9 -- WQJ LETTERS 9 GOOD / EVIL -- MURDER & CONSEQUENCE
May 16, 2001 04:31 PM
LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME
9 LETTER 9
By William Q. Judge
Volume 1 compiled by Jasper Niemand; Letter 8,
The Letters in Volume 1 originally appeared in The Path, December
1888 to March 1890. W. Q. Judge first published them in book form
>From Volume 1
"Seeking for freedom I go to that God who is the light of his own
thoughts. A man who knows him truly passes over death; there is
no other path to go." -- Upanishads
"We need a literature, not solely for highly intellectual
persons, but of a more simple character, which attempts to appeal
to ordinary common-sense minds who are really fainting for such
moral and mental assistance as is not reached by the more
The experience of one student is, on the whole, the experience of
all. Details differ, however. Some are made more instantly rich
than others: they are those who
put forth more vigorous and generous effort; or they have a
Karmic store which brings aid.
Karma, or the law of spiritual action and reaction, decided this,
as it works on all the planes, physical, moral, mental,
psychical, and spiritual alike. Our Karma may be worked out on
any one of these planes when our life is chiefly concentrated
The letters, in the hope that they may assist others, are here
published. They are hints given by one who knew that the first
need of a student is to learn how to think.
The true direction is pointed out, and the student is left to
clarify his own perceptions, to draw upon and enlarge his own
intuitions, and to develop, by his own inward exertions.
Such students have passed the point where their external
environment can affect their growth favorably. They may learn
from it, but the time has also come to resist it and turn to the
internal adjustment to higher relations only.
The brevity of these letters should not mislead. Every statement
in them is a statement of law. They point to causes of which life
is an effect. That life, arising from the action of Spirit in
Nature, is that which we must understand. It is to be manifested
within us before we can advance on the Path.
Dear Sir and Brother:
Tell your friend and inquirer this.
No one was ever converted into Theosophy.
Each one who really comes into it does so because it is only "an
extension of previous beliefs." This will show you that Karma is
a true thing. For no idea we get is any more than an extension of
previous ones. That is, they are cause and effect in endless
succession. Each one is the producer of the next and inheres in
that successor. Thus we are all different and some similar.
My ideas of today and yours are tinged with those of youth, and
we will thus forever proceed on the inevitable line we have
marked out in the beginning. We of course alter a little always,
but never until our old ideas are extended. Those false ideas now
and then discarded are not to be counted; yet they give a shadow
here and there.
But through Brotherhood we receive the knowledge of others, which
we consider until (if it fits us) it is ours.
As far as your private conclusions are concerned, use your
discrimination always. Do not adopt any conclusions merely
because they are uttered by one in whom you have confidence, but
adopt them when they coincide with your intuition. To be even
unconsciously deluded by the influence of another is to have a
Spiritual knowledge includes every action.
Inquirers ought to read the BHAGAVAD-GITA. It will give them food
for centuries if they read with spiritual eyes at all. Underneath
its shell is the living spirit that will light us all. I read it
ten times before I saw things that I did not see at first. In the
night the ideas contained in it are digested and returned partly
next day to the mind. It is the study of adepts.
Let no man be unaware that while there is a great joy in this
belief, there is also a great sorrow. Being true, being the Law,
all the great forces are set in motion by the student. He now
thinks he has given up ambition and comfort. The ambition and
comfort he has given up are those of the lower plane, the mere
reflections of the great ambitions and comforts of a larger life.
The rays of truth burn up the covers time has placed upon those
seeds, and then the seeds begin to sprout and cause new
struggles. Do not leave any earnest inquirer in ignorance of
this. It has cost others many years and tears of blood to
Karma -- How it operates
How difficult the path of action is! I see the future dimly, and
unconsciously in such case one makes efforts either for or
against it. Then Karma results. I could almost wish I did not
hear these whispers. But he who conquers himself is greater than
the conquerors of worlds.
Perhaps you see more clearly now how Karma operates. If one
directs himself to eliminating all old Karma, the struggle very
often becomes tremendous, for the whole load of ancient sin
rushes to the front on a man and the events succeed each other
rapidly; the strain is terrific, and the whole life fabric groans
and rocks. As is said in the East, you may go through the
appointed course in 700 births, in seven years, or in seven
The sentence in LIGHT ON THE PATH referred to by so many students
is not so difficult as some others. One answer will do for all.
The book is written on the basis of Reincarnation, and when it
says the soiled garment will fall again on you, it means that
this will happen in some other life, not necessarily in this,
though that may be too.
To "turn away in horror" is not detachment. Before we can hope to
prevent any particular state of mind or events reaching us in
this or in another life, we must in fact be detached from these
things. Now we are not our bodies or mere minds, but the real
part of us in which Karma inheres. Karma brings everything about.
It attaches to our real inner selves by attachment and repulsion.
That is, if we love vice or anything, it seizes on us by
attachment thereto; if we hate anything, it seizes on our inner
selves by reason of the strong horror we feel for it. In order to
prevent a thing we must understand it; we cannot understand while
we fear or hate it. We are not to love vice, but are to recognize
that it is a part of the whole, and, trying to understand it, we
thus get above it.
THE PAIRS of "OPPOSITES" Good and Evil
This is the "doctrine of opposites" spoken of in Bhagavad-Gita.
So if we turn in horror now (we may feel sad and charitable,
though) from the bad, the future life will feel that horror and
develop it by reaction into a reincarnation in a body and place
where we must in material life go through the very thing we hate
As we are striving to reach God, we must learn to be as near like
Him as possible. He loves and hates not; so we must strive to
regard the greatest vice as being something we must not hate
while we will not engage in it, and then we may approach that
state where we will know the greater love that takes in good and
evil men and things alike.
Good and Evil are only the two poles of the one thing. In the
Absolute, Evil is the same thing in this way. One with absolute
knowledge can see both good and evil, but he does not feel Evil
to be a thing to flee from, and thus he has to call it merely the
other pole. We say Good or Evil as certain events seem pleasant
or unpleasant to us or our present civilization. And so we have
coined those two words. They are bad words to use. For in the
Absolute one is just as necessary as the other, and often what
seem evil and "pain" are not absolutely so, but only necessary
adjustments in the progress of the soul. Read Bhagavad-Gita as to
how the self seems to suffer pain.
What is Evil now? Loss of friends? No; if you are self-centered.
Slander? Not if you rely on Karma. There is only evil when you
rebel against immutable decrees that must be worked out. You know
that there must be these balancings which we call Good and Evil.
Just imagine one man who really was a high soul, now living as a
miser and enjoying it. You call it an evil; he a good. Who is
right? You say "Evil" because you are speaking out of the True;
but the True did know that he could never have passed some one
certain point unless he had that experience, and so we see him
now in an evil state. Experience we must have, and if we accept
it at our own hands we are wise.
That is, while striving to do our whole duty to the world and
ourselves, we will not live the past over again by vain and
hurtful regrets, nor condemn any man, whatever his deeds, since
we cannot know their true cause. We are not Karma, we are not the
Law, and it is a species of that hypocrisy so deeply condemned by
It for us to condemn any man. That the Law lets a man live is
proof that he is not yet judged by that higher power. Still we
must and will keep our discriminating power at all times.
As to rising above Good and Evil, that does not mean to do evil,
of course. But, in fact, there can be no real Evil or Good; if
our aim is right our acts cannot be evil. Now all acts are dead
when done; it is in the heart that they are conceived and are
already there done; the mere bodily carrying out of them is a
dead thing in itself. So we may do a supposed good act and that
shall outwardly appear good, and yet as our motive perhaps is
wrong the act is naught, but the motive counts.
The great God did all, good and bad alike. Among the rest are
what appear Evil things, yet he must be unaffected. So if we
follow BHAGAVAD-GITA, second chapter, we must do only those acts
we believe right for the sake of God and not for ourselves, and
if we are regardless of the consequences, we are not concerned if
they appear to be Good or Evil. As the heart and mind are the
real planes of error, it follows that we must look to it that we
do all acts merely because they are there to be done. It then
becomes difficult only to separate ourselves from the act.
We can never as human beings rise above being the instruments
through which that which is called Good and Evil comes to pass,
but as that Good and Evil are the result of comparison and are
not in themselves absolute, it must follow that we (the real
"we") must learn to rise internally to a place where these
occurrences appear to us merely as changes in a life of change.
Even in the worldly man this sometimes happens.
As, say Bismarck, used to moving large bodies of men and perhaps
for a good end, can easily rise above the transient Evil, looking
to a greater result. Or the physician is able to rise above pain
to a patient, and only consider the good, or rather the result,
that is to follow from a painful operation. The patient himself
does the same.
So the student comes to see that he is not to do either "Good" or
"Evil," but to do any certain number of acts set before him, and
meanwhile not ever to regard much his line of conduct, but rather
his line of motive, for his conduct follows necessarily from his
motive. Take the soldier. For him there is nothing better than
lawful war. Query. Does he do wrong in warring or not, even if
war unlawful? He does not unless he mixes his motive. They who go
into war for gain or revenge do wrong, but not he who goes at his
superior's orders, because it is his present duty.
Let us, then, extend help to all who come our way. This will be
true progress; the veils that come over our souls fall away when
we work for others. Let that be the real motive, and the quality
of work done makes no difference.
Comments by J. N.
It would seem that Good and Evil are not inherent in things
themselves, but in the uses to which those things are put by us.
They are conditions of manifestation. Many things commonly called
immoral are consequences of the unjust laws of man, of egotistic
social institutions: such things are not immoral per se, but
relatively so. They are only immoral in point of time.
