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Conversations on Occultism 8 to 13 Part 1

Feb 01, 2003 03:13 AM
by dalval14

Part I





The following was written by me at the dictation of H.P.B. in 1888
with the purpose of printing it at that time. But it was not used
then, and as I brought it home with me it is now of interest. - W.Q.J.

Q. - It has struck me while thinking over the difference between
ordinary people and an adept or even a partly developed student, that
the rate of vibration of the brain molecules, as well as he
coördination of those with the vibrations of the higher brain, may lie
at the bottom of the difference and also might explain many other

H.P.B. - So they do. They make differences and also cause many curious
phenomena; and the differences among all persons are greatly due to
vibrations of all kinds.

Q. - In reading the article ["Aum!"] in the PATH of April, 1886, this
idea was again suggested. I open at p. 6, Vol. I.
The divine Resonance spoken of above is not the Divine Light itself.
The Resonance is only the outbreathing of the first sound of the
entire Aum.... It manifests itself not only as the power which stirs
up and animates the particles of the universe, but also in the
evolution and dissolution of man, of the animal and mineral kingdoms,
and the Solar system. Among the Aryans it was represented by the
planet Mercury, who has always been said to govern the intellectual
faculties and to be the universal stimulator. What of this?

H.P.B. - Mercury was always known as the god of secret wisdom. He is
Hermes as well as Budha the son of Soma. Speaking of matters on the
lower plane, I would call the "Divine Resonance" you read of in the
PATH "vibrations" and the originator, or that which gives the impulse
to every kind of phenomena in the astral plane.

Q. - The differences found in human brains and natures must, then,
have their root in differences of vibration?

H.P.B. - Most assuredly so.

Q. - Speaking of mankind as a whole, is it true that all have one key
or rate of vibration to which they respond?

H.P.B. - Human beings in general are like so many keys on the piano,
each having its own sound, and the combination of which produces other
sounds in endless variety. Like inanimate nature they have a key-note
from which all the varieties of character and constitution proceed by
endless changes. Remember what was said in Isis Unveiled at p. 16,
Vol. I, "The Universe is the combination of a thousand elements, and
yet the expression of a single spirit, - a chaos to the sense
(physical), a cosmos to the reason" (manas).

Q. - So far this applies generally to nature. Does it explain the
difference between the adept and ordinary people?

H.P.B. - Yes. This difference is that an adept may be compared to that
one key which contains all the keys in the great harmony of nature. He
has the synthesis of all keys in his thoughts, whereas ordinary man
has the same key as a basis, but only acts and thinks on one or a few
changes of this great key, producing with his brain only a few chords
out of the whole great possible harmony.

Q. - Has this something to do with the fact that a disciple may hear
the voice of his master through the astral spaces, while another man
cannot hear or communicate with the adepts?

H.P.B. - This is because the brain of a chela is attuned by training
to the brain of the Master. His vibrations synchronize with those of
the Adept, and the untrained brain is not so attuned. So the chela's
brain is abnormal, looking at it from the standpoint of ordinary life,
while that of the ordinary man is normal for worldly purposes. The
latter person may be compared to those who are color-blind.

Q. - How am I to understand this?

H.P.B. - What is considered normal from the view of the physician is
considered abnormal from the view of occultism, and vice versâ. The
difference between a color-blind signal man who mistakes the lamps and
the adept who sees is that the one takes one color for another, while
the adept sees all the colors in every color and yet does not confuse
them together.

Q. - Has the adept, then, raised his vibrations so as to have them the
same as those of nature as a whole?

H.P.B. - Yes; the highest adepts. But there are other adepts who,
while vastly in advance of all men, are still unable to vibrate to
such a degree.

Q. - Can the adept produce at his will a vibration which will change
one color to another?

H.P.B. - He can produce a sound which will alter a color. It is the
sound which produces the color, and not the other or opposite. By
correlating the vibrations of a sound in the proper way a new color is

Q. - Is it true that on the astral plane every sound always produces a

H.P.B. - Yes; but these are invisible because not yet correlated by
the human brain so as to become visible on the earth plane. Read
Galton, who gives experiments with colors and sounds as seen by
psychics and sensitives, showing that many sensitive people always see
a color for every sound. The color-blind man has coming to him the
same vibrations as will show red, but not being able to sense these he
alters the amount, so to say, and then sees a color corresponding to
the vibrations he can perceive out of the whole quantity. His astral
senses may see the true color, but the physical eye has its own
vibrations, and these, being on the outer plane, overcome the others
for the time, and the astral man is compelled to report to the brain
that it saw correctly. For in each case the outer stimulus is sent to
the inner man, who then is forced, as it were, to accept the message
and to confirm it for the time so far as it goes. But there are cases
where the inner man is able to even then overcome the outer defect and
to make the brain see the difference. In many cases of lunacy the
confusion among the vibrations of all kinds is so enormous that there
is not correlation between the inner and the outer man, and we have
then a case of aberration. But even in some of these unfortunate cases
the person inside is all the time aware that he is not insane but
cannot make himself be understood. Thus often persons are driven
really insane by wrong treatment.

