As rightly said by H.P. Blavatsky, the swastika or svastika is “the most sacred and mystic symbol in India.” It is a pure spiritual symbol which can be found on the historical remains and records o…
THE DESCENT OF MANAS – I
Lead the life necessary for the acquisition of such knowledge and powers, and Wisdom will come to you naturally. Whenever you are able to attune your consciousness to any of the seven chords of “Universal Consciousness,” those chords that run along the sounding-board of Kosmos, vibrating from one Eternity to another; when you have studied thoroughly “the music of the Spheres,” then only will you become quite free to share your knowledge with those with whom it is safe to do so. Meanwhile be prudent . . . Do not attempt to unveil the secret of being and non-being to those unable to see the hidden meaning of Apollo’s HEPTACHORD – the lyre of the radiant god, in each of the seven strings of which dwelleth the Spirit, Soul and Astral body of the Kosmos, whose shell only has now fallen into the hands of Modern Science . . . Let rather the planetary chains and other super- and sub-cosmic mysteries remain a dreamland for those who can neither see, nor yet believe that others can.
The Secret Doctrine, i 167
The complex teachings concerning states and planes of consciousness, invisible globes and chains of worlds, and the evolutionary pilgrimage of monads, may be grasped through meditation upon the fundamental axiom that Law and Deity are one. It is also necessary to notice the septenary principle in terms of which the Logos emanates everything in manifested Nature. It must be seen at the outset that there is an essential difference between the three highest planes – belonging to the Archetypal Universe – and the four lower planes of the world of formation. The latter, along with everything that exists as a manifesting entity, comprises the various sevenfold chains of globes. Further, since virtually all human beings primarily function by using five senses appropriate only to the most material of those globes, their terrestrial eyes betray them into a needlessly narrow and restricted view of Nature and what is “natural”. Seeing illusory forms, sharp contrasts and seeming divergences at the grossest level, the unwary experience an intense feeling of separateness and a false sense of confinement in their vestures and relationships. Given this sad predicament, a mental bridge must be consciously extended from the lower planes to the metaphysical verities which are shrouded in invisible Nature, the heavens above, and even beyond. Outside metaphysics, neither occult philosophy nor spiritual progress are possible. Only when the seed ideas of the Gupta Vidya are vivified through meditation and nourished by praxis can they serve as the hidden roots of an expansive consciousness delicately attuned to the deeper purposes of soul-evolution, the music of the spheres and the heartbeat of the human race.
The marriage of meditation and duty gives birth to the Bodhisattva ideal of renunciation through service. This is the sacred and archetypal meaning of dhyana, dharma andkaruna, which are all magically fused in bodhichitta, the jewel in the lotus, God in Man as in the cosmos. Originally anchored in the notion of “that which holds”, dharma is the self-sustaining factor in Nature through which self-conscious beings in a world of change are able to support themselves in the realm of action by a sublime idea common to a variety of simple tasks, and relevant to humane relationships of every sort. When the power and potency of dharma are invoked through voluntary sacrifices and sacred pledges, through self-chosen obligations and consequent trials, duty becomes a self-validating principle shining by its own light, independent of anything outside it. Those alone who are unequivocally committed to dharma, and who have passed through preliminary initiations, can profit from the secret teachings proffered to them. Each and every sincere aspirant on the path of duty can truly hope to discover the guiding light and sovereign talisman of selfless service. But, as a Master has intimated, if the disciple would perceive even the dim silhouette of one of the “planets” on the higher planes, he has to first throw off the thin clouds of astral matter that stand between him and the next plane. Krishna in theBhagavad Gita stressed the critical shift from a sense of duty supported by social structures to a self-consecrated conception of dharma, whereby human beings are continually defining themselves and shedding the light of self-conscious thought within the radius of their obligations to others and to themselves.
Virtually all the practical difficulties encountered in the daily performance of duty – such as trivialization, routinization and staleness – may be traced to the force of habit and the hypnosis of automatism on the astral plane. Whenever one is passive, one is far from spiritually awake, and hardly functioning from a universal standpoint in the local habitations of particulars. But, if through joyous meditation one secures an elevated basis for one’s emanations into the world, then one’s words and actions directed toward other beings reflect a reverence for them as immortal souls. One can also help to enhance the latent self-consciousness in all the life-atoms of the seven kingdoms of Nature. Such capacities are not superogatory gifts in rare human beings at this stage in evolution, but rather basic obligations for all. Since the commencement of the Fourth Round all the lower kingdoms of Nature have vitally depended upon man for their continued development and collective evolution. The summoning of elementals into potent and creative combinations is the theurgic task of human benevolence, noetic deliberation and calm continuity of spiritual purpose. Individuals who come to understand this process will discover an ease and lightness in the pilgrimage of life that seem paradoxical to others who are burdened by a dour sense of duty. Sadly, those who are already weighted down by their own muddled misconceptions often aggravate this burden through compulsive speech, complaining about kindred souls and against life itself. Occultism begins when one ceases from all complaints, tortuous games and cowardly delay, and instead silently resolves to come to terms with the manifold karma of an incarnation. Rather than infecting and polluting the elementals of one’s astral photosphere by excessive statements of intention, idle speculation and resentment of supposedly external duties, one must embrace the initially painful recognition that duty is inherent to one’s status as a human being. Even a week of wise and cool reflection upon the dharma of being human and potentially divine can lighten a lifetime, but those who do not even make this effort will never understand the point. On the contrary, they strangely seem to enjoy wallowing in guilt and self-pity, and thus, as they chew the cud of their ill-digested ideas and stew in the acid juices of their bitterness, they further weaken the fragile connection between the overbrooding Triad and the manifesting quaternary. Whereas, as soon as one takes a firm stand upon what is truly human, and through deep thought and meditation cuts to the core of essential self-respect and inescapable responsibility to the whole of life, one can create a passage in that aspect of Manas which is conjoined to the lower principles, through which the light ofBuddhi can illumine the field of duty. Thus Kurukshetra becomes Dharmakshetra.
The criterion of whatever is genuinely Buddhic is that it is effortlessly self-sustaining. Buddhi, as a human principle, correlates with exalted planes of consciousness and ethereal globes of the earth chain, which are impermeable to the discontinuities of thought and feeling that inhibit terrestrial cerebration and emotion. The sense of separation and fragmentation engendered on the lowest plane weakens the will and dulls the mind by rendering the electrical connection with the immortal Triad fitful and inconstant. Spiritual will is generated by and works through seminal ideas. The more one allows the mind to soak in the sublimely abstract, until this is more real than anything else, the more one is able in a Promethean way to direct the flow of consciousness through concentrated thought. Such meditative purification strengthens the spiritual will and provides continuous inspiration in the daily performance of duty. When one becomes familiar with its cleansing effects, one will look forward to every encounter with the spiritual, and even in brief spells of leisure one’s mind will naturally turn to sacred themes. Those who freely benefit from this mental discipline are truly fortunate in their simplicity of stance. Without taking anything for granted, they cherish the profound privilege of contemplating and reaffirming the fundamental principles of spiritual life. They are thereby protected against the errors of futile speculation, and against complex attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable by adapting the spiritual sciences to material conceptions. By honouring the basic rules and sharpening discernment through practice, they stay within the forward current and gain true self-respect. They recognize that the mere thought of falling away from it, through foisting blame upon the external world, rapidly destroys the sacred foundation of discipleship. Men and women, in general, may not be able all at once to live purely by the power of thought and ideation. But if even a small number of people make an honest effort to do so, lending beauty and significance to their days in the knowledge that others are doing the same, a strong magnetic field may be generated whereby weaker brethren would be held up, whilst those who build strength would not be brought down by the weakest links in the chain. Everyone could be pulled up together; there would be a proper balancing because different people experience the different cycles of moods at different times. If their minds and hearts are focussed upon the collective effort, if they feel part of and have inserted themselves into a larger whole reflecting the will and the wisdom of Shambala, the mighty Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas, then they will move in dulcet harmony with the Demiurgic Mind of the cosmos. They will taste the rapture of self-conscious participation in the Divine Motion of noumenal reality, the awesome Dance of Shiva as well as the playful sport of Krishna and the gopis.