There are others whose evil consists in the base use to which
higher forces are put, or to which Life -- which is sacred -- is
put, so that here also evil does not inhere in them, but in
ourselves; in our misuse of noble instruments in lower work. Nor
does evil inhere in us, but in our ignorance; it is one of the
great illusions of Nature.
All these illusions cause the soul to experience in matter until
it has consciously learned every part: then it must learn to know
the whole and all at once, which it can only do by and through
re-union with Spirit; or with the Supreme, with the Deity.
If we take, with all due reverence, so much of the standpoint of
the Supreme as our finite minds or our dawning intuition may
permit, we feel that he stands above unmoved by either Good or
Evil. Our good is relative, and evil is only the limitation of
the soul by matter.
>From the material essence of the Deity all the myriad
differentiations of Nature (Prakriti, cosmic substance), all the
worlds and their correlations are evolved. They assist the cyclic
experience of the soul as it passes from state to state. How,
then, shall we say that any state is evil in an absolute sense?
Take murder. It seems an evil. True, we cannot really take life,
but we can destroy a vehicle of the divine Principle of Life and
impede the course of a soul using that vehicle. But we are more
injured by the deed than any other. It is the fruit of a certain
unhealthy state of the soul. The deed sends us to hell, as it
were, for one or more incarnations; to a condition of misery. The
shock, the natural retribution, our own resultant Karma, both the
penalties imposed by man and that exacted by occult law, chasten
and soften the soul. It is passed through a most solemn
experience which had become necessary to its growth and which in
the end is the cause of its additional purification. In view of
this result, was the deed evil? It was a necessary consequence of
the limitations of matter; for had the soul remained celestial
and in free Being, it could not have committed murder.
Nor has the Immortal Soul, the SPECTATOR, any share in the wrong;
it is only the personality, the elementary part of the soul,
which has sinned. All that keeps the soul confined to material
existence is evil, and so we cannot discriminate either. The only
ultimate good is Unity, and in reality nothing but that exists.
Hence our judgments are in time only. Nor have we the right to
exact a life for a life. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord
(Law); I will repay." We become abettors of murder in making such
human laws. I do not say that every experience must be gone
through bodily, because some are lived out in the mind. Nor do I
seek to justify any. The only justification is in the Law.
The innocent man unjustly murdered is rewarded by Karma in a
future life. Indeed, any man murdered is reimbursed, so to say;
for while that misfortune sprang from his Karma, occult law does
not admit of the taking of life. Some men are the weapons of
Karma in their wrong-doing, but they themselves have appointed
this place to themselves in their past.
The Great Soul needed just that body, whatever the errors of its
nature or its physical environment, and to disappoint the soul is
a fearful deed for a man. For it is only man, only the lower
nature under the influence of Tamas (the quality of darkness),
which feels the impulse to take life, whether in human justice,
for revenge, for protection, or so on. "The soul neither kills
nor is killed."
What we know as ourselves is only the natural man, the lower
principles and mind, presided over by the false consciousness. Of
the soul we have but brief and partial glimpses -- in conscience
or intuition -- in our ordinary state. There are, of course,
psychic and spiritual states in which more is known. Thus nature
wars against nature, always for the purpose of bringing about the
purification and evolution of the soul. Nature exists only for
the purpose of the soul. If we think out the subject upon these
lines, we can at least see how rash we should be to conclude that
any deed was unmixed evil, or that these distinctions exist in
the Absolute. It alone is; all else is phenomenal and
transitory -- these differences disappear as we proceed upward.
Meanwhile we are to avoid all these immoral things and many
others not so regarded by the crowd at all, but which are just as
much so because we know to what increased ignorance and darkness
they give rise through the ferment which they cause in the
nature, and that this impedes the entrance of the clear rays of
I doubt that the soul knows the moral or immoral. For just
consider for a moment the case of a disembodied soul. What is sin
to it when freed from that shell -- the body? What does it know
then of human laws or moralities, or the rules and forms of
matter? Does it even see them? What lewdness can it commit? So I
say that these moralities are of this plane only, to be heeded
and obeyed there, but not to be postulated as final or used as a
balance to weigh the soul which has other laws.
The free soul has to do with essences and powers all impersonal;
the strife of matter is left behind. Still higher and above as
within all, the passionless, deathless spirit looks down, knowing
well that, when the natural has once again subsided into its
spiritual source, all this struggle and play of force and will,
this waxing and waning of forms, this progression of
consciousness, which throw up coming clouds and fumes of illusion
before the eye of the soul, will have come to an end. Even now,
while we cannot master these high themes, we can have a patient
trust in the processes of evolution and the Law, blaming and
judging no man, but living up to our highest intuitions
ourselves. The real test of a man is his motive, which we do not
see, nor do his acts always represent it.
-- J. N.
You ask me about the "three qualities sprung from Nature,"
mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita. They exist potentially (latent)
in Purush (Spirit), and during that time spoken of in the
Bhagavad-Gita as the time when He produces all things after
having devoured them (which is the same thing as Saturn devouring
his children), they come forth into activity, and therefore are
found implicating all beings, who are said not to be free from
"Beings" here must refer to formed beings in all worlds.
Therefore in these forms the qualities exist [for form is derived
from Nature [ = Prakriti = Cosmic Substance. -- J. N.], and at
the same time implicate the spectator (soul) who is in the form.
The Devas are gods -- that is, a sort of spiritual power who are
lower than the Ishwara in man. They are influenced by the quality
of Satwa, or Truth. They enjoy a period of immense felicity of
enormous duration, but which having duration is not an eternity.
It is written: "Goodness, badness, and indifference -- the
qualities thus called -- sprung from Nature, influence the
imperishable soul within the body." This imperishable soul is
thus separated from the body in which the qualities influence it,
and also from the qualities which are not it. It is Ishwara. The
Ishwara is thus implicated by the qualities.
The first or highest quality is Satwa, which is in its nature
pure and pleasant, and implicates Ishwara by connection with
pleasant things and with knowledge. Thus even by dwelling in
Satwa the soul is implicated.
The second quality is Raja and causes action; it implicates the
soul because it partakes of avidity and propensity, and causing
actions thus implicates the soul.
The third, Tamo quality, is of the nature of indifference and is
the deluder of all mortals. It is fed by ignorance.
Here, then, are two great opposers to the soul, ignorance and
action. For action proceeding from Raja assisted by Satwa does
not lead to the highest place; while ignorance causes
destruction. Yet when one knows that he is ignorant, he has to
perform actions in order to destroy that ignorance. How to do
that without always revolving in the whirl of action [Karma,
causing rebirths. -- J. N.] is the question.
He must first get rid of the idea that he himself really does
anything, knowing that the actions all take place in these three
natural qualities, and not in the soul at all. The word
"qualities" must be considered in a larger sense than that word
is generally given.
Then he must place all his actions on devotion. That is,
sacrifice all his actions to the Supreme and not to himself. He
must either (leaving out indifference) set himself up as the God
to whom he sacrifices, or the other real God -- Krishna, and all
his acts and aspirations are done either for himself or for the
All. Here comes in the importance of motive. For if he performs
great deeds of valor, or of benefit to man, or acquires knowledge
so as to assist man, and is moved to that merely because he
thinks he will attain salvation, he is only acting for his own
benefit and is therefore sacrificing to himself. Therefore he
must be devoted inwardly to the All; that is, he places all his
actions on the Supreme, knowing that he is not the doer of the
actions, but is the mere witness of them.
As he is in a mortal body, he is affected by doubts which will
spring up. When they do arise, it is because he is ignorant about
something. He should therefore be able to disperse doubt "by the
sword of knowledge." For if he has a ready answer to some doubt,
he disperses that much. All doubts come from the lower nature,
and never in any case from higher nature. Therefore as he becomes
more and more devoted he is able to know more and more clearly
the knowledge residing in his Satwa part. For it says:
"A man who, perfected in devotion (or who persists in its
cultivation) finds spiritual knowledge spontaneously in himself
in progress of time." Also: "The man of doubtful mind enjoys
neither this world nor the other (the Deva world), nor final
The last sentence is to destroy the idea that if there is in us
this higher self it will, even if we are indolent and doubtful,
triumph over the necessity for knowledge, and lead us to final
beatitude in common with the whole stream of man.
The three qualities are lower than a state called Turya, which is
a high state capable of being enjoyed even while in this body.
Therefore in that state, there exists none of the three
qualities, but there the soul sees the three qualities moving in
the ocean of Being beneath. This experience is not only met with
after death, but, as I said, it may be enjoyed in the present
life, though of course consciously very seldom. But even
consciously there are those high Yogees who can and do rise up to
Nirvana, or Spirit, while on the earth. This state is the fourth
state, called Turya. There is no word in English which will
express it. In that state the body is alive though in deep
catalepsy. [Self-induced by the Adept. -- J. N.] When the Adept
returns from it he brings back whatever he can of the vast
experiences of that Turya state. Of course they are far beyond
any expression, and their possibilities can be only dimly
perceived by us. I cannot give any description thereof because I
have not known it, but I perceive the possibilities, and you
probably can do the same.
It is well to pursue some kind of practice, and pursue it either
in a fixed place, or in a mental place which cannot be seen, or
at night. The fact that what is called Dharana, Dhyana, and
Samadhi may be performed should be known. (See Patanjali's yoga
* Dharana is selecting a thing, a spot, or an idea, to fix the
* Dhyana is contemplation of it.
* Samadhi is meditating on it.
When attempted, they of course are all one act.
Now, then, take what is called the well of the throat or pit of
* 1st. Select it. -- Dharana.
* 2d. Hold the mind on it. -- Dhyana.
* 3d. Meditate on it. -- Samadhi.
This gives firmness of mind.
Then select the spot in the head where the Shushumna nerve goes.
