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Sep 23, 2004 12:38 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Part 2


Sept 23 2004	



This is part 2 dealing with the "SPIRITUAL POWERS of man:




On the process of spiritual development, Theosophy teaches:
First. That the essence of the process lies in the securing of supremacy, to
the highest, the spiritual, element of man's nature.
Second. That this is attained along four lines, among others,
[a] The entire eradication of selfishness in all forms, and the cultivation
of broad, generous sympathy in, and effort for the good of others.

(b) The absolute cultivation of the inner, spiritual man by meditation, by
reaching to and communion with the Divine, and by exercise of the kind
described by Patanjali, i. e., incessant striving to an ideal end.

(c) The control of fleshly appetites and desires, all lower, material
interests being deliberately subordinated to the behests of the spirit.

(d) The careful performance of every duty belonging to one's station in
life, with-out desire for reward, leaving results for Divine law.

Third. That while the above is incumbent on and practicable by all
religiously disposed men, a yet higher plane of spiritual attainment is
conditioned upon a specific course of training, physical, intellectual and
spiritual, by which the internal faculties are first aroused and then

Fourth. That an extension of this process is reached in Adeptship,
Mahatmaship, or the states of Rishis, Sages and Dhyan Chohans, which are all
exalted stages, attained by laborious self-discipline and hardship,
protracted through possibly many incarnations, and with many degrees of
initiation and preferment, beyond which are yet other stages ever
approaching the Divine.

On the rationale of spiritual development it asserts:
First. That the process takes place entirely within the individual
himself, the motive, the effort, and the result proceeding from his own
inner nature, along the lines of self-evolution.
Second. That, however personal and interior, this process is not unaided,
being possible, in fact, only through close communion with the supreme
source of all strength.
On the degree of advancement in incarnation it holds:
First. That even a mere intellectual acquaintance with Theosophic truth
has great value in fit-ting the individual for a step upwards in his next
earth-life, as it gives an impulse in that direction. 
Second. That still more is gained by a career of duty, piety and
Third. That a still greater advance is attained by the attentive and
devoted use of the means to spiritual culture heretofore stated.
Fourth. That every race and individual of it reaches in evolution a period
known as "the moment of choice," when they decide for themselves their
future destiny by a deliberate and conscious choice between eternal life and
death, and that this right of choice is the peculiar appanage of the free
It cannot be exercised until the man has realized the soul within him, and
until that soul has attained some measure of self-conscious-ness in the
body. The moment of choice is not a fixed period of time; it is made up of
all moments. It cannot come unless all the previous lives have led up to it.

For the race as a whole it has not yet come. Any individual can hasten the
advent of this period for himself under the previously stated law of the
ripening of Karma. Should he then fail to choose right he is not wholly
condemned, for the economy of nature provides that he shall again and again
have the opportunity of choice when the moment arrives for the whole race.
After this period the race, having blossomed, tends towards its dissolution.

A few individuals of it will have outstripped its progress and attained
Adeptship or Mahatmaship. The main body, who have chosen aright, but who
have not attained salvation, pass into the subjective condition, there to
await the influx of the human life wave into the next globe, which they are
the first souls to people. 

ONE of the questions which a Theosophist is apt to ask, and to ask with some
earnestness and intensity is, How can I make progress in the higher life?
How can I attain spiritual gifts? For the phrase "spiritual gifts," which is
a rather loose-jointed expression, we are indebted to Paul, the Apostle and
Adept, who thus wrote to the Corinthian Church: "Concerning spiritual gifts,
brethren, I would not have you ignorant." Among the "gifts" which he goes on
to enumerate are these -- wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, the working of
miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, the speaking of divers tongues,
and the interpretation of tongues. 
And while the Apostle urges the Corinthians to "covet earnestly the best
gifts," he yet proceeds to show them a more excellent way, namely the
supreme law of love. "Now abideth," he says, "faith, hope, charity (or
love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity." Spiritual gifts,
then, however desirable their possession may be, are plainly not, in the
opinion of this good Adept, on the highest plane, not the supreme object of
human attainment, or the most excellent way of reaching human perfection. 
They may doubtless properly be regarded as evidences of advancement on the
higher planes of thought and spiritual life, and may be coveted and used for
the benefit of others; but they are not in themselves the chief object of
human desire. For man's supreme aim should be to become God, and "God is
But let us look at the matter a little more closely. In the first place,
what is a "gift"? What is the common acceptance of the word? Clearly
something given to or bestowed upon a recipient, not something which a man
already possesses, or which he may obtain by a process of growth or
The latter, strictly speaking, would be a "fruit," not a gift. A tree which
has been producing nothing but leaves and branches for many years finally
breaks out into blossom and fruit. No new "gift" has been conferred upon it;
it has simply reached a stage of development in its natural growth where
certain powers, inherent in the tree form the beginning, have an opportunity
to assert themselves. 
In the same way the transcendental powers possessed by the Adepts are not
gifts; but the natural result of growth in certain directions, and the
necessary efflorescence, so to speak, of the profound development in their
cases of those spiritual potentialities which are the birthright of all men.