THE DESCENT OF MANAS – II
To a sadhaka or seeker who thinks in this archetypal mode, the sole reason for skilfully performing any act in life is to render gentle and gracious service to others, to human beings as well as to life-atoms. There is, for example, no other metaphysically sound reason to clean and care for one’s physical body than the duty one owes oneself as a trustee of Nature and a servant of mankind. If one grasps the idea of monadic evolution metaphysically, and not merely statistically or speculatively, it will be evident that there are myriad opportunities daily for engaging in sacrificial acts of service to others. It is the exalted privilege of a self-conscious monad to be able to serve all life-atoms through the concentrated power of compassionate thought. The humanity of the future will readily associate its healing exposure to the mellow light of the early morning sun, or its cool enjoyment of pellucid water, with a vivid awareness of invisible beings that are magically fused in a divine dance. Bringing Buddhic perception to creative acts, they will balance the antipodes of human nature, suffusing the most ordinary and simple tasks with the exhilarating fragrance of veiled serenity. Once a person becomes adept in this art of service, the whole of life becomes a song of ceaseless and silent sacrifice, the true “music of the spheres” intimating the mystery of Apollo’s lyre. A point is soon reached at which one can scarcely believe that one could waste a single hour brooding over the shadowy self, though one will recognize that this is precisely what one did in life after life of ignorance, even in the presence of the Divine Wisdom and its loving exemplars. Then one will appreciate what the wise have always taught, that anyone who misuses, let alone flouts and betrays, a great opportunity, will not in any future life be able to come into a close relationship with any Spiritual Teacher. Where such laws are involved, nothing happens merely for the first time; whenever the karma of groups of people sharing abnormal tendencies brings them together in order to work them off, these tendencies will be made to look normal. The souls concerned may, when they are brought together, actually convert their condition into a general theory of the world, thus reinforcing and absolutizing their abject ignorance. Then, for those who toil for the restoration of the rhythms that are natural to the human heart, there is what a Master called “uphill work and swimming in adversum flumen”. He asked, “Why should the West . . . learn . . . from the East . . . that which can never meet the requirements of the special tastes of the aesthetics?” He then spoke of “the formidable difficulties encountered by us in every attempt we make to explain our metaphysics to the Western mind”. Stressing the intimate connection between occult philosophy and true metaphysics, H.P. Blavatsky conceded:
It is like trying to explain the aspirations and affections, the love and the hatred, the most private and sacred workings in the soul and mind of the living man, by an anatomical description of the chest and brain of his dead body.
The Secret Doctrine, i 169-170
The arcane teachings of the sevenfold nature of the earth and Man are not offered for the sake of those who would “nail every shadow to the wall”. Nor are they intended to be reconciled with the conceptions of a modern science which cannot acknowledge any matter except that which falls under the purview of the corporeal senses. The esoteric teaching regarding septenary chains is intended for those who are dedicated to the sacrificial awakening of spiritual intuition in the service of all, and those who are prepared to make Buddhic application of Divine Wisdom in daily life.
For example, it is the enigmatic teaching of The Secret Doctrine that the moon which is seen by the physical eye is a corpse, and that this moon, together with all the physical planets, is visible in this way only because it belongs to a particular plane of perception. But if each visible world is part of a chain and there are six invisible globes which are involved in the causal forces associated with each planet, it is important especially to understand the relation between the moon and the earth. This is analogous to the relationship between the astral when it is saturated by kama and that aspect of the astral which is ensouled by prana, or life-energy. We often notice that a mentally healthy individual is full of life and therefore very cheerful and generous, reaching out to others, due to this natural energy within the astral-physical body, the energy of prana. But there is also that aspect of the astral which is affected by lunar forces, by obsessional thoughts, and yet is constantly fluctuating like the visible moon. What is going on within the human being is causally connected with the relations between the different invisible aspects of the visible planets. The moon, as the ancients knew, is much older than the earth, being but the visible remnant of an entire chain of globes that was the parent of the earth chain. And therefore even though what we see as the visible moon does not look, certainly unlike the sun, to be a parent of the earth, nonetheless what we see is the representative of the corpse, the kama rupa of an entire lunar chain of globes, the higher principles of which have long since passed into the earth chain. Beings on earth have astral forms because these vestures are themselves the progeny of the lesser pitris, the lunar ancestors. As the lunar chain was dying out in its last Round, it sent all its energy and “principles” into a neutral centre of latent force, a laya centre, thereby informing a new nucleus of undifferentiated substance and calling it to active life. The lunar ancestors are also connected with the ancestral germ that was transmitted over an immense period of time and makes even physical conception possible. Metaphysically, everything physical is actually astral, so the process of conception has its roots in aspects of astral form, matter and substance which go back to the lunar pitris. Therefore there is a direct sense in which terrestrial humans are able to function as sevenfold beings only because of this inheritance, which is a mixed blessing.
Because many human beings have identified with their physical bodies despite the fact that they are self-conscious beings, they have forgotten both their divine inheritance and their myriad debts, even on the physical plane, to those who went before. While some older cultures may have been preoccupied with ancestor worship, modern societies are almost blind to what they owe to the lunar pitris. If they were true to this inheritance, they would have a greater grasp of the right use of all the senses, because these would all be recognized as vital powers, the reflections of divine potencies upon the astral plane. This would bring a sense of the sacred to the use of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Instead, there is constant abuse of all the sense-perceptions and therefore there is a sense in which people are vampirizing the lunar pitris, living upon them without acknowledgement, misusing the energies derived from them. This neglect of duty entails a costly vulnerability to the kama rupa of the moon which goes through its own cyclical changes, appearing on the physical plane as the waxing and waning of the physical moon in its mutual relations with the sun and earth. Behind this visible process lies a whole set of disintegrating tendencies which were discarded as unusable from an earlier period of evolution, but which exercise a powerful negative effect upon those vulnerable to them through the misuse of their own energies.
Such people are recognizable by their appalling lack of natural gratitude. The idea that all life is an expression of gratitude through service and duty, which is entirely natural to solar beings, seems strange to them because it brings back bad memories of base ingratitude in other lives. Familiar with gratitude merely as a passing emotion, they can hardly resonate to Pliny’s teaching that the whole earth is a kind nurse and mother to mankind, and its elements are not at all inimical to mortals. Their moral and spiritual deficiency goes back to the lost continent of Atlantis, wherein they were engrossed in utilizing spiritual knowledge for the sake of self-aggrandisement. As a result, there was enormous damage to the Third Eye, which then closed. Therefore they now experience a technical difficulty in being intuitive, as well as in conserving, consolidating or controlling astral tendencies. Owing to their alienation from their spiritual heritage through the astral damage they have done to themselves, they tend to concoct theories which purport to disprove the possibility or use of any metaphysical intuition at all in the human race. Meanwhile, they remain subject to the affinities they have formed with classes of elementals, shells and elementaries, and hence to the sullen state of depressed consciousness that is their inescapable karma. What they must learn, and what their karma affords them the opportunity to learn, is that they exist solely for the sake of reaching out to something larger than themselves. If through the initially painful recognition of their own awesome responsibility and austere duty they learn this lesson, it will work to the long-term good of the soul. But if they indulge and engage in this perverse and cyclical state of mind, they are only prolonging the karma that goes back to other lives.
Individuals must one day come to see that in a universe of Law all human qualities are connected with cosmic sources and forces. Nothing is accidental. A person cannot be a silent worshipper of the Spiritual Sun and cannot constantly think of it without always being full of optimism and benevolence. On the other hand, one cannot be caught in the meshes of cynicism and pessimism without having connected oneself to the dark side of the moon through adharma and the persistent misuse of powers. In Kali Yuga there are many such souls, and though they desperately need help, and do not know how to help themselves, they try to lay down the conditions of life for all. Harming and even destroying each other in their ignorance, they use up human bodies, and in extreme cases through annihilation there is a compassionate release of the immortal Triad altogether from the astral form so that another cycle of incarnations may be initiated by the Triad. The soulless shell that is left behind is dominated by the perverse energies of the tortuous mind, and only dissipates after it goes through a terrible torment. Long before this extreme condition, there are warnings and whispers by the divine Triad, and if these last chances are taken promptly, there can be a gradual restoration. If they are not taken they may be given again, though each time the signals will be fainter. But if they are repeatedly flouted, doom is inevitable. Seen in this light, much that goes on in human life in the name of rationalizations and ideologies, much that is repeated again and again as a form of inefficient self-hypnosis, amounts to nothing but a pathetic and soul-destroying denial of the meaning and justice of life. If people persist in this despite abundant evidence to the contrary, they are only rendering irreversible their own passage down the lunar path of self-destruction. In the presence of the solar light everything is rapidly intensified. If one receives and becomes a sacrificial user of the life-giving current of the wisdom, at whatever level, this is sane. Every authentic effort counts. It is not so important to take a constant inventory of where one comes out; what is vital is the refusal to give up on the effort and the steadfast will to maintain a strong line of courageous conviction, inserting oneself into a larger and larger perspective. If one does not do this, one will accentuate the opposite tendencies. Such is the nature of light. In the presence of light-energy the dark will necessarily be activated, and all the ghouls and vampires, all the nefarious elements connected with doomed sorcerers, will deposit themselves in the astral corpus, the linga sharira. Truly, it is for the sake of all souls that such occult teachings as the correspondences of human principles and planetary globes are given out, not for the amusement of dilettantes or the derision of scoffers.