Never mind the location; call it the top of the head. Then pursue
the same course. This will give some insight into spiritual
minds. At first it is difficult, but it will grow easy by
practice. If done at all, the same hour of each day should be
selected, as creating a habit, not only in the body, but also in
the mind. Always keep the direction of Krishna in mind: namely,
that it is done for the whole body corporate of humanity, and not
for one's self.
As regards the passions: Anger seems to be the force of Nature;
there is more in it, though.
Lust (so called) is the gross symbol of love and desire to
create. It is the perversion of the True in love and desire.
Vanity, I think, represents in one aspect the illusion -- power
of Nature; Maya, that which we mistake for the reality. It is
nearest always to us and most insidious, just as Nature's
illusion is ever present and difficult to overcome.
Anger and Lust have some of the Rajasika quality; but it seems to
me that Vanity is almost wholly of the Tamo-gunam.
May you cross over to the fearless shore.
Comments by J. N.
As regards the practices of concentration suggested in this
letter, they are only stages in a life-long contemplation; they
are means to an end, means of a certain order among means of
other orders, all necessary, the highest path being that of
constant devotion and entire resignation to the Law. The above
means have a physiological value because the spots suggested for
contemplation are, like others, vital centers.
Excitation of these centers, and of the magnetic residue of
breath always found in them, strengthens and arouses the
faculties of the inner man, the magnetic vehicle of the soul and
the link between matter and spirit. This is a form of words
necessary for clearness, because in reality matter and spirit are
one. We may better imagine an infinite series of force
correlations which extend from pure Spirit to its grossest
vehicle, and we may say that the magnetic inner vehicle, or
astral man, stands at the half-way point of the scale.
The secret of the circulation of the nervous fluid is hidden in
these vital centers, and he who discovers it can use the body at
Moreover, this practice trains the mind to remain in its own
principle, without energizing, and without exercising its
tangential force, which is so hard to overcome. Thought has a
self-reproductive power, and when the mind is held steadily to
one idea it becomes colored by it, and, as we may say, all the
correlates of that thought arise within the mind. Hence the
mystic obtains knowledge about any object of which he thinks
constantly in fixed contemplation. Here is the rationale of
Krishna's words: "Think constantly of me; depend on me alone; and
thou shalt surely come unto me."
The pure instincts of children often reveal occult truths. I
heard a girl of fifteen say recently: "When I was a small child I
was always supposin'. I used to sit on the window seat and stare,
stare, at the moon, and I was supposin' that, if I only stared
long enough, I'd get there and know all about it."
Spiritual culture is attained through concentration. It must be
continued daily and every moment to be of use. The "Elixir of
Life" (Five Years of Theosophy) gives us some of the reasons for
this truth. Meditation has been defined as "the cessation of
active, external thought."
Concentration is the entire life-tendency to a given end. For
example, a devoted mother is one who consults the interests of
her children and all branches of their interests in and before
all things; not one who sits down to think fixedly about one
branch of their interests all the day. Life is the great teacher;
it is the great manifestation of Soul, and Soul manifests the
Hence all methods are good, and all are but parts of the great
aim, which is Devotion. "Devotion is success in actions," says
the Bhagavad-Gita. We must use higher and lower faculties alike,
and beyond those of mind are those of the Spirit, unknown but
discoverable. The psychic powers, as they come, must also be
used, for they reveal laws. But their value must not be
exaggerated, nor must their danger be ignored.
They are more subtle intoxicants than the gross physical
energies. He who relics upon them is like a man who gives way to
pride and triumph because he has reached the first wayside
station on the peaks he has set out to climb. Like despondency,
like doubt, like fear, like vanity, pride, and self-satisfaction,
these powers too are used by Nature as traps to detain us.
Every occurrence, every object, every energy may be used for or
against the great end: in each Nature strives to contain Spirit,
and Spirit strives to be free. Shall the substance paralyze the
motion, or shall the motion control the substance? The
interrelations of these two is manifestation. The ratio of
activity governs spiritual development; when the great Force has
gained its full momentum, It carries us to the borders of the
Unknown. It is a force intelligent, self-conscious, and
spiritual: Its lower forms, or vehicles, or correlates may be
evoked by us, but Itself comes only of its own volition. We can
only prepare a vehicle for It, in which, as Behmen says, "the
Holy Ghost may ride in Its own chariot."
"The Self cannot be known by the Vedas, nor by the understanding,
nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him alone the
Self can be gained."
"The Self chooses him as his own. But the man who has not first
turned aside from his wickedness, who is not calm and subdued, or
whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self, even by
The italics are mine; they indicate the value of that stage of
contemplation hitherto referred to as that in which the mind has
ceased to energize, and when the pure energies of Nature go to
swell the fountain of Spirit.
In regard to the phrase in the above letter that the Adept
"brings back what he can" from Turya, it is to be understood as
referring to the fact that all depends upon the co-ordination of
the various principles in man. He who has attained perfection or
Mahatmaship has assumed complete control of the body and informs
it at will. But, of course, while in the body he is still, to
some extent, as a soul of power, limited by that body or vehicle.
That is to say, there are experiences not to be shared by that
organ of the soul called by us "the body," and beyond a certain
point its brain cannot reflect or recall them. The point varies
according to the degree of attainment of individual souls, and
while in some it may be a high point of great knowledge and
power, still it must be considered as limited compared with those
spiritual experiences of the freed soul.
The work upon which all disciples are employed is that of
rendering the body more porous, more fluidic, more responsive to
all spiritual influences which arise in the inner center, in the
soul which is an undivided part of the great Soul of all, and
less receptive of the outside material influences which are
generated by the unthinking world and by those qualities which
are in nature.
Abstract thought is said to be "the power of thinking of a thing
apart from its qualities"; but these qualities are the
phenomenal, the evident, and they make the most impression upon
our senses. They bewilder us, and they form a part of that trap
which Nature sets for us lest we discover her inmost secret and
rule her. More than this: our detention as individual components
of a race provides time for that and other races to go through
evolutionary experience slowly, provides long and repeated
chances for every soul to amend, to return, to round the curve of
evolution. In this Nature is most merciful, and even in the
darkness of the eighth sphere to which souls of spiritual
wickedness descend, her impulses provide opportunities of return
if a single responsive energy is left in the self-condemned soul.
Many persons insist upon a perfect moral code tempered by social
amenities, forgetting that these vary with climate,
nationalities, and dates. Virtue is a noble offering to the Lord.
But insomuch as it is mere bodily uprightness and mere mental
uprightness, it is insufficient and stands apart from uprightness
of the psychic nature or the virtue of soul. The virtue of the
soul is true Being; its virtue is, to be free. The body and the
mind are not sharers in such experiences, though they may
afterward reflect them, and this reflection may inform them with
light and power of their own kind. Spirituality is not virtue. It
is impersonality, in one aspect. It is as possible to be
spiritually "wicked" as to be spiritually "good." These
attributes are only conferred upon spirituality by reason of its
use for or against the great evolutionary Law, which must finally
prevail because it is the Law of the Deity, an expression of the
nature and Being of the Unknown, which nature is towards
manifestation, self-realization, and reabsorption. All that
clashes with this Law by striving for separate existence must in
the long run fail, and any differentiation which is in itself
incapable of reabsorption is reduced to its original elements, in
which shape, so to say, it can be reabsorbed.
Spirituality is, then, a condition of Being which is beyond
expression in language. Call it a rate of vibration, far beyond
our cognizance. Its language is the language of motion, in its
incipiency, and its perfection is beyond words and even thought.
"The knowledge of the Supreme Principle is a divine silence, and
the quiescence of all the senses." -- (Clavis of Hermes.)
"Likes and dislikes, good and evil, do not in the least affect
the knower of Brahm, who is bodiless and always existing." --
(Crest Jewel of Wisdom.)
"Of that nature which is beyond intellect many things are
asserted according to intellection, but it is contemplated by a
cessation of intellectual energy better than with it." --
Thought is bounded, and we seek to enter the boundless. The
intellect is the first production of Nature which energizes for
the experience of the soul, as I said. When we recognize this
truth we make use of that natural energy called Thought for
comparison, instruction, and the removal of doubt, and so reach a
point where we restrain the outward tendencies of Nature, for,
when these are resolved into their cause and Nature is wholly
conquered and restrained, that cause manifests itself both in and
"The incorporeal substances in descending are divided and
multiplied about individuals with a diminution of power; but when
they ascend by their energies beyond bodies, they become united
and exist as a whole by and through exuberance of power." --
These hints may suffice for such minds as are already upon the
way. Others will be closed to them. Language only expresses the
experiences of a race, and since ours has not reached the upper
levels of Being we have as yet no words for these things. The
East has ever been the home of spiritual research; she has given
all the great religions to the world. The Sanscrit has thus terms
for some of these states and conditions, but even in the East it
is well understood that the formless cannot be expressed by form,
or the Illimitable by the limits of words or signs. The only way
to know these states is to be them: we never can really know
anything which we are not.
-- J. N.
It has been with regret that I hear of your serious illness,
Jasper. While life hangs in the balance, as it would seem yours
does and for some time will, you will feel much depression.
Now it is not usual to thus calmly talk to a person of his death,
but you do not mind, so I talk. I do not agree with you that
death is well. Yours is not a case like that of ----- who was to
die and decided to accept life from Great Powers and work on for
Humanity amid all the throes and anguish of that body. Why should
you not live now as long as you can in the present body, so that
in it you may make all the advance possible and by your life do
as much good as you can to the Cause and man? For you have not
yet as Jasper Niemand had a chance to entitle you to
extraordinary help after death in getting back again soon, so
that you would die and run the chance of a long Devachan and miss
much that you might do for Them. Such are my views. Life is
better than death, for death again disappoints the Self. Death is
not the great informer or producer of knowledge. It is only the
great curtain on the stage to be rung up next instant. Complete
knowledge must be attained in the triune man: body, soul, and
spirit. When that is obtained, then he passes on to other
spheres, which to us are unknown and are endless. By living as
long as one can, one gives the Self that longer chance.