Q. - By what manner of vibrations do the elementals make colors and
lights of variety?

H.P.B. - That is a question I cannot reply to though it is well known
to me. Did I not tell you that secrets might be revealed too soon?

Path, June, 1893 (W. Q. Judge)




Student. - What is Occultism?

Sage. - It is that branch of knowledge which shows the universe in the
form of an egg. The cell of science is a little copy of the egg of the
universe. The laws which govern the whole govern also every part of
it. As man is a little copy of the universe - is the microcosm - he is
governed by the same laws which rule the greater. Occultism teaches
therefore of the secret laws and forces of the universe and man, those
forces playing in the outer world and known in part only by the men of
the day who admit no invisible real nature, behind which is the model
of the visible.

Student. - What does Occultism teach in regard to man, broadly

Sage. - That he is the highest product of evolution, and hence has in
him a centre or focus corresponding to each centre of force or power
in the universe. He therefore has as many centres or foci for force,
power, and knowledge as there are such in the greater world about and

Student. - Do you mean to include also the ordinary run of men, or is
it the exceptions you refer to?

Sage. - I include every human being, and that will reach from the
lowest to the very highest, both those we know and those beyond us who
are suspected as being in existence. Although we are accustomed to
confine the term "human" to this earth, it is not correct to confine
that sort of being to this plane or globe, because other planets have
beings the same as ours in essential power and nature and possibility.

Student. - Please explain a little more particularly what you mean by
our having centres or foci in us.

Sage. - Electricity is a most powerful force not fully known to modern
science, yet used very much. The nervous, physical, and mental systems
of man acting together are able to produce the same force exactly, and
in a finer as well as subtler way and to as great a degree as the most
powerful dynamo, so that the force might be used to kill, to alter, to
move, or otherwise change any object or condition. This is the "vril"
described by Bulwer Lytton in his Coming Race.
Nature exhibits to our eyes the power of drawing into one place with
fixed limits any amount of material so as to produce the smallest
natural object or the very largest. Out of the air she takes what is
already there, and by compressing it into the limits of tree or animal
form makes it visible to our material eyes. This is the power of
condensing into what may be known as the ideal limits, that is, into
the limits of the form which is ideal. Man has this same power, and
can, when he knows the laws and the proper centres of force in
himself, do precisely what Nature does. He can thus make visible and
material what was before ideal and invisible by filling the ideal form
with the matter condensed from the air. In his case the only
difference from Nature is that he does quickly what she brings about

Among natural phenomena there is no present illustration of telepathy
good for our use. Among the birds and the beasts, however, there is
telepathy instinctually performed. But telepathy, as it is now called,
is the communicating of thought or idea from mind to mind. This is a
natural power, and being well-understood may be used by one mind to
convey to another, no matter how far away or what be the intervening
obstacle, any idea or thought. In natural things we can take for that
the vibration of the chord which can cause all other chords of the
same length to vibrate similarly. This is a branch of Occultism, a
part of which is known to the modern investigator. But it is also one
of the most useful and one of the greatest powers we have. To make it
of service many things have to combine. While it is used every day in
common life in the average way - for men are each moment
telepathically communicating with each other - to do it in perfection,
that is, against obstacle and distance, is perfection of occult art.
Yet it will be known one day even to the common world.

Student. - Is there any object had in view by Nature which man should
also hold before him?

Sage. - Nature ever works to turn the inorganic or the lifeless or the
non-intelligent and non-conscious into the organic, the intelligent,
the conscious; and this should be the aim of man also. In her great
movements Nature seems to cause destruction, but that is only for the
purpose of construction. The rocks are dissolved into earth, elements
combine to bring on change, but there is the ever onward march of
progress in evolution. Nature is not destructive of either thing or
time, she is constructive. Man should be the same. And as a free moral
agent he should work to that end, and not to procuring gratification
merely nor for waste in any department.