“Gratification of curiosity is the end of knowledge for some men,” was said by Bacon, who was as right in postulating this truism, as those who were familiar with it before him were right in hedging off WISDOM from Knowledge, and tracing limits to that which is to be given out at one time . . . Remember:
. . . . . knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men, Wisdom in minds attentive to their own . . .
The Secret Doctrine, i 165
Hermes, October 1980
Let us beware of creating a darkness at noonday for ourselves by gazing, so to say, direct at the sun . . . , as though we could hope to attain adequate vision and perception of Wisdom with mortal eyes. It will be the safer course to turn our gaze on an image of the object of our quest.
The Athenian Stranger
Every year more than three hundred and fifty Catholic and Protestant sects observe Easter Sunday, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God who called himself the Son of Man. So too do the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches, but on a separate calendar. Such is the schism between East and West within Christendom regarding this day, which always falls on the ancient Sabbath, once consecrated to the Invisible Sun, the sole source of all life, light and energy. If we wish to understand the permanent possibility of spiritual resurrection taught by the Man of Sorrows, we must come to see both the man and his teaching from the pristine perspective of Brahma Vach, the timeless oral utterance behind and beyond all religions, philosophies and sciences throughout the long history of mankind.
The Gospel According to St. John is the only canonical gospel with a metaphysical instead of an historical preamble. We are referred to that which was in the beginning. In the New English Bible, the recent revision of the authorized version produced for the court of King James, we are told: Before all things were made was the Word. In the immemorial, majestic and poetic English of the King James version, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This is a bija sutra, a seminal maxim, marking the inception of the first of twenty-one chapters of the gospel, and conveying the sum and substance of the message of Jesus. John, according to Josephus, was at one time an Essene and his account accords closely with the Qumran Manual of Discipline. The gospel attributed to John derives from the same oral tradition as the Synoptics, but it shows strong connections with the Pauline epistles as well as with the Jewish apocalyptic tradition. It is much more a mystical treatise than a biographical narrative.
Theosophically, there is no point or possibility for any man to anthropomorphize the Godhead, even though this may be very touching in terms of filial devotion to one’s own physical father. The Godhead is unthinkable and unspeakable, extending boundlessly beyond the range and reach of thought. There is no supreme father figure in the universe. In the beginning was the Word, the Verbum, the Shabdabrahman, the eternal radiance that is like a veil upon the attributeless Absolute. If all things derive, as St. John explains, from that One Source, then all beings and all the sons of men are forever included. Metaphysically, every human being has more than one father, but on the physical plane each has only one. Over a thousand years or thirty generations, everyone has more ancestors than there are souls presently incarnated on earth. Each one participates in the ancestry of all mankind. While always true, this is more evident in a nation with mixed ancestries. Therefore it is appropriate here that we think of him who preached before Jesus, the Buddha, who taught that we ask not of a man’s descent but of his conduct. By their fruits they shall he known, say the gospels.
There is another meaning of the ‘Father’ which is relevant to the opportunity open to every human being to take a decision to devote his or her entire life to the service of the entire human family. The ancient Jews held that from the illimitable Ain-Soph there came a reflection, which could never be more than a partial participation in that illimitable light which transcends manifestation. This reflection exists in the world as archetypal humanity – Adam Kadmon. Every human being belongs to one single humanity, and that collectivity stands in relation to the Ain-Soph as any one human being to his or her own father. It is no wonder that Pythagoras – Pitar Guru, ‘father and teacher,’ as he was known among the ancient Hindus – came to Krotona to sound the keynote of a long cycle now being reaffirmed for an equally long period in the future. He taught his disciples to honour their father and their mother, and to take a sacred oath to the Holy Fathers of the human race, the ‘Ancestors of the Arhats.’
We are told in the fourth Stanza of Dzyan that the Fathers are the Sons of Fire, descended from a primordial host of Logoi. They are self-existing rays streaming forth from a single, central, universal Mahatic fire which is within the cosmic egg, just as differentiated matter is outside and around it. There are seven sub-divisions within Mahat – the cosmic mind, as it was called by the Greeks – as well as seven dimensions of matter outside the egg, giving a total of fourteen planes, fourteen worlds. Where we are told by John that Jesus said, In my Father’s house are many mansions, H.P. Blavatsky states that this refers to the seven mansions of the central Logos, supremely revered in all religions as the Solar Creative Fire. Any human being who has a true wakefulness and thereby a sincere spirit of obeisance to the divine demiurgic intelligence in the universe, of which he is a trustee even while encased within the lethargic carcass of matter, can show that he is a man to the extent to which he exhibits divine manliness through profound gratitude, a constant recognition and continual awareness of the One Source. All the great Teachers of humanity point to a single source beyond themselves. Many are called but few are chosen by self-election. Spiritual Teachers always point upwards for each and every man and woman alive, not for just a few. They work not only in the visible realm for those immediately before them, but, as John reminds us, they come from above and work for all. They continually think of and love every being that lives and breathes, mirroring “the One that breathes breathless” in ceaseless contemplation, overbrooding the Golden Egg of the universe, the Hiranyagarbha.
Such beautiful ideas enshrined in magnificent myths are provocative to the ratiocinative mind and suggestive to the latent divine discernment of Buddhic intuition. The only way anyone can come closer to the Father in Heaven – let alone come closer to Him on earth Who is as He is in Heaven – is by that light to which John refers in the first chapter of theGospel. It is the light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world, which the darkness comprehendeth not. Human beings are involved in the darkness of illusion, of self-forgetfulness, and forgetfulness of their divine ancestry. The whole of humanity may be regarded as a garden of gods but all men and women are fallen angels or gods tarnished by forgetfulness of their true eternal and universal mission. Every man or woman is born for a purpose. Every person has a divine destiny. Every individual has a unique contribution to make, to enrich the lives of others, but no one can say what this is for anyone else. Each one has to find it, first by arousing and kindling and then by sustaining and nourishing the little lamp within the heart. There alone may be lit the true Akashic fire upon the altar in the hidden temple of the God which lives and breathes within. This is the sacred fire of true awareness which enables a man to come closer to the one universal divine consciousness which, in its very brooding upon manifestation, is the father-spirit. In the realm of matter it may be compared to the wind that bloweth where it listeth. Any human being could become a self-conscious and living instrument of that universal divine consciousness of which he, as much as every other man or woman, is an effulgent ray.
This view of man is totally different from that which has, alas, been preached in the name of Jesus. Origen spoke of the constant crucifixion of Jesus, declaring that there is not a day on earth when he is not reviled. But equally there is not a time when others do not speak of him with awe. He came with a divine protection provided by a secret bond which he never revealed except by indirect intonation. Whenever the Logos becomes flesh, there is sacred testimony to the Great Sacrifice and the Great Renunciation – of all Avatars, all Divine Incarnations. This Brotherhood of Blessed Teachers is ever behind every attempt to enlighten human minds, to summon the latent love in human hearts for all humanity, to fan the sparks of true compassion in human beings into the fires of Initiation. The mark of the Avatar is that in him the Paraclete, the Spirit of Eternal Truth, manifests so that even the blind may see, the deaf may hear, the lame may walk, the unregenerate may gain confidence in the possibility and the promise of Self-redemption.
In one of the most beautiful passages penned on this subject, the profound essay entitled “The Roots of Ritualism in Church and Masonry,” published in 1889, H.P.Blavatsky declared:
Most of us believe in the survival of the Spiritual Ego, in Planetary Spirits and Nirmanakayas, those great Adepts of the past ages, who, renouncing their right to Nirvana, remain in our spheres of being, not as ‘spirits’ but as complete spiritual human Beings. Save their corporeal, visible envelope, which they leave behind, they remain as they were, in order to help poor humanity, as far as can he done without sinning against Karmic Law. This is the ‘Great Renunciation,’ indeed; an incessant, conscious self-sacrifice throughout aeons and ages till that day when the eyes of blind mankind will open and, instead of the few, all will see the universal truth. These Beings may well be regarded as God and Gods – if they would but allow the fire in our hearts, at the thought of that purest of all sacrifices, to be fanned into the flame of adoration, or the smallest altar in their honour. But they will not. Verily, ‘the secret heart is fair Devotion’s (only) temple,’ and any other, in this case, would be no better than profane ostentation.