"Atmanam atmana pashya" (Raise the Self by the self -- Gita) does
not seem to be effective after the threshold of death is passed.
The union of the trinity is only to be accomplished on earth in a
body, and then release is desirable.
It is not for myself that I speak, Brother, but for thee, because
in death I can lose no one. The living have a greater part in the
dead than the dead have in the living.
The doubt which you now feel as to success is morbid. Please
destroy it. Better a false hope with no doubt, than much
knowledge with doubts of your own chances. "He that doubteth is
like the waves of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed." Doubt
is not to be solely guarded against when applied to Masters (whom
I know you doubt not). It is most to be guarded and repelled in
relation to oneself. Any idea that one cannot succeed, or had
better die than live because an injured body seems to make
success unattainable, is doubt.
We dare not hope, but we dare try to live on and on that we may
serve Them as They serve the Law. We are not to try to be chelas
or to do any one thing in this incarnation, but only to know and
to be just as much as we can, and the possibility is not
measured. Reflect, then, that it [is] only a question of being
overcome -- by what? By something outside. But if you accuse or
doubt yourself, you then give the enemy a rest; he has nothing to
do, for you do it all yourself for him, and, leaving you to your
fate, he seeks other victims. Rise, then, from this despondency
and seize the sword of knowledge. With it, and with Love, the
universe is conquerable. Not that I see thee too despondent,
Jasper, but I fain would give thee my ideas, even did something
kill thee against our will next day.
Am glad that although the body is painful, you yourself are all
right. We have in various ways to suffer, and I do not doubt it
is a great advance if we can in the midst of physical suffering
grasp and hold ourselves calm and away from it. Yet also the body
must be rested. Rest, and let the anxieties to do lie still and
dormant. By that they are not killed, and when the body gets
stronger more is known.
You have been in storms enough. A few moments' reflection will
show you that we make our own storms. The power of any and all
circumstances is a fixed, unvarying quality, but as we vary in
our reception of these, it appears to us that our difficulties
vary in intensity. They do not at all. We are the variants.
If we admit that we are in the stream of evolution, then each
circumstance must be to us quite right. And in our failures to
perform set acts should be our greatest helps, for we can in no
other way learn that calmness which Krishna insists upon. If all
our plans succeeded, then no contrasts would appear to us. Also
those plans we make may all be made ignorantly and thus wrongly,
and kind Nature will not permit us to carry them out. We get no
blame for the plan, but we may acquire Karmic demerit by not
accepting the impossibility of achieving. Ignorance of the law
cannot be pleaded among men, but ignorance of fact may. In
occultism, even if you are ignorant of some facts of importance
you are not passed over by The Law, for It has regard for no man,
and pursues Its adjustments without regard to what we know or are
If you are at all cast down, or if any of us is, then by just
that much are our thoughts lessened in power. One could be
confined in a prison and yet be a worker for the Cause. So I pray
you to remove from your mind any distaste for present
circumstances. If you can succeed in looking at it all as just
what you in fact desired, then it will act not only as a
strengthener of your good thoughts, but will reflexly act on your
body and make it stronger.
All this reminds me of H., of whose failure you now know. And in
this be not disappointed. It could hardly be otherwise. Unwisely
he made his demands upon the Law before being quite ready. That
is, unwisely in certain senses, for in the greater view naught
can be unwise. His apparent defeat, at the very beginning of the
battle, is for him quite of course. He went where the fire is
hottest and made it hotter by his aspirations. All others have
and all will suffer the same. For it makes no difference that his
is a bodily affection; as all these things proceed from mental
disturbances, we can easily see the same cause under a physical
ailment as under a mental divagation.
Strangely, too, I wrote you of the few who really do stay, and
soon after this news came and threw a light -- a red one, so to
say -- upon the information of H.'s retreat. See how thought
interlinks with thought on all planes when the True is the aim.
We ourselves are not wholly exempt, inasmuch as we daily and
hourly feel the strain. Accept the words of a fellow traveller;
these: Keep up the aspiration and the search, but do not maintain
the attitude of despair or the slightest repining. Not that you
do. I cannot find the right words; but surely you would know all,
were it not that some defects hold you back.
The darkness and the desolation are sure to be ours, but it is
only illusionary. Is not the Self pure, bright, bodiless, and
free -- and art thou not that? The daily waking life is but a
penance and the trial of the body, so that it too may thereby
acquire the right condition. In dreams we see the truth and taste
the joys of heaven. In waking life it is ours to gradually distil
that dew into our normal consciousness.
Then, too, remember that the influences of this present age are
powerful for producing these feelings. What despair and agony of
doubt exist today in all places. In this time of upturning, the
wise man waits. He bends himself, like the reed, to the blast, so
that it may blow over his head. Rising, as you do, into the plane
where these currents are rushing while you try to travel higher
still, you feel these inimical influences, although unknown to
It is an age of iron. A forest of iron trees, black and
forbidding, with branches of iron and brilliant leaves of steel.
The winds blow through its arches and we hear a dreadful grinding
and crashing sound that silences the still small voice of Love.
And its inhabitants mistake this for the voice of God; they
imitate it and add to its terrors.
Faint not, be not self-condemned. We both are that soundless OM;
we rest together upon the bosom of Master. You are not tired; it
is that body, now weak, and not only weak but shaken by the force
of your own powers, physical and psychical. But the wise man
learns to assume in the body an attitude of carelessness that is
more careful really than any other. Let that be yours. You are
judge. Who accepts you, who dares judge but yourself? Let us
wait, then, for natural changes, knowing that if the eye is fixed
where the light shines, we shall presently know what to do. This
hour is not ripe. But unripe fruit gets ripe, and falls or is
plucked. The day must surely strike when you will pluck it down.
You are no longer troubled by vain fears or compromises. When the
great thought comes near enough, you will go. We must all be
servants before we can hope to be masters in the least.
I have been re-reading the life of Buddha, and it fills me with a
longing desire to give myself for humanity, to devote myself to a
fierce, determined effort to plant myself nearer the altar of
sacrifice. As I do not always know just what ought to be done, I
must stand on what Master says: "Do what you can, if you ever
expect to see Them." This being true, and another Adept saying,
"Follow the Path They and I show, but do not follow my path,"
why, then, all we can do, whether great or small, is to do just
what we can, each in his proper place.
It is sure that if we have an immense devotion and do our best,
the result will be right for Them and us, even though we would
have done otherwise had we known more when we were standing on a
course of action. A devoted Chela once said: "I do not mind all
these efforts at explanation and all this trouble, for I always
have found that that which was done in Master's name was right
and came out right." What is done in those names is done without
thought of self, and motive is the essential test.
So I am sad and not sad. Not sad when I reflect on the great
Ishwar, the Lord, permitting all these antics and shows before
our eyes. Sad when I see our weakness and disabilities. We must
be serene and do what we can. Ramaswamier rushed off into Sikkhim
to try and find Master, and met someone who told him to go back
and do his duty. That is all any of us can do; often we do not
know our duty, but that too is our own fault; it is a Karmic
You ask me how you shall advise your fellow student.
The best advice is found in your own letter to me in which you
say that the true monitor is within. That is so. Ten thousand
Adepts can do one no great good unless we ourselves are ready,
and They only act as suggestors to us of what possibilities there
are in every human heart. If we dwell within ourselves, and must
live and die by ourselves, it must follow that running here and
there to see any thing or person does not in itself give
progress. Mind, I do not oppose consorting with those who read
holy books and are engaged in dwelling on high themes. I am only
trying to illustrate my idea that this should not be dwelt on as
an end; it is only a means and one of many.
There is no help like association with those who think as we do,
or like the reading of good books. The best advice I ever saw was
to read holy books or whatever books tend to elevate yourself, as
you have found by experience. There must be some. Once I found
some abstruse theological writings of Plotinus to have that
effect on me -- very ennobling, and also an explanation of the
wanderings of Ulysses. Then there is the Gita. All these are
instinct with a life of their own which changes the vibrations.
Vibration is the key to it all. The different states are only
differences of vibration, and we do not recognize the astral or
other planes because we are out of tune with their vibrations.
This is why we now and then dimly feel that others are peering at
us, or as if a host of people rushed by us with great things on
hand, not seeing us and we not seeing them. It was an instant of
synchronous vibration. But the important thing is to develop the
Self in the self, and then the possessions of wisdom belonging to
all wise men at once belong to us
Each one would see the Self differently and would yet never see
it, for to see it is to be it. But for making words we say, "See
it." It might be a flash, a blazing wheel, or what not. Then
there is the lower self, great in its way, and which must first
be known. When first we see it, it is like looking into a glove,
and for how many incarnations may it not be so? We look inside
the glove and there is darkness, then we have to go inside and
see that, and so on and on.
The mystery of the ages is man; each one of us. Patience is
needed in order that the passage of time required for the bodily
instrument to be altered or controlled is complete. Violent
control is not as good as gentle control continuous and firmly
unrelaxed. The Seeress of Prevorst found that a gentle current
did her more good than a violent one would. Gentleness is better
because an opposition current is always provoked, and of course
if that which produces it is gentle, it will also be the same.
This gives the unaccustomed student more time and gradual
I think your fellow-student will be a good instrument, but we
must not break the silence of the future lest we raise up unknown
and difficult tribes who will not be easy to deal with.