Student. - Is Occultism of truth or of falsehood; is it selfish or
unselfish; or is it part one and part the other?

Sage. - Occultism is colorless, and only when used by man for the one
side or the other is it good or bad. Bad Occultism, or that which is
used for selfish ends, is not false, for it is the same as that which
is for good ends. Nature is two-sided, negative and positive, good and
bad, light and dark, hot and cold, spirit and matter. The Black
magician is as powerful in the matter of phenomena as the White, but
in the end all the trend of Nature will go to destroy the black and
save the white. But what you should understand is that the false man
and the true can both be occultists. The words of the Christian
teacher Jesus will give the rule for judgment: "By their fruits ye
shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?"
Occultism is the general, all-inclusive term, the differentiating
terms are White and Black; the same forces are used by both, and
similar laws, for there are no special laws in this universe for any
special set of workers in Nature's secrets. But the path of the
untruthful and the wicked, while seemingly easy at first, is hard at
last, for the black workers are the friends of no one, they are each
against the other as soon as interest demands, and that may be
anytime. It is said that final annihilation of the personal soul
awaits those who deal in the destructive side of Nature's hall of

Student. - Where should I look for the help I need in the right life,
the right study?

Sage. - Within yourself is the light that lighteth every man who
cometh here. The light of the Higher Self and of the Mahâtma are not
different from each other. Unless you find your Self, how can you
understand Nature?

Path, October, 1894 (W. Q. Judge)




Student. - What is the effect of trying to develop the power of seeing
in the astral light before a person is initiated?

Sage. - Seeing in the astral light is not done through Manas, but
through the senses, and hence has to do entirely with sense-perception
removed to a plane different from this, but more illusionary. The
final perceiver or judge of perception is in Manas, in the Self; and
therefore the final tribunal is clouded by the astral perception if
one is not so far trained or initiated as to know the difference and
able to tell the true from the false. Another result is a tendency to
dwell on this subtle sense-perception, which at last will cause an
atrophy of Manas for the time being. This makes the confusion all the
greater, and will delay any possible initiation all the more or
forever. Further, such seeing is in the line of phenomena, and adds to
the confusion of the Self which is only beginning to understand this
life; by attempting the astral another element of disorder is added by
more phenomena due to another plane, thus mixing both sorts up. The
Ego must find its basis and not be swept off hither and thither. The
constant reversion of images and ideas in the astral light, and the
pranks of the elementals there, unknown to us as such and only seen in
effects, still again add to the confusion. To sum it up, the real
danger from which all others flow or follow is in the confusion of the
Ego by introducing strange things to it before the time.

Student. - How is one to know when he gets real occult information
from the Self within?

Sage. - Intuition must be developed and the matter judged from the
true philosophical basis, for if it is contrary to true general rules
it is wrong. It has to be known from a deep and profound analysis by
which we find out what is from egotism alone and what is not; if it is
due to egotism, then it is not from the Spirit and is untrue. The
power to know does not come from book-study nor from mere philosophy,
but mostly from the actual practice of altruism in deed, word, and
thought; for that practice purifies the covers of the soul and permits
that light to shine down into the brain-mind. As the brain-mind is the
receiver in the waking state, it has to be purified from
sense-perception, and the truest way to do this is by combining
philosophy with the highest outward and inward virtue.

Student. - Tell me some ways by which intuition is to be developed.

Sage. - First of all by giving it exercise, and second by not using it
for purely personal ends. Exercise means that it must be followed
through mistakes and bruises until from sincere attempts at use it
comes to its own strength. This does not mean that we can do wrong and
leave the results, but that after establishing conscience on a right
basis by following the golden rule, we give play to the intuition and
add to its strength. Inevitably in this at first we will make errors,
but soon if we are sincere it will grow brighter and make no mistake.
We should add the study of the works of those who in the past have
trodden this path and found out what is the real and what is not. They
say the Self is the only reality. The brain must be given larger views
of life, as by the study of the doctrine of reincarnation, since that
gives a limitless field to the possibilities in store. We must not
only be unselfish, but must do all the duties that Karma has given us,
and thus intuition will point out the road of duty and the true path
of life.

Student. - Are there any Adepts in America or Europe?

Sage. - Yes, there are and always have been. But they have for the
present kept themselves hidden from the public gaze. The real ones
have a wide work to do in many departments of life and in preparing
certain persons who have a future work to do. Though their influence
is wide they are not suspected, and that is the way they want to work
for the present. There are some also who are at work with certain
individuals in some of the aboriginal tribes in America, as among
those are Egos who are to do still more work in another incarnation,
and they must be prepared for it now. Nothing is omitted by these
Adepts. In Europe it is the same way, each sphere of work being
governed by the time and the place.