Let a man be without external show such as the Pharisees favoured, without inscriptions such as the Scribes specialized in, and without arrogant and ignorant self-destructive denial such as that of the Sadducees. Such a man, whether he be of any religion or none, of whatever race or nation or creed, once he recognizes the existence of a Fraternity of Divine Beings, a Brotherhood of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Christs, an Invisible Church (in St. Augustine’s phrase) of living human beings ever ready to help any honest and sincere seeker, he will thereafter cherish the discovery within himself. He will guard it with great reticence and grateful reverence, scarcely speaking of his feeling to strangers or even to friends. When he can do this and maintain it, and above all, as John says in the Gospel, be true to it and live by it, then he may make it for himself, as Jesus taught, the way, the truth and the light. While he may not be self-manifested as the Logos came to be through Jesus – the Son of God become the Son of Man – he could still sustain and protect himself in times of trial. No man dare ask for more. No man could do with less.
Jesus knew that his own time of trial had come – the time for the consummation of his vision – on the Day of Passover. Philo Judaeus, who was an Aquarian in the Age of Pisces, gave an intellectual interpretation to what other men saw literally, pointing out that the spiritual passover had to do with passing over earthly passions. Jesus, when he knew the hour had come for the completion of his work and the glorification of his father to whom he ever clung, withdrew with the few into the Garden of Gethsemane. He did not choose them, he said. They chose him. He withdrew with them and there they all used the time for true prayer to the God within. Jesus had taught, Go into thy closet and pray to thy father who is in secret, and that, The Kingdom of God is within you. This was the mode of prayer which he revealed and exemplified to those who were ready for initiation into the Mysteries. Many tried but only few stayed with it. Even among those few there was a Peter, who would thrice deny Jesus. There was the traitor, Judas, who had already left the last supper that evening, having been told, That thou doest, do quickly. Some among the faithful spent their time in purification. Were they, at that point, engaged in self-purification for their own benefit? What had Jesus taught them? Could one man separate himself from any other? He had told those who wanted to stone the adulteress, Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. He had told them not to judge anyone else, but to wait for true judgment. Because they had received a sublime privilege, about which other men subsequently argued for centuries and produced myriad heresies and sects, in their case the judgment involved their compassionate concern to do the sacred Work of the Father for the sake of all. The Garden of Gethsemane is always here. It is a place very different from the Wailing Wall where people gnash their teeth and weep for themselves or their tribal ancestors. The Garden of Gethsemane is wherever on earth men and women want to cleanse themselves for the sake of being more humane in their relations with others.
Nor was the crucifixion only true of Jesus and those two thieves, one of whom wanted to have a miracle on his behalf while the other accepted the justice of the law of the day, receiving punishment for offences that he acknowledged openly. Every man participates in that crucifixion. This much may be learnt from the great mystics and inspired poets across two thousand years. Christos is being daily, hourly, every moment crucified within the cross of every human being. There are too few on earth who are living up to the highest possibility of human god-like wisdom, love and compassion, let alone who can say that in them the spirit of Truth, the Paraclete, manifests. Who has the courage to chase the money-changers of petty thoughts and paltry desires from the Temple of the universal Spirit, not through hatred of the money-changers, but through a love in his heart for the Restoration of the Temple? Who has the courage to say openly what all men recognize inwardly when convenient, or when drunk, or when among friends whom they think they trust? Who is truly a man? How many men are there heroically suffering? Not only do we know that God is not mocked and that as we sow, so shall we reap, but we also realize that the Garden of Gethsemane is difficult to reach. Nonetheless, it may be sought by any and every person who wants to avoid the dire tragedy of self-annihilation. Indeed, there are many such people all around who barely survive from day to day because of their own self-hatred, self-contempt and despair, and who tremble on the brink of moral death. We live in terribly tragic times, and therefore there is no one who cannot afford to take a little pause for the sake of making the burden of one’s presence easier for one’s wife or husband, for one’s children, or for one’s neighbours. Each needs a time of re-examination, a time for true repentance, a time for Christ-like resolve. The Garden of Gethsemane is present wherever there is genuineness, determination and honesty. Above all, it is where there is the joyous recognition that, quite apart from yesterday and tomorrow, right now a person can create so strong a current of thought that it radically affects the future. He could begin now, and acquire in time a self-sustaining momentum. But this cannot be done without overcoming the karmic gravity of all the self-destructive murders of human beings that he has participated in on the plane of thought, on the plane of feeling, especially on the plane of words, and also, indirectly, on the plane of outward action.
If the Garden of Gethsemane did not exist, no persecuting Saul could ever become a Paul. Such is the great hope and the glad tiding. As Origen said, Saul had to be killed before Paul could be born. The Francis who was a simple crusader had to die before the Saint of Assisi could be born. Because all men have free will, no man can transform himself without honest and sincere effort. Hence, after setting out the nature of the Gods, the Fathers of the human race, H.P. Blavatsky, in the same article quoted, spoke of the conditions of probation of incarnated souls seeking resurrection:
. . . every true Theosophist holds that the divine HIGHER SELF of every mortal man is of the same essence as the essence of these Gods. Being, moreover, endowed with free-will, hence having, more than they, responsibility, we regard the incarnated EGO as far superior to, if not more divine than, any spiritual INTELLIGENCE still awaiting incarnation. Philosophically, the reason for this is obvious, and every metaphysician of the Eastern school will understand it. The incarnated EGO has odds against it which do not exist in the case of a pure divine Essence unconnected with matter; the latter has no personal merit, whereas the former is on his way to final perfection through the trials of existence, of pain and suffering.
It is up to each one to decide whether to make this suffering constructive, these trials meaningful, these tribulations a golden opportunity for self-transformation and spiritual resurrection.
If this decision is not made voluntarily during life, it is thrust upon each ego at death. Every human being has to pass at the moment of death, according to the wisdom of the ancients, to a purgatorial condition in which there is a separation of the immortal individuality. It is like a light which is imprisoned during waking life, a life which is a form of sleep within the serpent coils of matter. This god within is clouded over by the fog of fear, superstition and confusion, and all but the pure in heart obscure the inner light by their demonic deceits and their ignorant denial of the true heart. Every human being needs to cast out this shadow, just as he would throw away an old garment, says Krishna, or just as he would dump into a junkyard an utterly unredeemable vehicle. Any and every human being has to do the same on the psychological plane. Each is in the same position. He has to discard the remnants, but the period for this varies according to each person. This involves what is called ‘the mathematics of the soul.’ Figures are given to those with ears to hear, and there is a great deal of detailed application to be made.
Was Jesus exempt from this? He wanted no exception. He had taken the cross. He had become one with other men, constantly taking on their limitations, exchanging his finer life-atoms for their gross life-atoms – the concealed thoughts, the unconscious hostilities, the chaotic feelings, the ambivalences, the ambiguities, the limitations of all. He once said, My virtue has gone out of me, when the hem of his garment was touched by a woman seeking help, but does this mean that he was exposed only when he physically encountered other human beings? The Gospel according to John makes it crisply clear, since it is the most mystical and today the most meaningful of the four gospels, that this was taking place all the time. It not only applies to Jesus. It takes place all the time for every person, often unknown to oneself. But when it is fully self-conscious, the pain is greater, such as when a magnanimous Adept makes a direct descent from his true divine estate, leaving behind his finest elements, like Surya the sun in the myth who cuts off his lustre for the sake of entering into a marriage with Sanjna, coming into the world, and taking on the limitations of all. The Initiator needs the three days in the tomb, but these three days are metaphorical. They refer to what is known in the East as a necessary gestation state when the transformation could be made more smoothly from the discarded vehicle which had been crucified.
People tend to fasten upon the wounds and the blood, even though, as Titian’s painting portrays clearly, the tragedy of Jesus was not in the bleeding wounds but in the ignorance and self-limitation of the disciples. He had promised redemption to anyone and everyone who was true to him, which meant, he said, to love each other. He had washed the feet of the disciples, drawn them together, given them every opportunity so that they would do the same for each other. He told them that they need only follow this one commandment. We know how difficult it is for most people today to love one another, to work together, to pull together, to cooperate and not compete, to add and not subtract, to multiply and serve, not divide and rule. This seems very difficult especially in a hypocritical society filled with deceit and lies. What are children to say when their parents ask them to tell the truth and they find themselves surrounded by so many lies? In the current cycle the challenge is most pointed and poignant. More honesty is needed, more courage, more toughness – this time for the sake of all mankind. One cannot leave it to a future moment for some pundits in theological apologetics and theosophical hermeneutics to say this cycle was only for some chosen people. Every single part of the world has to be included and involved.