Every situation ought to be used as a means. This is better than
philosophy, for it enables us to know philosophy. You do not
progress by studying other people's philosophies, for then you do
but get their crude ideas. Do not crowd yourself, nor ache to
puzzle your brains with another's notions. You have the key to
self and that is all; take it and drag out the lurker inside. You
are great in generosity and love, strong in faith, and straight
in perception. Generosity and love are the abandonment of self.
That is your staff. Increase your confidence, not in your
abilities, but in the great All being thyself.
I would to God you and all the rest might find peace. -- Z.
There are so many questioners who ask about Chelaship (1) that
your letter comes quite apropos to experiences of my own. You say
that these applicants must have some answer, and in that I agree
with you. And whether they are ready or unready, we must be able
to tell them something. But generally they are not ready, nor,
indeed, are they willing to take the first simple step which is
demanded. I will talk the matter over with you for your future
guidance in replying to such questions; perhaps also to clear up
my own mind.
The first question a man should ask himself (and by "man" we mean
postulants of either sex) is: "When and how did I get a desire to
know about chelaship and to become a chela?"; and secondly, "What
is a chela, and what chelaship?"
There are many sorts of chelas. There are lay chelas and
probationary ones; accepted chelas and those who are trying to
fit themselves to be even lay chelas. Any person can constitute
himself a lay chela, feeling sure that he may never in this life
consciously hear from his guide. Then as to probationary chelas,
there is an invariable rule that they go upon seven years' trial.
These "trials" do not refer to fixed and stated tests, but to all
the events of life and the bearing of the probationer in them.
There is no place to which applicants can be referred where their
request could be made, because these matters do not relate to
places and to officials: this is an affair of the inner nature.
We become chelas; we obtain that position in reality because our
inner nature is to that extent opened that it can and will take
knowledge: we receive the guerdon at the hands of the Law.
In a certain sense every sincere member of the Theosophical
Society is in the way of becoming a chela, because the Masters do
some of Their work with and for humanity through this Society,
selected by Them as Their agent. And as all Their work and
aspiration are to the end of helping the race, no one of Their
chelas can hope to remain (or become) such, if any selfish desire
for personal possessions of spiritual wealth constitutes the
motive for trying to be a chela. Such a motive, in the case of
one already a chela, acts instantly to throw him out of the
ranks, whether he be aware of his loss or not, and in the case of
one trying to become a chela it acts as a bar. Nor does a real
chela spread the fact that he is such. For this Lodge is not like
exoteric societies which depend upon favor or mere outward
appearances. It is a real thing with living Spirit -- men at its
head, governed by laws that contain within themselves their own
executioners, and that do not require a tribunal, nor
accusations, nor verdicts, nor any notice whatever.
As a general thing a person of European or American birth has
extreme difficulty to contend with. He has no heredity of
psychical development to call upon; no known assembly of Masters
or Their chelas within reach. His racial difficulties prevent him
from easily seeing within himself; he is not introspective by
nature. But even he can do much if he purifies his motive, and
either naturally possesses or cultivates an ardent and
unshakeable faith and devotion.
A faith that keeps him a firm believer in the existence of
Masters even through years of non-intercourse. They are generous
and honest debtors and always repay. How They repay, and when, is
not for us to ask. Men may say that this requires as blind
devotion as was ever asked by any Church. It does, but it is a
blind devotion to Masters who are Truth itself; to Humanity and
to yourself, to your own intuitions and ideals. This devotion to
an ideal is also founded upon another thing, and that is that a
man is hardly ready to be a chela unless he is able to stand
alone and uninfluenced by other men or events, for he must stand
alone, and he might as well know this at the beginning as at the
There are also certain qualifications which he must possess.
These are to be found in Man: Fragments of Forgotten History
towards the close of the book, so we will not dwell upon them
The question of the general fitness of applicants being disposed
of, we come to the still more serious point of the relations of
Guru and Chela, or Master and Disciple. We want to know what it
really is to be a pupil of such a Teacher.
The relation of Guru and Chela is nothing if it is not a
spiritual one. Whatever is merely outward, or formal, as the
relation established by mere asking and acceptance, is not
spiritual, but formal, and is that which arises between teacher
and pupil. Yet even this latter is not in any way despicable,
because the teacher stands to his pupil, in so far forth as the
relation permits, in the same way as the Guru to his chela.
It is a difference of degree, but this difference of degree is
what constitutes the distinction between the spiritual and the
material, for, passing along the different shadings from the
grossest materiality to as far as we can go, we find at last that
matter merges into spirit. (We are now speaking, of course, about
what is commonly called matter, while we well know that in truth
the thing thus designated is not really matter, but an enormous
illusion which in itself has no existence. The real matter,
called mulaprakriti by the Hindus, is an invisible thing or
substance of which our matter is a representation. The real
matter is what the Hermetists called primordial earth; a, for us,
intangible phase of matter. We can easily come to believe that
what is usually called matter is not really such, inasmuch as we
find clairvoyants and nervous people seeing through thick walls
and closed doors. Were this matter, then they could not see
through it. But when an ordinary clairvoyant comes face to face
with primordial matter, he or she cannot see beyond, but is met
by a dead wall more dense than any wall ever built by human
So from earliest times, among all but the modern western people,
the teacher was given great reverence by the pupil, and the
latter was taught from youth to look upon his preceptor as only
second to his father and mother in dignity. It was among these
people a great sin, a thing that did one actual harm in his moral
being, to be disrespectful to his teacher even in thought. The
reason for this lay then, and no less to-day does also lie, in
the fact that a long chain of influence extends from the highest
spiritual guide who may belong to any man, down through vast
numbers of spiritual chiefs, ending at last even in the mere
teacher of our youth. Or, to restate it in modern reversion of
thought, a chain extends up from our teacher or preceptors to the
highest spiritual chief in whose ray or descending line one may
happen to be. And it makes no difference whatever, in this occult
relation, that neither pupil nor final guide may be aware, or
admit, that this is the case.
Thus it happens that the child who holds his teacher in reverence
and diligently applies himself accordingly with faith, does no
violence to this intangible but mighty chain, and is benefited
accordingly, whether he knows it or not. Nor again does it matter
that a child has a teacher who evidently gives him a bad system.
This is his Karma, and by his reverent and diligent attitude he
works it out, and transcends erstwhile that teacher.
This chain of influence is called the Guruparampara chain.
The Guru is the guide or readjuster, and may not always combine
the function of teacher with it.
We now have passed from the mere usual and worldly relations of
teacher and pupil to that which we will call the Lodge for the
This Lodge is not to be taken up in the pincers of criticism and
analyzed or fixed. It is at once everywhere and nowhere. It
contains within its boundaries all real Masters, students,
guides, and Gurus, of whatever race or creed or no creed.
Of it has been said:
"Beyond the Hall of Learning is the Lodge. It is the whole body
of Sages in all the world. It cannot be described even by those
who are in it, but the student is not prohibited from imagining
what it is like."
So therefore at any time any one of its real teachers or
disciples will gladly help any other teacher or disciple. But we
are not to conclude that, because all are trying to spread truth
and to teach the world, we, who call ourselves chela-aspirants or
known chelas of any certain person whom we call Guru, can place
ourselves at the same moment under the direct tutelage of more
than one Guru.
Each man who determines in himself that he will enter the Path,
has a Guru. But the time between that determination and the hour
when he will really know The Master may be long indeed; in some
cases it is very short.
We must now occupy a moment in some consideration of divisions.
Just as the merest private in the army has a general who guides
the whole but whom he cannot reach except through the others who
are officers, so in this order we find divisions of Gurus as well
as divisions of disciples.
There is the Great Guru, who is such to many who never know Him
or see Him. Then there are others who know Him, and who are Gurus
to a number of chelas, and so on until we may imagine a chela who
may be a known Guru to another chela below him.
Then, again, there may be chelas who are acting as Guru --
unacknowledged, because pro tempore in function -- to one or more
Now he who makes the resolution above-mentioned, does thereby
make a bond that rests in the highest Law. It is not a thing to
be lightly done, because its consequences are of a serious
nature. Not serious in the way of disasters or awful torments or
such, but serious in respect to the clearness and brilliancy of
those rays of Truth which we wish to reach us.
We have thereby in a sense -- its degree determined by the
sincerity and power of our motive -- taken ourselves out of the
common, vast, moving herd of men who are living -- as to this --
like dumb animals, and have knocked at a door. If we have
reverenced our teacher we will now revere our unknown Guru. We
must stand interiorly in a faithful attitude. We must have an
abiding, settled faith that nothing may shake. For it is to
mighty Karma we have appealed, and as the Guru is Karma in the
sense that He never acts against Karma, we must not lose faith
for an instant. For it is this faith that clears up the air
there, and that enables us to get help from all quarters.
Then perhaps this determinant or postulant or neophyte decides
for himself that he will for the time take as teacher or guide
some other chela whose teachings commend themselves. It is not
necessary that any out-spoken words should pass between these
But having done this, even in thought, he should then apply
himself diligently to the doctrine of that teacher, not changing
until he really finds he has another teacher or has gone to
another class. For if he takes up one merely to dispute and
disagree -- whether outwardly or mentally, he is thereby in
danger of totally obscuring his own mind.
If he finds himself not clearly understanding, then he should
with faith try to understand, for if he by love and faith
vibrates into the higher meaning of his teacher, his mind is
thereby raised, and thus greater progress is gained.
We now come to the possible case of an aspirant of that royal and
kingly faith who in some way has really found a person who has
advanced far upon the Path. To this person he has applied and
said: "May I be accepted, and may I be a chela of either thee or
That person applied to then perhaps says: "Not to me; but I refer
you to some other of the same class as yourself, and give you to
him to be his chela: serve him." With this the aspirant goes, say
to the one designated, and deliberately both agree to it.
