contain the ten classes of Monads in various conditions, experiencing various states of consciousness, embodied and disembodied. Between one point and another, between one globe and another, or between one planet and another, the circulations consist of disembodied entities. In a wider sense, the circulations also refer to embodied beings. While living here 75 or 80 years, we journey through life in a river of consciousness, a river of experiences, together with a million other entities.
These rivers include beings completely unknown to us. We do not interfere with one another because we journey through conditions of substance and energy that do not mingle. There is a cosmic order. We achieve order on a street's traffic. Great spiritual intelligences supervise the orderliness of this far greater circulation.
When someone has died and is now disembodied, he does not go backwards up Globes D, C, B, and A. He goes along the Ascending Arc from Globe D onward, up to E, F, and G. He does so unconsciously. He passes through the upper Globes of the chain and casts off what is of each globe's nature. What he casts off is his. He does not need it anymore, yet it is part of him. He does not pick up anything along the way out.
How does he pick it up again on his way back into incarnation? He has left behind a part of himself on Globes E, F, and G, but now is coming back to birth on the Descending Arc, down Globes A, B, and C. This is an excellent question, but I would rather not answer it. Think about it more. You might find your own answer.
At the end of a Manvantara, the kingdoms die off as the earth enters the sleeping state. This is not a universal thing. It pertains to just this planetary chain. The Manvantara or lifespan of each planet is of different length. They evolve at different rates, each having a different intensity of evolution. While the planetary spirit, the Hierarch of the Earth chain, will have ten embodiments, the Hierarchs or planetary spirits of other planets will have other numbers of embodiments, some less, some more. They do not coincide. They do not go at the same speed. This is no more so than two men live the same number of years. When a planetary chain ends, everything stops right where it is. It has to wait until another breath of life awakens it before it can pick up where it left off.
When the planetary chains in the solar system have reached the end of their evolutionary experience in this system, the sun goes out. The solar chain dies. Everything dies with it and rises into its supernal nirvanic realms. The length of the sun's life is incomparably longer than the length of the individual lives of planetary chains.
We have embarked upon high themes of thought tonight. Everything correlates to everything else in nature. Think of the mighty sweep of thought that the Esoteric Philosophy discloses. How insignificant appear everyday emotions and the narrow personal interests! Compare them with cosmic events, regarding which the human being can speculate, if awakened at all. It is not all imagination.
Think of the perfect analogy that exists in these things.
The streams of life atoms journey through our principles. They are another river of lives. They gradually descend from higher spiritual realms of our constitution to the physical. Then they ascend to our spiritual nature.
We have the journey of millions of elemental to god-like entities through the twelve globes of the planetary chain. They come down the descending globes and back up the ascending globes to the spiritual realms.
There is the passage of Monads in their spiritual condition through the various planetary chains of the solar system, or of any other system, to the more material systems and back up to the more spiritual systems of planets and back to the sun.
The Divine Monad's home is the central sun of our Universal Solar System. It passes through a family of solar systems, into the lower solar systems and back to the more spiritual ones.
We see the same process happening in all these streams of lives. There is a complete analogy between the different types of beings, from life atoms to the stars and beyond. Something circulates within our principles. Likewise, something circulates among the globes of the chains. Part of our constitution circulates among the planets of our solar system. Another part of our constitution circulates among the stars, which are all solar systems.
These things pertain to the after-death states. Consider the majestic picture, the sweeping conception, and the breathtaking panorama. Doing so, you see how insignificant the personality's interests are. On a cosmic scale, the personality's years are shorter than a flash of lightning and certainly less important. Our personal interests are here today and gone tomorrow.
A supernova is the disintegration of a sun and solar system. With today's large telescopes, astronomers witness it more often than before. They have no idea as to its real meaning. It is the death of the sun.
When one dies, there is a phenomenon similar to a nova or exploding star. Say we could see on other planes. This requires the faculties of the inner man. We could see this happen with our spiritual senses. Note that we use spiritual clairvoyance, not the psychic senses.