The teaching of Jesus was a hallowed communication of insights, a series of sacred glimpses, rather than a codification of doctrine. He presented not a summa theologica or ethica,but the seminal basis from which an endless series of summae could be conceived. He initiated a spiritual current of sacred dialogue, individual exploration and communal experiment in the quest for divine wisdom. He taught the beauty of acquiescence and the dignity of acceptance of suffering – a mode appropriate to the Piscean Age. He showed salvation – through love, sacrifice and faith – of the regenerated psyche that cleaves to the light of no us. He excelled in being all things to all men while remaining utterly true to himself and to his ‘Father in Heaven.’ He showed a higher respect for the Temple than its own custodians. At the same time he came to found a new kind of kingdom and to bring a message of joy and hope. He came to bear witness to the Kingdom of Heaven during life’s probationary ordeal on earth. He vivified by his own luminous sacrifice the universal human possibility of divine self-consecration, the beauty of beatific devotion to the Transcendental Source of Divine Wisdom – the Word Made Flesh celebrating the Verbum In the Beginning.
Above all, there was the central paradox that his mission had to be vindicated by its failure, causing bewilderment among many of his disciples, while intuitively understood only by the very few who were pure in heart and strong in devotion, blessed by the vision of the Ascension. After three days in the tomb, Jesus, in the guise of a gardener, said to a poor, disconsolate Mary Magdalene, Mary! At once she looked back because she recognized the voice, and she said, Rabboni – “My Master” – and fell at his feet. Then he said, Touch me not. Here is a clue to his three days in the tomb. The work of permanent transmutation of life-atoms, of transfiguration of vehicles, was virtually complete. He then said, Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God. Subsequently he appeared three times to his disciples.
Jesus gave the greatest possible confidence to all his disciples by ever paying them the most sacred compliment, telling them that they were children of God. But, still, if a person thinks that he is nothing, or thinks that he is the greatest sinner on earth, how can the compassion and praise of Jesus have meaning for him? Each person has to begin to see himself undramatically as one of many sinners and say, “My sins are no different from those of anyone else.” The flesh is weak but pneuma, the spirit, is willing. And pneuma has to do with breath. The whole of the Gospel according to John is saturated with the elixir of the breathing-in and breathing-out by Jesus of the life-infusing current that gives every man a credible faith in his promise and possibility, and, above all, a living awareness of his immortality, which he can self-consciously realize when freed from mis-identification with his mortal frame.
The possibility of resurrection has to do with identification and mis-identification. This is the issue not for just a few but for all human beings who, in forgetfulness, tend to think that they are what their enemies think, or that they are what their friends want them to be. At one time men talked of the imago Christi. We now live in a society that constantly deals in diabolical images and the cynical corruption of image-making, a nefarious practice unfamiliar in simpler societies which still enjoy innocent psychic health. Even more, people now engage in image-crippling – the most heinous of crimes. At one time men did it openly, with misguided courage. They pulled down statues and defaced idols. They paid for it and are still paying. Perhaps those people were reborn in this society. That is sad because they are condemning themselves to something worse than hell – not only the hell of loneliness and despair – but much worse. The light is going out for many a human being. The Mahatmas have always been with us. They have always abundantly sent forth benedictory vibrations. They are here on earth where they have always had their asylums and their ashrams. Under cyclic law they are able to use precisely prepared forums and opportunities to re-erect or resurrect the mystery temples of the future. Thus, at this time, everybody is stirred up by the crucial issue of identity – which involves the choice between the living and the dead, between entelechy and self-destruction.
The central problem in the Gospel according to John, which Paul had to confront in giving his sermon on the resurrection, has to do with life and with death. What is life for one man is not life to another. Every man or woman today has to raise the question, “What does it mean for me to be alive, to breathe, to live for the sake of others, to live within the law which protects all but no one in particular?” Whoever truly identifies with the limitless and unconditional love of Jesus and with the secret work of Jesus which he veiled in wordless silence, is lit up. Being lit up, one is able to see the divine Buddha-nature, the light vesture of the Buddha. The disciples in the days of the Buddha, and so again in the days of Jesus, were able to see the divine raiment made of the most homogeneous pure essence of universal Buddhi. Immaculately conceived and unbegotten, it is daiviprakriti, the light of theLogos. Every man at all times has such a garment, but it is covered over. Therefore, each must sift and select the gold from the dross. The more a person does this truly and honestly, the more the events of what we call life can add up before the moment of death. They can have a beneficent impact upon the mood and the state of mind in which one departs. A person who is wise in this generation will so prepare his meditation that at the moment of death he may read or have read out those passages in the Bhagavad Gita, The Voice of the Silence, or The Gospel According to St. John, that are exactly relevant to what is needed. Then he will be able to intone the Word, which involves the whole of one’s being and breathing, at the moment when he may joyously discard his mortal garment. It has been done, and it is being done. It can be done, and it will be done. Anyone can do it, but in these matters there is no room for chance or deception, for we live in a universe of law. Religion can be supported now by science, and to bring the two together in the psychology of self-transformation one needs true philosophy, the unconditional love of wisdom.
The crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent resurrection had little reference to himself, any more than any breath he took during his life. Thus, in the Gospel, we read that Jesus promises that when he will be gone from the world, he will send the Paraclete. This archaic concept has exercised the pens of many scholars. What is the Paraclete? What does it mean? ‘Comforter’? ‘The Spirit of Truth’? Scholars still do not claim to know. The progress made in this century is in the honest recognition that they do not know, whereas in the nineteenth century they quarrelled, hurled epithets at each other out of arrogance, with a false confidence that did not impress anyone for long. The times have changed, and this is no moment for going back to the pseudo-complacency of scholasticism, because today it would be false, though at one time it might have had some understandable basis. Once it might have seemed a sign of health and could have been a pardonable and protective illusion. Today it would be a sign of sickness because it would involve insulting the intelligence of many young people, men and women, Christian, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, but also Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, and every other kind of denomination. No one wants to settle for the absurdities of the past, but all nonetheless want a hope by which they may live and inherit the future, not only for themselves or their descendants, but for all living beings.
This, then, is a moment when people must ask what would comfort the whole of mankind. What did Jesus think would be a way of comforting all? Archetypally, the Gospelaccording to John is speaking in this connection of the mystery temple, where later all the sad failures of Christianity took place. This is the light and the fire that must be kept alive for the sake of all. Who, we may ask, will joyously and silently maintain it intact? Who will be able to say, as the dying Latimer said in Oxford in 1555, “We shall this day light such a candle . . . as I trust shall never be put out.” Jesus was confident that among his disciples there were those who had been set afire by the flames that streamed through him. He was theHotri, ‘the indispensable agent’ for the universal alkahest, the elixir of life and immortality. He was the fig tree that would bear fruit, but he predicted that there would be fig trees that would bear no fruit. He was referring to the churches that have nothing to say, nothing real to offer, and above all, do not care that much for the lost Word or the world’s proletariat, or the predicament and destiny of the majority of mankind.
His confidence was that which came to him, like everything in his life, from the Father, the Paraguru, the Lord of Libations, who, with boundless love for all, sustains in secret the eternal contemplation, together with the two Bodhisattvas – one whose eye sweeps over slumbering earth, and the other whose hand is extended in protecting love over the heads of his ascetics. Jesus spoke in the name of the Great Sacrifice. He spoke of the joy in the knowledge that there were a few who had become potentially like the leaven that could lift the whole lump, who had become true Guardians of the Eternal Fires. These are the vestal fires of the mystery temple which had disappeared in Egypt, from which the exodus took place. They had disappeared from Greece, though periodically there were attempts to revive them, such as those by Pythagoras at Delphi. They were then being poured into a new city called Jerusalem. In a sense, the new Comforter was the New Jerusalem, but it was not just a single city nor was it merely for people of one tribe or race.
Exoterically, the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 63 B.C. by Pompey and was rebuilt. Later it was razed to the ground again in 70 A.D. Since the thirteenth century no temple has been in existence there at all because that city has been for these past seven hundred years entirely in the hands of those who razed the old buildings and erected minarets and mosques. Now, people wonder if there really ever was a true Jerusalem, for everywhere is found the Babylon of confusion. Today it is not Origen who speaks to us, but Celsus, on behalf of all Epicureans. Everyone is tempted, like Lot’s wife, to be turned into salt by fixing their attention upon the relics and memories of the past long after they have vanished into the limbo of dissolution and decay.