Here is a case where the real Master has recommended the aspirant
to a co-worker who perchance is some grade higher than our
neophyte, and the latter is now in a different position from the
many others who are silently striving and working, and learning
from any and all teachers, but having no specialized Guru for
themselves. This neophyte and his "little guru" are connected by
a clear and sacred bond, or else both are mere lying children,
playing and unworthy of attention. If the "little guru" is true
to his trust, he occupies his mind and heart with it, and is to
consider that the chela represents Humanity to him for the time.
We postulated that this "little guru" was in advance of the
chela. It must then happen that he says that which is sometimes
not clear to his chela. This will all the more be so if his chela
is new to the matter. But the chela has deliberately taken that
guru, and must try to understand the doctrine of that teacher.
The proper function of the Guru is to readjust, and not to pour
in vast masses of knowledge expressed in clear and easily
comprehended terms. The latter would be a piece of nonsense,
however agreeable, and not any whit above what any well-written
book would do for its reader.
The faith and love which exist between them act as a stimulus to
both, and as a purifier to the mind of the chela.
But if the chela, after a while, meets another person who seems
to know as much as his "little guru," and to express it in very
easy terms, and the chela determines to take him as a teacher, he
commits an error. He may listen to his teaching and admire and
profit by it, but the moment he mentally determines and then in
words asks the other to be his teacher, he begins to rupture the
bond that was just established, and possibly may lose altogether
the benefit of both. Not necessarily, however; but certainly, if
he acquaints not his "little guru" with the fact of the new
adoption of teacher, there will be much confusion in that realm
of being wherein both do their real "work"; and when he does
acquaint his "little guru" with the fact of the newly-acquired
teacher, that older guru will retire.
None of this is meant for those minds which do not regard these
matters as sacred. A Guru is a sacred being in that sense. Not,
of course, in a general sense -- yet even if so regarded when
worthy it is better for the chela -- but in all that pertains to
the spiritual and real life. To the high-strung soul this is a
matter of adoption; a most sacred and valuable thing, not lightly
taken up or lightly dropped. For the Guru becomes for the time
the spiritual Father of the chela; that one who is destined to
bring him into life or to pass him on to Him who will do so.
So as the Guru is the adjuster in reality, the chela does not --
except where the Guru is known to be a great Sage or where the
chela does it by nature -- give slavish attention to every word.
He hears the word and endeavors to assimilate the meaning
underneath; and if he cannot understand he lays it aside for a
better time, while he presently endeavors to understand what he
can. And if even -- as is often so in India -- he cannot
understand at all, he is satisfied to be near the Guru and do
what may properly be done for him; for even then his abiding
faith will eventually clear his mind, of which there are many
examples, and regarding which how appropriate is the line
"They also serve who only stand and wait."
What I wrote in my last is what may be properly said to earnest
inquirers who show by their perseverance that they are not mere
idle curiosity-seekers, desirous of beguiling the tedium of life
with new experiments and sensations. It is not what is done, but
the spirit in which the least thing is done for Them who are all,
that is counted.
You ask the names of the seven rays or lodges. The names could
not be given if known to me. In these matters names are always
realities, and consequently to give the name would be to reveal
the thing itself. Besides, if the names were given, the ordinary
person hearing them would not understand them. Just as if I
should say that the name of the first is X, which expresses
nothing at all to the mind of the hearing person. All that can be
said is that there exist those seven rays, districts, or
divisions, just as we say that in a town there are legislators,
merchants, teachers, and servants. The difference is that in this
case we know all about the town, and know just what those names
mean. The name only directs the mind to the idea or essential
Again I must go. But Brothers are never parted while they live
for the True alone.
Comments by J. N.
The foregoing letters point clearly to one conclusion concerning
that great Theosophist, Madame Blavatsky, though she is unnamed
and perhaps unthought of there.
Since she sacrificed -- not so calling it herself -- all that
mankind holds dear to bring the glad tidings of Theosophy to the
West, that West, and especially the Theosophical Society, thereby
stands to her as a chela to his Guru, in so far as it accepts
Her relation to these Theosophists has its being in the highest
Law, and cannot be expunged or ignored. So those who regard her
personality, and, finding it discordant from theirs, try to reach
The Masters by other means while disregarding or underrating
scornfully her high services, violate a rule which, because it is
not made of man, cannot be broken with impunity.
Gratitude and the common sentiment of man for man should have
taught them this, without occult teaching at all. Such persons
have not reached that stage of evolution where they can learn the
She who accepts the pains of the rack in the torments of a body
sapped of its life force by superb torrents of energy lavished on
her high Cause; she who has braved the laughter and anger of two
continents, and all the hosts of darkness seen and unseen; she
who now lives on, only that she may take to herself the Karma of
the Society and so ensure its well being, has no need of any
man's praise; but even she has need of justice, because, without
that impulse in our hearts and souls toward her, she knows that
we must fail for this incarnation.
As the babe to the mother, as harvest to the earth, so are all
those bound to her who enjoy the fruit of her life. May we try,
then, to understand these occult connections brought about by the
workings of Karma, and bring them to bear upon our diurnal, as
well as our theosophical, life. Madame Blavatsky is for us the
next higher link in that great chain, of which no link can be
passed over or missed.
In further illustration of this letter, I might cite the case of
a friend of mine who was at once fired with Theosophy on first
hearing of it and ardently desired to become a chela. Certainly
he had known these truths in other lives, for all seemed familiar
to him, and, though he was what is called "a man of the world,"
he accepted the philosophy, measured some of its possibilities
intuitively, and while careful to do his duty and cause no jars,
he ranged his life, especially his inner life, to suit these
The question of chelaship assumed great prominence in his mind.
He knew of no chelas; knew not where to knock or whom to ask.
Reflection convinced him that real chelaship consisted in the
inner attitude of the postulant; he remembered magnetic and
energic laws, and he said to himself that he could at will
constitute himself a chela to the Law, at least so far as his own
attitude went, and if this did not satisfy him, it was a proof
that he desired some personal reward, satisfaction, or powers in
the matter, and that his motive was not pure.
He was slow to formulate his desires, even to his own mind, for
he would not lightly make demands upon the Law; but he at last
determined to put his own motives to the test; to try himself and
see if he could stand in the attitude of a faithful chela,
unrecognized and apparently unheard.
He then recorded in his own mind an obligation to serve Truth and
the Law as a chela should, always seeking for light and for
further aid if possible, recognizing meanwhile that the
obligation was on his side only, and that he had no claims on
Masters, and only such as he himself could by the strength of his
own purpose institute upon the Law.
Wherever he could hear of chelas and their duties he listened or
read; he tried to imagine himself in the position of an accepted
chela, and to fill, so far as in him lay, the duties of that
place, living up to all the light he had. For he held that a
disciple should always think and act towards the highest
possibilities, whether or not he had yet attained these, and not
merely confine himself to that course of action which might be
considered suited to his lower class or spiritual estate. He
believed that the heart is the creator of all real ties, and it
alone. To raise himself by himself was then his task. This
attitude he resolved to maintain life after life, if needs were,
until at last his birthright should be assured, his claim
recognized by the Law.
He met with trials, with coldness from those who felt rather than
saw his changed attitude; he met with all the nameless shocks
that others meet when they turn against the whirlpool of
existence and try to find their way back into the true currents
of life. Great sorrows and loneliness were not slow to challenge
his indomitable will.
But he found work to do; and in this he was most fortunate, for
to work for others is the disciple's joy, his share in the Divine
life, his first accolade by which he may know that his service is
accepted. This man had called upon the Law in faith supreme, and
he was answered. Karma sent him a friend, and soon he began to
get new knowledge, and after a time information reached him of a
place or person where he might apply to become a chela on
probation. It was not given him as information usually is;
nothing of the sort was told him; but with his extending
knowledge and opening faculties a conviction dawned upon him that
he might pursue such and such a course.
He did so, and his prayer was heard. He said to me afterwards
that he never knew whether he would not have shown greater
strength of mind by relying wholly upon the reality of his
unseen, unacknowledged claim, until the moment should come when
Masters should accept and call him. For of course he held the
ideal of Masters clearly before his mind all this while. Perhaps
his application showed him to be weaker than he supposed, in so
far as it might evidence a need on his part for tangible proof of
a fact in which his higher nature prompted him to believe without
such proof. Perhaps it was but natural and right, on the other
hand, that after silent service for some time he should put
himself on record at the first opportunity granted him by Karma.
He applied, then. I am permitted to give a portion of the answer
he received, and which made clear to him the fact that he was
already accepted in some measure before his application, as his
intuition had told him. The answer may be of untold value to
others, both as clearly setting forth the dangers of forcing
one's way ahead of one's race, and also by its advice,
admonitions, and evidence that the Great Beings of the Orient
deal most frankly and gently with applicants.
Also it may mark out a course for those who take the wise plan of
testing themselves in silence before pushing their demands upon
the Law. For this at once heightens their magnetic vibrations,
their evolutionary ratio; their flame burns more brilliantly and
attracts all kinds of shapes and influences within its radius, so
that the fire is hot about him. And not for him alone: other
lives coming in contact with his feel this fierce energy; they
develop more rapidly, and, if they have a false or weak place in
their nature, it is soon discovered and overthrows them for a
time. This is the danger of coming into "the circle of ascetics";
a man must be strong indeed who thus thrusts himself in; it is
better as a rule to place oneself in the attitude of a disciple
and impose the tests oneself: less opposition is provoked. For
forces that are foiled by the Adept may hurl themselves on the
neophyte who cannot be protected unless his Karma permits it, and
there are always those opposing forces of darkness waiting to
thin the ranks of the servitors of the Good Law.