Student. -What is the meaning of the five-pointed star?

Sage. - It is the symbol of the human being who is not an Adept, but
is now on the plane of the animal nature as to his life-thoughts and
development inside. Hence it is the symbol of the race. Upside down it
means death or symbolizes that. It also means, when upside down, the
other or dark side. It is at the same time the cross endowed with the
power of mind, that is, man.

Student. - Is there a four-pointed star symbol?

Sage. - Yes. That is the symbol of the next kingdom below man, and
pertains to the animals. The right kind of clairvoyant can see both
the five- and the four-pointed star. It is all produced by the
intersections of the lines or currents of the astral light emanating
from the person or being. The four-pointed one means that the being
having but it has not as yet developed Manas.

Student. - Has the mere figure of a five-pointed star any power in

Sage. - It has some, but very little. You see it is used by all sorts
of people for trademarks and the like, and for the purposes of
organizations, yet no result follows. It must be actually used by the
mind to be of any force or value. If so used, it carries with it the
whole power of the person to whom it may belong.

Student. - Why is the sword so much spoken of in practical Occultism
by certain writers?

Sage. - Many indeed of these writers merely repeat what they have
read. But there is a reason, just as in warfare the sword has more use
for damage than a club. The astral light corresponds to water. if you
try to strike in or under water with a club, it will be found that
there is but little result, but a sharp knife will cut almost as well
under water as out of it. The friction is less. So in the astral light
a sword used on that plane has more power to cut than a club has, and
an elemental for that reason will be more easily damaged by a sword
than by a club or a stone. But all of this relates to things that are
of no right value to the true student, and are indulged in only by
those who work in dark magic or foolishly by those who do not quite
know what they do. It is certain that he who uses the sword or the
club will be at last hurt by it. And the lesson to be drawn is that we
must seek for the true Self that knows all Occultism and all truth,
and has in itself the protecting shield from all dangers. That is what
the ancient Sages sought and found, and that is what should be striven
after by us.

Path, November, 1894 (W. Q. Judge)




Student. - Is there not some attitude of mind which one should in
truth assume in order to understand the occult in Nature?

Sage. - Such attitude of mind must be attained as will enable one to
look into the realities of things. The mind must escape from the mere
formalities and conventions of life, even though outwardly one seems
to obey all of them, and should be firmly established on the truth
that Man is a copy of the Universe and has in himself a portion of the
Supreme Being. To the extent this is realized will be the clearness of
perception of truth. A realization of this leads inevitably to the
conclusion that all other men and beings are united with us, and this
removes the egotism which is the result of the notion of separateness.
When the truth of Unity is understood, then distinctions due to
comparisons made like the Pharisee's, that one is better than his
neighbor, disappear from the mind, leaving it more pure and free to

Student. - What would you point out as a principal foe to the mind's
grasping of truth?

Sage. - The principal foe of a secondary nature is what was once
called phantasy; that is, the reappearance of thoughts and images due
to recollection or memory. Memory is an important power, but mind in
itself is not memory. Mind is restless and wandering in its nature,
and must be controlled. Its wandering disposition is necessary or
stagnation would result. But it can be controlled and fixed upon an
object or idea. Now as we are constantly looking at and hearing of new
things, the natural restlessness of the mind becomes prominent when we
set about pinning it down. Then memory of many objects, things,
subjects, duties, persons, circumstances, and affairs brings up before
it the various pictures and thoughts belonging to them. After these
the mind at once tries to go, and we find ourselves wandering from the
point. It must hence follow that the storing of a multiplicity of
useless and surely-recurring thoughts is an obstacle to the
acquirement of truth. And this obstacle is the very one peculiar to
our present style of life.

Student. - Can you mention some of the relations in which the sun
stands to us and nature in respect to Occultism?

Sage. - It has many such, and all important. But I would draw your
attention first to the greater and more comprehensive. The sun is the
center of our solar system. The life-energies of that system come to
it through the sun, which is a focus or reflector for the spot in
space where the real center is. And not only comes mere life through
that focus, but also much more that is spiritual in its essence. The
sun should therefore not only be looked at with the eye but thought of
by the mind. It represents to the world what the Higher Self is to the
man. It is the soul-center of the world with its six companions, as
the Higher Self is the center for the six principles of man. So it
supplies to those six principles of the man many spiritual essences
and powers. He should for that reason think of it and not confine
himself to gazing at it. So far as it acts materially in light, heat,
and gravity, it will go on of itself, but man as a free agent must
think upon it in order to gain what benefit can come only from his
voluntary action in thought.