Anyone, however, who has an authentic soul-vision is El Mirador. Jesus knew that the vision, entrusted to the safekeeping of a few, would inspire them to lay the basis of what would continue, because of what they did, despite all the corruption and the ceaseless crucifixion. Even today, two thousand years later, when we hear of the miracle of the limitless love of Jesus, when we hear the words he spoke, when we read about and find comfort in what he did, we are deeply stirred. We are abundantly grateful because in us is lit the chela-light of true reverential devotion to the Christos within. This helps us to see all the Christs of history, unknown as well as renowned, as embodiments of the One and Only – the One without a Second, in the cryptic language of the Upanishads. When this revelation takes place and is enjoyed inwardly, there are glad tidings, because it is on the invisible plane that the real work is done. Most people are fixated on the visible and want to wait for fruits from trees planted by other men. There are a few, however, who have realized the comfort to be derived in the true fellowship of those who seek the kingdom of God within themselves, who wish to become the better able to help and teach others, and who will be true in their faith from now until the twenty-first century. Some already have been using a forty-year calendar.
There have been such persons before us. Pythagoras called them Heroes. The Buddha called them Shravakas, true listeners, and Shramanas, true learners. Then there were some who became Srotapattis, ‘those who enter the stream,’ and among them were a few Anagamin, ‘those who need never return on earth again involuntarily.’ There were also those who were Arhans of boundless vision, Perfected Men, Bodhisattvas, endlessly willing to re-enter the cave, having taken the pledge of Kwan-Yin to redeem every human being and all sentient life. Nothing less than such a vow can resurrect the world today. These times are very different from the world at the time of John because in this age outward forms are going to give no clues in relation to the work of the formless. Mankind has to grow up. We find Origen saying this in the early part of the third century and Philo saying the same even in the first century. Philo, who was a Jewish scholar and a student of Plato, was an intuitive intellectual, while Origen, who had studied the Gnostics and considered various philosophical standpoints, was perhaps more of a mystic or even an ecstatic. Both knew that the Christos could only be seen by the eye of the mind. If therefore thine eye be single,Jesus said, thy whole body shall be full of Light. Those responding with the eyes of the body could never believe anything because, as Heraclitus said, “Eyes are bad witnesses to the soul.” The eyes of the body must be tutored by the eye of the mind. Gupta Vidya also speaks of the eye of the heart and the eye in the forehead – the eye of Wisdom-Compassion. Through it, by one’s own love, one will know the greater love. By one’s own compassion one will know the greater compassion. By one’s own ignorance one will recognize the ignorance around and seek the privilege of recognition of the Paraclete. Then, when the eye becomes single in its concentration upon the welfare of all, the body will become full of the light of the Christos. Once unveiled at the fundamental level of causality, it makes a man or woman an eternal witness to the true resurrection of the Son of Man into the highest mansions of the Father.
Hermes, April 1977
Esoteric Christianity refers to the contemplative study and to the mystic living of esoteric knowledge as related to what adherents view as the “inner teachings” of early Christianity, and is believed to be the teachings originally associated with the Essenes.
Some modern-day practitioners believe that the foundational teachings of Esoteric Christianity were publicly presented to the world in an effort to establish a future universal religion as mankind, with a more developed mind and will, walk forward to the understandings of universal Brotherhood. Its central aim is to aid each human being in his/her task of developing the “Christ within” each of us that must be reborn and awakened.
In this context, the Christ Within is defined as “soma psuchicon”, meaning soul body, which was needed by each individual in order to be able to enter and permanently live in the next etheric realm (new heavens and earth): the New Galilee.
This etheric region is thus regarded as the place where man, through the development of the soul body and not in the physical form, “shall be caught up “in the cloud” to meet the Lord; (the Second Advent of the Christ.)
These teachings are also believed by some to enable each individual to understand the mystery of life, that is, the mystery of death, eliminating the fear of it and to prepare human beings to start seeing among themselves the Way of transcendence.
This is being done according to the words “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke 8:17; KJV) and it is knowledge that had to wait its own time to be grasped by our own mind, as the Christ spoke: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12).
It is also referred in the same form of Esoteric Christianity that
there are, and always have been, those being prepared towards
initiation – into the Lesser Mysteries, the secrets concerning the
science of life and being, – through harmonious development of the mind and the heart in a spirit of unselfishness service to mankind.
According to Max Heindel the door of a genuine mystery school is not unlocked by a golden key, but is only opened as a reward for meritorious service to humanity and the true pupil of any mystery school is far too modest to advertise the fact; he will scorn all titles or honors from men, he will have no regard for riches save the riches of love given to him by those whom it becomes his privilege to help and teach.
From an occult point of view, the esoteric Christian tradition
primarily traces itself to the exceedingly devout Order of Essenes which existed in ancient Palestine. They are described as a third sect which existed besides the two that are mentioned in the New Testament, the hypocritical Pharisees and the materialistic Sadducees.
Yehesua, according to the esoteric Christian tradition, was a high initiate educated by the Essenes, till his thirty years of age, and reached a very high state of spiritual development. It is likely that his education was conducted among the Nazarenes of Mount Carmel, an Essene community west of the Galilean area of Palestine.
This Order opened their initiation into the mysteries, in that time and through the centuries ahead, to the most prepared and worthy individuals, who were then able to achieve extraordinary qualities through their own efforts, study and understanding.
He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matthew 13:11)
And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the
kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Matthew 7:6)
Alan held both a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity. He is best known as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism, as well as Taoism, Indian and Chinese philosophy.
He authored more than 20 excellent books on the philosophy and psychology of religion, and lectured extensively.
With characteristic lucidity and humor Watts unravels the most obscure ontological and epistemological knots with the greatest of ease.
When we do something over and over again, the force of habit takes over and we often lose sight of why we are doing it in the first place. Take reading, for example. Many people spend countless hours reading, whether in books or magazines or online. They probably don’t ever pause to ask why they read; they just do it. To ask why a person reads is like asking why one breathes. Who would ask such a question? Only a simpleton―or maybe a philosopher.
Four hundred years ago the philosopher Roger Bacon asked that very same question. Since Theosophists love to read, it may be useful for us to consider Bacon’s analysis. In a short, but pithy, essay entitled “On Studies,” Bacon gave three reasons for reading: delight, ornament, and ability. Let’s take each one in turn. Theosophical study offers the sublime enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from gaining a deeper understanding of life and the world we live in. By ornamentation, Bacon meant the ability to converse about what we have read. Anyone who has been to a Theosophical convention has witnessed this in spades, for Theosophists love to talk about the books they have read. The third reason―ability―is the capacity to apply what one has learned. Bacon also noted that there can be drawbacks to each of these three motivations: reading only for enjoyment leads to laziness; reading only to acquire knowledge leads to ostentation; reading only to decide how to make decisions leads to an academic literal-mindedness. As in so many things in life, it comes down to a matter of balance and moderation.
But of the three—delight, ornament, and ability—the third is most relevant to Theosophists, because it facilitates the process of self-transformation. If my reading is not making me a better person, then better not to read and find some other means of self-improvement. As the Roman statesman Cicero said in his oration Pro Archia Poeta, “Character without learning has made for excellence and ability more often than learning without character.” Or as H. P. Blavatsky said so poetically in The Voice of the Silence, “Even ignorance is better than headlearning with no Soul-Wisdom to illuminate and guide it.”
An instance of “character without learning” was given by the British explorer Wilfred Thesiger in his book Arabian Sands. Thesiger was the first European to cross the Empty Quarter of the southern Arabian Peninsula on foot, a dangerous and desolate region which contains the largest sand desert in the world. Although he was well educated, Thesiger had this to say about the nomadic desert people whom he came to respect and love: “I shall always remember how often I was humbled by those illiterate herdsmen who possessed, in so much greater measure than I, generosity and courage, endurance, patience, and lighthearted gallantry. Among no other people have I ever felt the same sense of personal inferiority.”
David P. Bruce is the National Secretary of the Theosophical Society in America.
A sensational talk, highly insightful about the current state of affairs, and where it is all headed, as well as our individual involvement with the times .The transformation of humanity, leaving history, the body the mind behind. Making good of the time which is left, keeping ourselves one step ahead of the snowballing effects of the unconscious hive mind.
For full lecture : ▶ Manly P. Hall – Migrations of the Human Spirit – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LORq_…
*Manly P Hall mentions the need to only use one eye, meaning in context of the lecture, the 3rd eye.
Music : ‘Who We Are’ Ultimate Chill Mix 2014
The Life is all about feelings and emotions. Either you feel attraction towards opposite sex, feel fear or insecurity about life, feel different emotions at different situations or experiences of l…
The reality is not as obvious and simple as we like to think. Some of the things that we accept as true and take at face value are notoriously wrong. Scientists and philosophers have made every effort to change our common perceptions of it. The 10 examples below will show you what I mean. 1. Big Fre…
“Your Vision Will Become Clear Only When You Can Look Into Your Own Heart. Who Looks Outside, Dreams; Who Looks Inside, Awakes.”