We know how it looks physically. Psychically, intellectually, and spiritually, there is at death a tremendous release of the condensed energies of this particular incarnation. To the inner sight, the death is a spectacle of incomparable glory. The energies that made up the person return to their respective homes.
If trained, our inner senses would see this release of energies in colors, tones, fragrances, and many other ways. Least interesting is the human body. At times, it reflects great peace. That is all the dull, gross, uninspired shell can reflect of inner glory. It is too dull to reflect anything else. Even then, to the inner sight, the life atoms of the physical body release energies that manifest as light of various colors and tones. It is the inner principles that are particularly interesting to watch.
Multiply this a billion times and imagine the release of energies at the disembodiment of a solar entity! Realize what a tremendous spectacle the death of a sun is. Looking at the lowest form of the sun, our telescopes show a great explosion of light. It dies down over a few weeks, but never dies out completely. After it has calmed down, we still see a star, one reduced to a practically invisible point of light. Nevertheless, it remains.
There are cosmic corpses, just as there are human corpses. These too will gradually disintegrate to their last life atom. As long as they disintegrate, cosmic bodies will be visible. As long as a human body has not completely disintegrated, there remains something to it. When disintegrated, there remains powdery material, until mixed with the earth. The analogy is perfect.
We have been speaking of the death of a sun. Now consider a whole nebula, which contains millions of suns. Like all systems or finite things, it too has beginning and an end. Everything starts from a seed, grows into full maturity, and dies. This is true whether it is a planet, a sun (solar system), or a nebula (consisting of millions of solar systems). When it has died, its inner principles have reentered their nirvana and some material remains.
The grossest material that made up a nebular system remains in Pralaya. We cannot duplicate that condition in a laboratory. You have heard astronomers talk about black spots in the Milky Way. Any photograph of the Milky Way will show them. Some are visible with the naked eye. There are patches where you expect stars but see blackness instead. If you could fly through it, you would not know there is anything there. It obstructs the light. This matter from disintegrated worlds has entered its pralayic condition.
Ages ago, a system disintegrated. Its material remains somewhere in space. The cosmic being of that ancient system will someday come back into embodiment. It will have first manifest as a nebular comet. Science does not distinguish between nebular, solar, or planetary comets. It does not know what these comets will make.
A nebular comet will follow an erratic path for ages. This continues until it finds where its former matter is, the cosmic stasis where that matter exists in a pralayic state. In time, that comet will form an island-universe. It finds the location by magnetic attraction. When found, it settles in, and the matter emerges from its pralayic state into manifestation. First, it will become luminous from within. The inner principles of the cosmic entity will infuse their spiritual energy into the pralayic matter, bringing it to life. In time, there will be nuclei in the matter. These nuclei will form the individual solar systems.
To the cosmic being, the period seems no longer than a human life. It is relative. A human life of seventy-five years is an eternity to the atoms in my fingertip. From our standpoint, these events take billions of years. From the standpoint of the embodying Hierarch, it is just a lifespan. It is just one of its lifetimes, one page out of its book of life.
The comet is the first stage, seeking its matrix. Consider the analogy. With the human, all begins from a seed in a matrix. Everything begins this way. It could not be if it were not a cosmic process. Everything follows the same pattern.
There are comets that fail. Many never produce a nebula, sun, or planet. Do all the seeds of the human being become fertile? No. Countless millions of cosmic seeds come to nothing. Do not materialize that idea too much. Cosmic intelligences guide this process. Even on a cosmic scale, there are failures galore.
At one lecture that I will always remember, Dr. de Purucker mentioned comets that produce planets within our solar system. He said,
Well, this comet is going to circle and circle. It might produce a planetary chain if it settles before our voracious sun can devour it. If it escapes the stomach of the sun, it will form a planet. This is a funny way to talk about a God!
The comet may by drawn by the all-powerful magnetism of the material, physical sun. Falling into the sun, it would be absorbed. That would be the end of it. Then the comet did not succeed in forming a planet.
The suns feed on cosmic matter. In the manifest world, everything feeds on something else. Everything goes into building something else. I asked Dr. Purucker once, "What does THE MAHABHARATA mean when it says that the gods feed on men?" Speaking of this great Hindu epic, he said, "When you understand what it means, you will not have to ask anymore."