Up to this point, then, we may follow this student, and then we
lose sight of him; not knowing whether he progressed or failed,
or still serves and waits, because such things are not made
known. To tell so much as this is rare, and, since it is
permitted, it must be because there are many earnest students in
this country who need some such support and information. To these
I can say that, if they constitute themselves faithful, unselfish
disciples, they are such in the knowledge of the Great Law, so
long as they are true, in inmost thought and smallest deed, to
the pledges of their heart.
ANSWER TO Y.
"Is Y. fully prepared for the uphill work? The way to the goal he
strives to reach is full of thorns and leads through miry
quagmires. Many are the sufferings the chela has to encounter;
still more numerous the dangers to face and conquer.
"May he think over it and choose only after due reflection. No
Master appealed to by a sincere soul who thirsts for light and
knowledge, has ever turned his face away from the supplicant. But
it is the duty of those who call for laborers and need them for
their fields, to point out to those who offer themselves in truth
and trust for the arduous work, the pitfalls in the soil as the
hardship of the task.
"If undaunted by this warning Y. persists in his determination,
he may regard himself as accepted as ------. Let him place
himself in such case under the guidance of an older chela. By
helping him sincerely and devotedly to carry on his heavy burden,
he shall prepare the way for being helped in his turn."
(Here follow private instructions.)
"Verily if the candidate relies upon the Law, if he has patience,
trust, and intuition, he will not have to wait too long. Through
the great shadow of bitterness and sorrow that the opposing
powers delight in throwing over the pilgrim on his way to the
Gates of Light, the candidate perceives that shining Light very
soon in his own soul, and he has but to follow it.
Let him beware, however, lest he mistake the occasional
will-o'-the-wisp of the psychic senses for the reflex of the
great spiritual Light; that Light which dieth not, yet never
lives, nor can it shine elsewhere than on the pure mirror of
Spirit. . . .
"But Y. has to use his own intuitions. One has to dissipate and
conquer the inner darkness before attempting to see into the
darkness without; to know one's self before knowing things
extraneous to one's senses."
And now, may the Powers to which my friend Y. has appealed be
permitted by still greater and much higher Powers to help him.
This is the sincere and earnest wish of his truly and
fraternally, [Triangle diagram]
Comments by J. N.
This letter also shows incidentally how one Adept may serve
another still higher by reporting or conveying his reply.
TO ASPIRANTS FOR CHELASHIP
Sincere interest in Theosophic truth is often followed by sincere
aspiration after Theosophic life, and the question continually
recurs, What are the conditions and the steps to chelaship; to
whom should application be made; how is the aspirant to know that
it has been granted?
As to the conditions and the discipline of chelaship, not a
little has been disclosed in THE THEOSOPHIST, MAN, ESOTERIC
BUDDHISM, and other works upon Theosophy; and some of the
qualifications, difficulties, and dangers have been very
explicitly set forth by Madame Blavatsky in her article upon
"Theosophical Mahatmas" in the Path of December, 1886. To
everyone cherishing even a vague desire for closer relations to
the system of development through which Masters are produced, the
thoughtful study of this article is earnestly commended. It will
clear the ground of several misconceptions, deepen the sense of
the seriousness of such an effort, and excite a healthy
self-distrust which is better before than after the gate has been
It is entirely possible, however, that the searching of desire
and strength incited by that article may only convince more
strongly of sincerity, and that not a few readers may emerge from
it with a richer purpose and a deeper resolve. Even where there
is not a distinct intention to reach chelaship, there may be an
eager yearning for greater nearness to the Masters, for some
definite assurance of guidance and of help. In either of these
cases the question at once arises before the aspirant, Who is to
receive the application, and how is its acceptance to be
The very natural, indeed the instinctive, step of such an
aspirant is to write to an officer of the Theosophical Society.
None the less is this a mistake. For the Theosophical Society is
an exoteric body, the Lodge of Masters wholly esoteric. The
former is a voluntary group of inquirers and philanthropists,
with avowed aims, a printed Constitution, and published officers,
and, moreover, expressly disavowing any power, as a Society, to
communicate with Masters; the latter is an Occult Lodge, of whose
address, members, processes, functions, nothing is known. It
follows, therefore, that there is no person, no place, no
address, to which an aspirant may appeal.
Let it be supposed, however, that such an inquiry is preferred to
a person advanced in Occult study, versed in its methods and
tests and qualifications. Assuredly his reply would be directly
to this effect: --
"If you were now fitted to be an accepted chela, you would of
yourself know how, where, and to whom to apply. For the becoming
a chela in reality consists in the evolution or development of
certain spiritual principles latent in every man, and in great
measure unknown to your present consciousness.
Until these principles are to some degree consciously evolved by
you, you are not in practical possession of the means of
acquiring the first rudiments of that knowledge which now seems
to you so desirable. Whether it is desired by your mind or by
your heart is still another important question, not to be solved
by any one who has not yet the clue to Self.
"It is true that these qualities can be developed (or forced) by
the aid of an Adept. And most applicants for chelaship are
actuated by a desire to receive instructions directly from the
Masters. They do not ask themselves what they have done to merit
a privilege so rare. Nor do they consider that, all Adepts being
servants of the Law of Karma, it must follow that, did the
applicant now merit their visible aid, he would already possess
it and could not be in search of it. The indications of the
fulfillment of the Law are, in fact, the partial unfolding of
those faculties above referred to.
"You must, then, reach a point other than that where you now
stand, before you can even ask to be taken as a chela on
probation. All candidates enter the unseen Lodge in this manner,
and it is governed by Laws containing within themselves their own
fulfillment and not requiring any officers whatever. Nor must you
imagine that such a probationer is one who works under constant
and known direction of either an Adept or another chela.
On the contrary, he is tried and tested for at least seven years,
and perhaps many more, before the point is reached when he is
either accepted (and prepared for the first of a series of
initiations often covering several incarnations), or rejected.
And this rejection is not by any body of men just as they
incline, but is the natural rejection by Nature.
The probationer may or may not hear from his Teacher during this
preliminary period; more often he does not hear. He may be
finally rejected and not know it, just as some men have been on
probation and have not known it until they suddenly found
themselves accepted. Such men are those self-developed persons
who have reached that point in the natural order after many
incarnations, where their expanded faculties have entitled them
to an entrance into the Hall of Learning or the spiritual Lodge
beyond. And all I say of men applies equally to women.
"When anyone is regularly accepted as a chela on probation, the
first and only order he receives (for the present) is to work
unselfishly for humanity -- sometimes aiding and aided by some
older chela -- while striving to get rid of the strength of the
personal idea. The ways of doing this are left to his own
intuition entirely, inasmuch as the object is to develop that
intuition and to bring him to self-knowledge. It is his having
these powers in some degree that leads to his acceptance as a
probationer, so that it is more than probable that you have them
not yet save as latent possibilities.
In order to have in his turn any title to help, he must work for
others, but that must not be his motive for working. He who does
not feel irresistibly impelled to serve the Race, whether he
himself fails or not, is bound fast by his own personality and
cannot progress until he has learned that the race is himself and
not that body which he now occupies. The ground of this necessity
for a pure motive was recently stated in Lucifer to be that
'unless the intention is entirely unalloyed, the spiritual will
transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and
dire results may be produced by it. The powers and forces of
animal nature can be equally used by the selfish and revengeful
as by the unselfish and all-forgiving; the powers and forces of
spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart.
"It may be stated, however, that even those natural forces cannot
be discovered by any man who has not obtained the power of
getting rid of his personality in some degree. That an emotional
desire to help others does not imply this freedom from
personality may be seen by the fact that, if you were now
perfected in unselfishness in the real sense, you would have a
conscious existence separate from that of the body and would be
able to quit the body at will: in other words, to be free from
all sense of self is to be an Adept, for the limitations of self
"Hear also the words of the Master, taken from Sinnett's The
Occult World. 'Perhaps you will better appreciate our meaning
when told that in our view the highest aspirations for the
welfare of humanity become tainted with selfishness if, in the
mind of the philanthropist, there lurks the shadow of a desire
for self-benefit or a tendency to do injustice, even when these
exist unconsciously to himself.'
"While setting forth these facts, as well as the dangers and
difficulties -- both those set ones appointed by the laws of the
Lodge and the more innumerable ones adjudged by Karma and
hastened by the efforts of the neophyte, it should also be stated
that the Masters desire to deter no man from entering the path.
They are well aware, however, from the repeated trials and
records of centuries, and from their knowledge of our racial
difficulties, how few are the persons who have any clue to their
own real nature, which is the foe they attempt to conquer the
moment they become pupils of the occult. Hence They endeavor, so
far as Karma permits, to hold unfit individuals back from rash
ventures, the results of which would recoil upon their unbalanced
lives and drive them to despair. The powers of evil, inadequately
defied by the ignorant man, revenge themselves upon him as well
as upon his friends, and not upon those who are above their
reach. Although these powers are not hideous objective shapes
coming in tangible ways, they are none the less real and
dangerous. Their descent in such instances cannot be prevented;
it is Karma.
"To lose all sense of self, then, implies the loss of all that
ordinary men most value in themselves. It therefore behooves you
to seriously consider these points:
"1st. What is your motive in desiring to be a chela? You think
that motive is well known to you, whereas it is hidden deep
within you, and by that hidden motive you will be judged. It has
flared up from unseen regions upon men sure of themselves, has
belched out in some lurid thought or deed of which they esteemed
themselves incapable, and has overthrown their life or reason.
Therefore test yourself ere Karma tests you.
"2d. What the place and duties of a true neophyte are.
"When you have seriously considered both for twenty-one days, you
may, if your desire remains firm, take a certain course open to
It is this.