— Carl Jung
Are you too intelligent and emotionally sensitive for this world? http://freemantv.com/ What emotions are hiding in your dark side? Can you face them? Our emotional bodies are real and in our cosmos no energy is wasted. What feeds off of our negative frequencies? This is the perilous path towards awakening!
As the the cosmic energies of our planet become increasingly-infused with the contrasting expression of light and dark frequencies during this Time of Transition, many of us (whether we are conscious or not of this elevation in contrasting vibrations) are experiencing breakdowns and breakthroughs at an accelerated pace. We are being pushed to awaken – to align with the divine force. This process is bringing up anything that is not of the same frequency that our spirit is currently “downloading” in order to be transmuted….
Growing up in Munich, Germany, Bernhard moved to California in 1994 to study drums and percussion at the ‘Percussion Institute of Technology’ (PIT), Los Angeles. His exploration into rhythm and music became a journey of self-discovery and healing which lead him to bodywork and the Healing Arts.
Being very emotionally sensitive and battling depression throughout his early life, Bernhard faced his shadow and fears. His personal healing process also inspired him to explore the mysteries and hidden knowledge surrounding our planet and humanity’s origins, questioning the roots of what constitutes “reality”, and how social (and spiritual) conditioning impacts upon our collective and individual search for truth, fulfillment and happiness in all aspects of life.
His blog “PIERCING THE VEIL OF REALITY” is a wide-ranging collection of essays, films and interviews, ranging from spirituality, shamanism, psychology, self-work, esotericism, history, to the paranormal and hyperdimensional realities.
TIME OF TRANSITION is his youtube channel consisting of interviews, webinars as well as 3 films he made with visual artist Humberto Braga based on Bernhard’s writings.
– Know Thyself
– Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition
– UFOs, Aliens, and the Question of Contact
“Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition” has been selected as the #1 film 2011-2012 of the ‘Top 100 Global Development Movies.’ The best positive, inspirational, thought-provoking movie of our times.”
– RYB TV
Bernhard is also a contributing writer for WAKE UP WORLD.
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kāyena saṃvuto siyā.
kāyena sucaritaṃ care.
Let one guard oneself against irritability in bodily action;
let one be controlled in deed.
Abandoning bodily misconduct,
let one practice good conduct in deed.
The Dhammapadaajjavatā: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom, translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita
We are glad to share that now seekers from all over the world can get connected with the Master through various initiatives by the volunteers of PrashantAdvait Foundation.“Meet the Master&#…
By Bernhard Guenther, January 29th, 2017
As the the cosmic energies of our planet become increasingly-infused with the contrasting expression of light and dark frequencies during this Time of Transition, many of us (whether we are conscious or not of this elevation in contrasting vibrations) are experiencing breakdowns and breakthroughs at an accelerated pace. We are being pushed to awaken – to align with the divine force. This process is bringing up anything that is not of the same frequency that our spirit is currently “downloading” in order to be transmuted. Many things are transpiring and shifting on multi-dimensional levels which lie outside of our conscious awareness. The strong currents of these galactic waves are pressuring us to ride the flow of transformation. Any resistance and/or desperate need to control this process (based on fear) can cause us to get sucked into the undercurrent and be held under, until such a…
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We are only in the Fourth Round, and it is in the Fifth that the full development of Manas, as a direct ray from the Universal MAHAT – a ray unimpeded by matter – will be finally reached. Nevertheless, as every sub-race and nation have their cycles and stages of developmental evolution repeated on a smaller scale, it must be the more so in the case of a Root-Race. Our race then has, as a Root-race, crossed the equatorial line and is cycling onward on the Spiritual side; but some of our sub-races still find themselves on the shadowy descending arc of their respective national cycles; while others again – the oldest – having crossed their crucial point, which alone decides whether a race, a nation, or a tribe will live or perish, are at the apex of spiritual development as sub-races.
The Secret Doctrine, ii 301
H. P. Blavatsky
Ranging from the minutest circles of daily life to the massive arcs of cosmic evolution, the spiralling progress of spiritual humanity has successive phases and synchronous aspects, marked by critical turns and decisive epochs. There are fateful times of birth and death, of transfiguration and rebirth, for individuals as well as civilizations. The majestic beating of the karmic heart of the cosmos resonates within the breast of every intrepid pilgrim-soul so that none is exempt from the challenge of the hour nor impervious to the clarion call of the Mahabharatan “war between the living and the dead”. Days and hours are marked by moments of going forth (pravritti) and going within (nivritti), whilst decades and centuries have their own coded rhythms of activity and rest. In a universe of inexorable law and ceaseless transformation, no two moments in the life of any being are exactly alike. Similarly, in the lifetimes of races the accumulated karma of the past converges with the archetypal logic of cycles to precipitate climacteric moments.
At the present historical moment there is a rapid descent of Dharmakshetra into Kurukshetra and an awesome re-enactment, before the soul’s eye, of the titanic struggle between Kronos and Zeus. To serve the Mahatmas and their Avatar, and through them all of humanity, is the most meaningful and precious privilege open to any person. The readiness to serve is helped by the fusion of an altruistic motive with skill in timely action. These may be gestated through deep meditation on behalf of the good of all beings and an authentic renunciation of earthly concerns for the sake of the many who are lost. One must lay one’s heart open to the present plight of millions of souls who are wandering adrift and are much afflicted by the psychological terror prophesied in Tibet. Not even affording the visible reference of an external cataclysm, this psychological convulsion is needed for the transformation of the humanity of the past into the humanity of the future.
The ramifications of this crucial transition were anticipated and provided for by the Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas. The Avataric descent of the Seventh Impulsion into the moral chaos consequent upon two World Wars and the world weariness of the present epoch marks the culmination of a seven hundred-year cycle extending back to Tsong-Kha-Pa. Whilst this may be more than can be encompassed in the cribbed and cabined conceptions of mortals, it is scarcely an instant in the eyes of those who ever reside on the plane of Shamballa. Sages are fully aware that the voluntary descent of a spiritual Teacher into Myalba merely provides the outward illusion of passage through various phases of earthly life, using but a small portion of an essentially unmanifest Self. Impervious to containment by form, the true being of the Avatar abides in timeless duration, always honouring the One without a second, Tad ekam,that which as the central Spiritual Sun is the single source of all that lives and breathes throughout the seven kingdoms of nature, and of all that is lit up at any level of reflected intelligence from the tiniest atom to the mightiest star in this vast cosmos which extends far beyond the solar system and this earth. One with the unmanifest Logos, Dakshinamurti remains poised at the threshold of the realm of boundless Light, the mathematical circle dividing infinity from finitude, and reposes as achutya – unfallen. As H.P. Blavatsky declared:
The first lesson taught in Esoteric philosophy is that the incognizable Cause does not put forth evolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, but only exhibits periodically different aspects of itself to the perception of finite Minds.
The Secret Doctrine, ii 487
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna disclosed that he incarnates on earth periodically for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked and the establishment of righteousness. In Hindu iconography Narayana holds the conch shell, symbolizing his ability to rock the earth through sound, the potency of the Logos as Shabdabrahman, the Soundless Sound of the indestructible Akshara behind and beyond and within all the spaces of “the AUM throughout eternal ages”. This clarion call has gone out to heroic souls incarnated in the last half century for the solemn purpose of gathering together those spread out across the globe who readily recognize the immense danger to humanity from itself, the spiritual danger of self-destruction. It is a summons to halt the desecration of the sacred soil of the good earth upon which all human beings must find their common ground, regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, atheistic philosophy, indifferentism, or any set of beliefs and values. Regardless of whatsoever labels and idiosyncracies of form, all human beings are sharers of the Nur of Allah, the Light that lighteth up every soul that cometh into the world, that Light which is beyond Darkness itself. It is the One Light which has been known by diverse names amongst the many forgotten peoples of our globe over millions and millions of years, in civilizations long buried under deserts and mountains or slipped beneath the sea before existing continents emerged. Infinitely resplendent in eternal duration, it is the Light which was transmitted over eighteen million years ago when the Manas of humanity was lit up by divine beings of one lip, one race, one mind, one heart, seers of whom the Vedas speak.
The mysteries of Heaven and Earth, revealed to the Third Race by their celestial teachers in the days of their purity, became a great focus of light, the rays from which became necessarily weakened as they were diffused and shed upon an uncongenial, because too material soil.