In the Esoteric Philosophy, death is a glorious subject. It has nothing of sadness, negativity, or the moribund. It is a glorious teaching on spiritual, star-like facts of nature.
Many organized religions, both Eastern and Western, have made a horrible nightmare of death! Churches use the subject to place people into a receptive mood. Then some fleece people of their money. Others enhance people's gullibility so they can accept man-made theology. Wipe out both goals. Then you have a most glorious subject in nature: the endless transformation that goes on all the time!
All the time, people die. They go away, entering a majestic condition. All the time, people are born. Pulled down, they come in, forced to reenter incarnation. Some achieve something in life. Others do not achieve much. When the time comes, they go out again. It is like a flight of birds. They constantly home somewhere, and then they go again, like the swallows returning in the springtime. A subject like this is not sad or negative. If we find such, it proves us off track.
We know little of the inner teachings of the mystery schools. Students preserved the teachings under a pledge of secrecy and silence. We do know that the mystery school on the island of Samothrace, Greece taught the after-death states. That school emphasized the scientific presentation of these teachings. In the classical days, it particularly taught these teachings. It specialized along that line. The Eleusinian mysteries of ancient Greece presented the teachings in allegorical and dramatic form.
In a study of the after-death conditions, we do the same work as those schools did. They were the last organized centers of mystery teachings before hundreds of years of spiritual darkness fell upon Europe. That darkness is now lifting under the present revival of the ancient mystery teachings. This started with the Theosophical Movement. The same individuals who stood behind the mystery schools of ancient days are doing it. Perhaps we were there.
At times, I wonder if we were there in Samothrace, Egypt, Chaldea, Rome, or Carthage. I wonder about the Mystery Schools of Medea, Assyria, and possibly India. We must have been in some. It fits our interests. In this life, we repeat companionships, interests, and studies that we had many times before. This is a useful trend of thought.
The glorious mystery schools are no more. We have descended into a grosser material era. When the spiritual cycle returns, we will have greater glories. Governments will regard the teachings with pride. They will be happy to recognize the teachings and mystery centers as torches of light in the country's social structure. That time will come. It has existed before and will exist again.
Some of us work for that distant future, sowing seeds of future harvests. Studying these teachings and working in this movement, we must not think in years. Encompass in thought and build for the succeeding centuries of human evolution. Work for generations yet unborn. Remember their harvest comes from the seeds we plant here and now.
The more we study, the more we realize how insignificant our personal pursuits are. We realize how narrow and useless the many things that the personality strives after are in the end. We gain these things only to see them dashed to pieces or ground into dust. They have no permanent value. The more we study the teachings, the more we realize what a tremendous horizon is at hand. We see how many doors there are in all directions. Opening any of these doors, we perceive the illimitable fields of spiritual life.
Those of us with the vigor of youth have many years to unfold their spiritual faculties. Ripe with wisdom and experience of life, those of us who are old should be happiest. They stand on the verge of passing through the portals of glorious death into a greater consciousness. How many have that attitude? How many have bent them under the crystallized mold of a misspent incarnation? This need not happen under the years of physical life. It is where the tragedy lies.
In the not so distant future, the day is inevitable where we will have moved away from the insanities of the present age. Then among the rapid influx of the souls upon the stage of history, worldwide recognition of the validity of the teachings will come. Centers of light where people teach the philosophy will multiply.
The centers of initiatory life and training still exist, but are few. Their location is unknown to most. This will change. People will recognize the centers and know them better. In a greater era than ours, men and women of great spiritual wisdom and knowledge will come out of the centers. They will rule their lands.
There are people whom have acquired spiritual wisdom. Their intuitive knowledge sees the wide horizons of spiritual life. As rulers of nations, they can govern with that knowledge. They can guide based on justice, love, and peace. Someday, most people will realize this instinctually.
We work in the Movement towards this objective, and many others. We create a new climate by our action, feelings, and thought. We sow the seeds of a new spiritual life. We seek a regenerated humanity soon, something that some of us might yet live to see.