"Although you do not now know where you can offer yourself to
Masters themselves as a chela on probation, yet, in forming that
desire in your heart and in re-affirming it (if you do) after due
consideration of these points, you have then to some extent
called upon the Law, and it is within your power to constitute
yourself a disciple, so far as in you lies, through the purity of
your motive and effort if both are sufficiently sustained.
No one can fix a period when this effort will bear fruit, and, if
your patience and faith are not strong enough to bear you through
an unlimited (so far as you know) period of unselfish work for
humanity, you had better resign your present fancy, for it is
then no more than that. But if otherwise, you are to work for the
spiritual enlightenment of Humanity in and through the
Theosophical Society (which much needs such laborers), and in all
other modes and planes as you best can, remembering the word of
Masters: 'He who does what he can and all that he can, and all
that he knows how to do, does enough for us.' This task includes
that of divesting yourself of all personality through interior
effort, because that work, if done in the right spirit, is even
more important to the race than any outward work we can do.
Living as you now are, on the outward plane chiefly, your work is
due there and is to be done there until your growth shall fit you
to pass away from it altogether
"In following this course you work towards a fixed point under
observation -- as is, indeed, the whole Theosophic body, which is
now, as a body, a chela of Masters, but specialized from other
members in the sense that your definite aim and trust are
understood and taken into consideration by the unseen Founders
and the Law. The Theosophical Society then stands to you, for the
time being, as any older chela might who was appointed for you to
aid and to work under.
You are not, understand, a chela on probation, since no one
without authority can confer or announce such a privilege. But if
you succeed in lifting yourself and others spiritually, it will
be known, no matter what the external silence may seem to be, and
you will receive your full dues from Those who are honest debtors
and ministers of the Just and Perfect Law.
You must be ready to work, to wait, and to aspire in silence,
just as all do who have fixed their eyes on this goal. Remember
that your truest adviser is to be found, and constantly sought,
within yourself. Only by experience can you learn to know its
voice from that of natural instinct or mere logic, and strengthen
this power, by virtue of which the Masters have become what They
"Your choice or rejection of this course is the first test of
yourself. Others will follow, whether you are aware of them or
not, for the first and only right of the neophyte is -- to be
tried. Hence silence and sorrow follow his acceptance instead of
the offer of prompt aid for which he looks. Yet even that shall
not be wanting; those trials and reverses will come only from the
Law to which you have appealed."
-- J. N.
I gave your letter to a distressed soul: she returned thanks,
saying it was a cooling draught to one athirst. The thanks of
course are yours. Now this lady says it was refreshment to the
weary, that letter. True, or she would not say it. But it was not
so to me nor to you.
We needed it not. But she illustrates a certain state of
progress. She is not yet where we are; but which is happier? She
is happier, but poorer in hope. We are not all too happy, but are
rich in hope, knowing the prize at the end of time, and not
deterred by the clouds, the storms, the miasmas and dreadful
beasts of prey that line the road.
Let us, then, at the very outset wash out of our souls all desire
for reward, all hope that we may attain. For so long as we thus
hope and desire, we shall be separated from the Self. If in the
Self all things are, then we cannot wish to be something which we
can only compass by excluding something else.
So being beyond this lady so grateful, we find that everything we
meet on this illusory plane of existence is a lure that in one
way or another has power to draw us out of our path. That is the
point we are at, and we may call it the point where lures of Maya
have omnipresent power. Therefore we must beware or the illusions
Before we got to this stage we knew well the fateful lure, the
dazzling mirror of the elemental Self, here and there in
well-defined places, and intrenched as it was, so to say, in
strongly-marked defenses. Those we assaulted; and that was what
it desired, for it did think that it then had no need to exercise
the enchantment which is hard because so subtle, and so
distributed here and there that we find no citadels to take, no
battalions in array. But now our dearest friends are
unconsciously in league with the deceptive in nature. How
strongly do I realize the dejection of Arjuna as he let his bow
drop from his hand and sat down on his chariot in despair. But he
had a sure spot to rest upon. He used his own. He had Krishna
near, and he might fight on.
So in passing along those stages where the grateful lady and
others are, we may perhaps have found one spot we may call our
own and possess no other qualification for the task. That spot is
enough. It is our belief in the Self, in Masters: it is the
little flame of intuition we have allowed to burn, that we have
fostered with care.
Then come these dreadful lures. They are, in fact, but mere
carcasses, shells of monsters from past existences, offering
themselves that we may give them life to terrify us as soon as we
have entered them either by fear or love. No matter which way we
enter, whether by attachment or by repugnant horror, it is all
one: they are in one case vivified by a lover; in the other by a
slave who would be free but cannot.
Here it is the lure of enjoyment of natural pleasures, growing
out of life's physical basis; there it is self-praise, anger,
vanity, what not? Even these beautiful hills and river, they mock
one, for they live on untrammeled. Perhaps they do not speak to
us because they know the superiority of silence. They laugh with
each other at us in the night, amused at the wild struggle of
this petty man who would pull the sky down.
Ach! God of Heaven! And all the sucklings of Theosophy wish that
some great, well-diplomaed Adept would come and open the secret
box; but they do not imagine that other students have stepped on
the spikes that defend the entrance to the way that leads to the
gate of the Path. But we will not blame them, nor yet wish for
the things -- the special lots -- that some of them have
abstracted, because now that we know the dreadful power that
despair and doubt and violated conscience have, we prefer to
prepare wisely and carefully, and not rush in like fools where
angels do not pass uninvited.
But, Companion, I remind you of the power of the lure. This Path
passes along under a sky and in a clime where every weed grows a
yard in the night. It has no discrimination. Thus even after
weeks or months of devotion, or years of work, we are surprised
at small seeds of vanity or any other thing which would be easily
conquered in other years of inattentive life, but which seem now
to arise as if helped by some damnable intelligence. This great
power of self-illusion is strong enough to create a roaring
torrent or a mountain of ice between us and our Masters.
In respect to the question of sex. It is, as you know, given much
prominence by both women and men to the detriment of the one sex
or the other, or of any supposed sex. There are those who say
that the female sex is not to be thought of in the spirit; that
all is male. Others say the same for the female. Now both are
wrong. In the True there is no sex, and when I said "There all
men are women and all women are men," I was only using rhetoric
to accentuate the idea that neither one nor the other was
predominant, but that the two were coalesced, so to say, into
one. In the same way you might say, "men are animals there and
vice versa." Mind, this is in regard to Spirit, and not in regard
to the psychical states. For in the psychical states there are
still distinctions, as the psychical, though higher than the
material, is not as high as Spirit, for it still partakes of
matter. For in the Spirit or Atma all experiences of all forms of
life and death are found at once, and he who is one with the Atma
knows the whole manifested Universe at once. I have spoken of
this condition before as the Turya or fourth state.
When I say that the female principle represents matter, I do not
mean women, for they in any one or more cases may be full of the
masculine principle, and vice versa.
Matter is illusionary and vain, and so the female element is
illusionary and vain, as well as tending to the established
order. (2) So in the Kabbala it is said that the woman is a wall
about the man. A balance is necessary, and that balance is found
in women, or the woman element. You can easily see that the
general tendency of women is to keep things as they are and not
to have change. Woman -- not here and there women -- has never
been the pioneer in great reforms. Of course many single
individual women have been, but the tendency of the great mass of
the women has always been to keep things as they are until the
men have brought about the great change. This is why women always
support any established religion, no matter what -- Christian,
Jewish, Buddhist, or Brahmin. The Buddhist women are as much
believers in their religion and adverse from changing it as are
their Christian sisters opposed in the mass to changing theirs.
Now as to telling which element predominates in any single
person, it is hard to give a general test rule. But perhaps it
might be found in whether a person is given to abstract or
concrete thought, and similarly whether given to mere superficial
things or to deep fundamental matters. But you must work that
out, I think, for yourself
Of course in the spiritual life no organ disappears, but we must
find out what would be the mode of operation of any organ in its
spiritual counterpart. As I understand, the spiritual
counterparts of the organs are powers, and not organs, as the eye
is the power to see, the ear the power to hear, and so on. The
generative organs would then become the creative power and
perhaps the Will. You must not suppose that in the spirit life
the organs are reproduced as we see them.
One instance will suffice. One may see pictures in the astral
light through the back of the head or the stomach. In neither
place is there any eye, yet we see. It must be by the power of
seeing, which in the material body needs the specialized place or
specializing organ known as the eye. We hear often through the
head without the aid of the auricular apparatus, which shows us
that there is the power of hearing and of transmitting and
receiving sounds without the aid of an external ear or its inside
cerebral apparatus. So of course all these things survive in that
way. Any other view is grossly material, leading to a deification
of this unreal body, which is only an image of the reality, and a
poor one at that.
In thinking over these matters you ought always to keep in mind
the three plain distinctions of physical, psychical, and
spiritual, always remembering that the last includes the other
two. All the astral things are of the psychical nature, which is
partly material and therefore very deceptive. But all are
necessary, for they are, they exist.
The Deity is subject to this law, or rather it is the law of the
Deity. The Deity desires experience or self-knowledge, which is
only to be attained by stepping, so to say, aside from self. So
the Deity produces the manifested universes consisting of matter,
psychical nature, and spirit. In the Spirit alone resides the
great consciousness of the whole; and so it goes on ever
producing and drawing into Itself, accumulating such vast and
enormous experiences that the pen falls down at the thought. How
can that be put into language? It is impossible, for we at once
are met with the thought that the Deity must know all at all
times. Yet there is a vastness and an awe-inspiring influence in
this thought of the Day and Night of Brahman. It is a thing to be
thought over in the secret recesses of the heart, and not for
discussion. It is the All.
And now, my Brother, for the present I leave you. May your
restored health enable you to do more work for the world.
I salute you, my Brother, and wish you to reach the terrace of
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application