The Secret Doctrine, ii 281
Truly God is one, but manifold are its names. As the Koran teaches, there are as many ways to God as there are children of the breaths of men. Tragically, as mankind became progressively enwrapped in the illusion of material existence, its eyes and ears dimmed, though the light within remained inviolate. Outside the circle of ever vigilant custodians of the Mysteries, the arcane teaching of the universal sound and light of the Logos was obscured, distorted and lost. Today those who call themselves Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists or Zoroastrians, men and women of every sect and nation throughout every continent of the globe, are bereft of the lost Word, Shabdabrahman. Although lost, it has yet been fervently sought by many more millions in our time than ever before in recorded history or even in earlier epochs of antiquity shrouded in myth and mist. The unseen tablets of nature, which are a vast reservoir of enigmatic glyphs and symbols and eternal verities, record the unknown strivings of innumerable human beings, groping in their gloom, sometimes with shame but often with nothing else to support them than the pathos of their search. It is a search to find one’s way back home, out of exile from the kingdom of God, the land of themidnight sun.
In order to gather together the afflicted, the Divine Cowherd summons all awakened souls, wherever and however disguised, through the sounding of the mighty conch. Independent of all modes of external communication, and relying upon the oldest mode of communication known to the Ancient of Days – controlled transference of benevolent thought and ineffable sound – the call is heard by scattered volunteers “in the fierce strife between the living and the dead”. As with Jacob’s ladder in his dream, heaven and earth are reunited, even if momentarily. In this manner, over the next eighteen years the world will move through the darkness, yet mysteriously, step by step, faltering and failing yet persisting, it will move towards that moment when Anno Domini has ceased to be, and a new era will dawn with a new name. There will then be no U.S.A. but a new Republic of Conscience which will take its place in the community of mankind which would have come of age and declared itself as one family.
This is a grand prospect for which there can be inherently no empirical or merely rational proof. Yet it may be tested by any intuitive individual who is courageous enough to pour his or her deepest unspoken feelings, unarticulated dreams and unexpressed inner agony into the alchemical crucible of spiritual striving on behalf of others. It is a tryst that such souls make with destiny, but also with the grandchildren of persons yet unborn. It is a tryst with the humanity of the future, and with the full promise of the Aquarian Age which dawned on the nineteenth of June, 1902, seventy-nine years ago, with mathematical precision. This has an exact relationship to that moment five thousand and eighty-three years ago, in 3102 B.C., when Krishna, having witnessed the outcome of the Mahabharatan war between the greedy Kauravas and the foolish Pandavas, was able to end his seeming life on earth and withdraw from the terrestrial scene. Thus standing apart from this universe, into which he never really enters, he creates therein his mayavi rupas through the mighty magic of prakriti, the seminal potency of mystic thought in the eternal life of self-ideation. Again and again, under different names, it is the same being behind every divine incarnation, whether past or future.
As Dakshinamurti, the Initiator of Initiates, he is seated immovable above Mount Kailas, in mystic meditation since over eighteen million years ago from the time when there was no Mount Kailas and no Himalayas as presently understood. Coming down through all the subsequent recorded and unrecorded eras, he carries forth in unbroken continuity the onward spiritual current which is the irresistible, unconquerable, ineluctable forward march of humanity. He is Shiva-Mahadeva, reborn as the four Kumaras in the successive races of humanity, and that still more mysterious and solitary Being alluded to in the secret Teachings.
The inner man of the first * * * only changes his body from time to time; he is ever the same, knowing neither rest nor Nirvana, spurning Devachan and remaining constantly on Earth for the salvation of mankind.
The Secret Doctrine, ii 281
Attuned to the rhythms of the cosmic ocean of Divine Thought, he is the still motionless centre in its depths around which revolve, like myriad mathematical points in spinning circles, the scattered hosts of humanity. Amidst the larger and larger circles of ripples upon ripples, waves upon waves, all souls are citizens of that universe which is much vaster than the disordered kingdom which, as earthlings, they may seem to inherit but to which they have no claim except as members of a single family.
Hermes, December 1981
“If your mind is unsteady and wandering, many-branched and endless are the thoughts and choices. When your mind is clear and one-pointed, there is only one decision.”
~ the Bhagavad Gita
Is it possible to just look?
Can I look without the word at every problem: the problem of fear, the problem of pleasure? Because the word creates, breeds thought; and thought is memory, experience, pleasure, and therefore a distorting factor.
This is really quite astonishingly simple. Because it is simple, we mistrust it. We want everything to be very complicated, very cunning; and all cunning is covered with a perfume of words. If I can look at a flower nonverbally -and I can; anyone can do it, if one gives sufficient attention -can’t I look with that same objective, nonverbal attention at the problems which I have? Can’t I look out of silence, which is nonverbal, without the thinking machinery of pleasure and time being in operation? Can’t I just look? I think that’s the crux of the whole matter -not to approach from the periphery, which only complicates life tremendously, but to look at life, with all its complex problems of livelihood, sex, death, misery, sorrow, the agony of being tremendously alone -to look at all that without association, out of silence, which means without a center, without the word which creates the reaction of thought, which is memory and hence time. I think that is the real problem, the real issue: whether the mind can look at life where there is immediate action, not an idea and then action, and eliminate conflict altogether.
What is the hierarchy of the angels? What are their respective roles? These spiritual families are divided into 3 spheres. Padre, the messenger of the angels, explains the different angelic choirs in detail.
Democracy is not a given. The Greeks experimented with it. Then it faded into oblivion, only to return many centuries later. Nowadays, democracy structures much of our modern world. But could it do a disappearing act again? If there’s enough complaceny and duplicity, you can’t rule it out.
Attānañce piyaṃ jaññā
na naṃ pāpena saṃyuje,
na hi taṃ sulabhaṃ hoti
If you hold yourself dear
then don’t fetter yourself with evil,
for happiness isn’t easily gained
by one who commits a wrong-doing.
Saṃyutta Nikāya 1.115
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
taṃ jano nāvabujjhati.
Hate brings great misfortune,
hate churns up and harms the mind;
this fearful danger deep within
most people do not understand.
Gemstones of the Good Dhamma, compiled and translated by Ven. S. Dhammika
This Science of ‘as above so below’ is the most ancient universal system of harmonizing man with his natural surrounds! The stars above and the stars below, i.e.: our own bodies. Mankind is in harmony with Nature only when he realizes that he is the microcosm of the Universe and a Galaxy unto himself.
Man has lost this profound knowledge over the past few thousand years due to the Precession of the Equinoxes. The dark history of the recent past was foretold by the ancients. Hesiod, Hermes and many others foretold a time when the understanding of the sacred truths would become obscure and the knowledge would have to go underground to be preserved for a future time. That time has now arrived.
“Any Bodhisattva who undertakes the practice of meditation should cherish one thought only: ‘When I attain perfect wisdom, I will liberate all sentient beings in every realm of the universe, and allow them to pass into the eternal peace of Nirvana.’ And yet, when vast, uncountable, unthinkable myriads of beings have been liberated, truly no being has been liberated. Why? Because no Bodhisattva who is a true Bodhisattva entertains such concepts as ‘self’ and ‘other’. Thus there are no sentient beings to be liberated and no self to attain perfect wisdom…The Buddha has no doctrine to convey. The truth is ungraspable and inexpressible. It neither is nor is not … All Bodhisattvas should develop a pure, lucid mind that doesn’t depend on sight, sound, touch, flavor, smell or any thought that arises in it. A Bodhisattva should develop a mind that alights nowhere. The mind should be kept independent of any thoughts that arise within it. If the mind depends upon anything, it has no sure haven…When I attained Absolute, Perfect Enlightenment, I attained absolutely nothing. That is why it is called Absolute, Perfect Enlightenment.”
~ Diamond Sutra
“A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.”
~ Gautama Buddha
BREAK FREE FROM YOUR EGO
Alan Watts argues with equal parts conviction and compassion that “the prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science, nor with experimental philosophy-religions of the East.” He explores the cause and cure of that illusion in a way that flows from profound unease as we confront our cultural conditioning into a deep sense of lightness as we surrender to the comforting mystery and interconnectedness of the universe. At the heart of the human condition, Watts argues, is a core illusion that fuels our deep-seated sense of loneliness the more we subscribe to the myth of the sole ego, one reflected in the most basic language we use to make sense of the world. Watts writes:
“We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that ‘I myself’ is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which ‘confronts’ an ‘external’ world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. ‘I came into this world.’ ‘You must face reality.’ ‘The conquest of nature.’
“This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean ‘waves,’ the universe ‘peoples.’ Every individual is an express of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated ‘egos’ inside bags of ‘skin’.”