Student. - Will you refer to some minor one?

Sage. - Well, we sit in the sun for heat and possible chemical
effects. But if at the same time that we do this we also think on it
as the sun in the sky and of its possible essential nature, we thereby
draw from it some of its energy not otherwise touched. This can also
be done on a dark day when clouds obscure the sky, and some of the
benefit thus be obtained. Natural mystics, learned and ignorant, have
discovered this for themselves here and there, and have often adopted
the practice. But it depends, as you see, upon the mind.

Student. - Does the mind actually do anything when it takes up a
thought and seeks for more light?

Sage. - It actually does. A thread, or a finger, or a long darting
current flies out from the brain to seek for knowledge. It goes in all
directions and touches all other minds it can reach so as to receive
the information if possible. This is telepathically, so to say,
accomplished. There are no patents on true knowledge of philosophy nor
copyrights in that realm. Personal rights of personal life are fully
respected, save by potential black magicians who would take anyone's
property. But general truth belongs to all, and when the unseen
messenger from one mind arrives and touches the real mind of another,
that other gives up to it what it may have of truth about general
subjects. So the mind's finger or wire flies until it gets the thought
or seed-thought from the other and makes it its own. But our modern
competitive system and selfish desire for gain and fame is constantly
building a wall around people's minds to everyone's detriment.

Student. - Do you mean that the action you describe is natural, usual,
and universal, or only done by those who know how and are conscious of

Sage. - It is universal and whether the person is aware or not of what
is going on. Very few are able to perceive it in themselves, but that
makes no difference. It is done always. When you sit down to earnestly
think on a philosophical or ethical matter, for instance, your mind
flies off, touching other minds, and from them you get varieties of
thought. If you are not well-balanced and psychically purified, you
will often get thoughts that are not correct. Such is your Karma and
the Karma of the race. But if you are sincere and try to base yourself
on right philosophy, your mind will naturally reject wrong notions.
You can see in this how it is that systems of thought are made and
kept going, even though foolish, incorrect, or pernicious.

Student. - What mental attitude and aspiration are the best safeguards
in this, as likely to aid the mind in these searches to reject error
and not let it fly into the brain?

Sage. - Unselfishness, Altruism in theory and practice, desire to do
the will of the Higher Self which is the "Father in Heaven," devotion
to the human race. Subsidiary to these are discipline, correct
thinking, and good education.

Student. - Is the uneducated man, then, in a worse condition?

Sage. - Not necessarily so. The very learned are so immersed in one
system that they reject nearly all thoughts not in accord with
preconceived notions. The sincere ignorant one is often able to get
the truth but not able to express it. The ignorant masses generally
hold in their minds the general truths of Nature, but are limited as
to expression. And most of the best discoveries of scientific men have
been obtained in this sub-conscious telepathic mode. Indeed, they
often arrive in the learned brain from some obscure and so-called
ignorant person, and then the scientific discoverer makes himself
famous because of his power of expression and means for giving it out.

Student. - Does this bear at all upon the work of the Adepts of all
good Lodges?

Sage. - It does. They have all the truths that could be desired, but
at the same time are able to guard them from the seeking minds of
those who are not yet ready to use them properly. But they often find
the hour ripe and a scientific man ready, and then touch his
cogitating mind with a picture of what he seeks. He then has a "flash"
of thought in the line of his deliberations, as many of them have
admitted. He gives it out to the world, becomes famous, and the world
wiser. This is constantly done by the Adepts, but now and then they
give out larger expositions of Nature's truths, as in the case of
H.P.B. This is not at first generally accepted, as personal gain and
fame are not advanced by any admission of benefit from the writings of
another, but as it is done with a purpose, for the use of a succeeding
century, it will do its work at the proper time.

Student. - How about the Adepts knowing what is going on in the world
of thought, in the West, for instance?

Sage. - They have only to voluntarily and consciously connect their
minds with those of the dominant thinkers of the day to at once
discover what has been or is being worked out in thought and to review
it all. This they constantly do, and as constantly incite to further
elaborations or changes by throwing out the suggestion in the mental
plane so that seeking and receptive minds may use it.

Path, December, 1894 (W. Q. Judge)


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