Taking this view of the meaning of the word, I think most Theosophists will
be ready to admit that the phrase "spiritual gifts" is a misnomer. There are
and can be no gifts for man to receive. 
Whatever the student of the higher life is, he is as the result of his past
Whatever he may become in the future will be due to his own efforts. He may
develop his latent faculties and in time become an Adept, or he may drift
along the currents of life without aim or effort, till he finally sinks into
oblivion. His destiny is in his own hands, and is in no way dependent upon
Bearing in mind, however, the manifold nature of man, the subject may be
looked at from another point of view. For all practical purposes man may be
said to consist of body, soul, and spirit, the soul being the true ego, and
the spirit one with the Supreme. And regarding these for the time as
separate entities, it is perfectly true, as James, another apostle, puts it,
that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." 
Every aspiration of the soul for spiritual things, every resolve of man to
lead a purer life, every helping outstretched hand to a weaker brother,
every desire for the truth, all hungering and thirsting after righteousness:
-- these and like yearnings and strivings of the soul have first of all come
from above, from the Divine within. In this sense they may be called
"gifts,"-gifts from the higher nature to the lower, from the spiritual to
the human. 
And this action of the above upon the below is seen in those humane
attributes, or qualities, or virtues-whatever one may be pleased to call
them-which Paul in another place enumerates as the "fruits of the
spirit,-love, joy, peace, long suffering gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance."
Looked at from either of these points of view, how can we attain spiritual
gifts? The answer would seem to depend upon what we are really striving for.
If the extraordinary powers of the Adepts have captivated our fancy and
fired our ambition, then we must posses our souls in patience. Few, if any,
of us are at all fitted for a "forcing" process. 
We must be content to wait and work; to grow and develop; line upon line,
precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, till, ages hence
perhaps, we come to the full stature of the perfect man. If, however, wisely
recognizing our limitations, we strive instead after what may be termed the
ordinary manifestations of the spirit, two obvious lines of conduct suggest
Every impulse from above, every prompting of the Divine within, should meet
at once with a hearty welcome and response. If you feel as if something
urged you to visit some sick or afflicted neighbor or friend, obey the
suggestion without delay. If the wish to turn over a new leaf comes into the
lower consciousness, don't wait till next New Year's before actually turning
it over; turn it now. I
f some pathetic story of suffering has moved you, act on the emotion while
your cheeks are still wet with tears. In short, put yourself at once in line
with the Divine ways, in harmony with the Divine laws. More light, more
wisdom, more spirituality must necessarily come to one thus prepared, thus
expectant. How can a bar of iron be permeated with the earth's magnetism if
it is placed across instead of in line with the magnetic meridian? 
How can a man expect spiritual gifts or powers if he persists in ignoring
spiritual conditions, in violating spiritual laws? To obtain the good, we
must think good thoughts; we must be filled with good desires; in short, we
must be good.
And this practical suggestion is to fulfill faithfully and conscientiously
every known duty. It is in and through the incidents of daily life, in work
well done, in duties thoroughly performed, that we today can most readily
make progress in the higher life,-slow progress, it may be, but at any rate
These are stepping stones to better things. We advance most rapidly when we
stop to help other wayfarers. We receive most when we sacrifice most. We
attain to the largest measure of Divine love when we most unselfishly love
the brethren. We become one with the Supreme most surely when we lose
ourselves in work for Humanity. 
DIES NON [W Q J ] [Path, February 1889]




Ideas :

"That alone which is eternal is real.(Key p. 83) Our beliefs are all
founded on that immortal individuality. (Key 33)

"There is but one real man...immortal in essence...Manas, the Mind-man [is]
the embodied Consciousness." (Key, p. 92) 

"Every true man is morally bound to sacrifice the personal to the
impersonal, his own present good to the future benefit of other people."
Key p. 282

"...the main fundamental to sow germs in the hearts of men which
may in future time sprout, and under more propitious circumstances lead to a
healthy reform, conducive of more happiness to the masses than they have
hitherto enjoyed."
Key, p. 257

"...[its] one object, the improvement of humanity..."	Key, p. 231

"...[consider] humanity as an emanation from divinity on its return path
thereto.. "	Key p. 216

"To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must remain a riddle."
Key, p. xi

"..."Good" and "Harmony," and "Evil" and "Disharmony," are synonymous...all
pain and suffering are the result of the want of Harmony, and that the one
terrible and only cause of the disturbance of harmony is selfishness in some
form or another. Hence Karma gives back to every man the actual
consequences of his own actions, without any regard to their moral
character; but since he receives his due for all, it is obvious that he
will be made to atone for all sufferings which he has caused, just as he
will reap in joy and gladness the fruit of all the happiness and harmony he
had helped produce."	Key, p. 206-7

"It is not by studying Occultism for selfish ends, for the gratification of
one's personal ambition, pride or vanity, that one can ever reach the true
goal: that of helping suffering mankind."	Key, p. 24



"Try; try; ever keep trying." 

"Realization comes from dwelling on the things to be realized." 

Following such injunctions of Those Who Know, a constant gain will appear.
Ups and downs there will be, in accordance with the swing of the pendulum,
or, more properly, the turn of the spiral. Knowing the law of action, we can
keep on, whether we are at the highest or lowest point of the cycle. As time
goes on and the right attitude is maintained, we shall grow less and less
subject to the high or the low. 

To realize, at the beginning, the continuous effort required, would be
discouraging; but as the greatness of the task we have set before ourselves
becomes more and more real, we grow into the condition represented in the
six glorious virtues as that of being constitutionally incapable of
deviating from the right path. 

We have in the past generated, or created by thought, and reinforced by
action, numerous elemental beings of the nature of Prakriti. As long as our
thought is in keeping with their natures, no great friction is observed; but
when our thoughts fail to provide them with sustenance, the struggle for
life begins, and must continue until these creatures of ours die, or are so
changed as to cause no hindrance. 

It is a new Manvantara in our little solar system, 'the guiding spirit'
ruling, controlling, or sweeping away all entities connected with the old
evolution, in accordance with the key-note of the new. So, in the concrete
state of the old, and the nebulous state of the new, we have to go through
the preparatory Rounds. Great Nature repeats her action in accordance with
Law, in the small as well as the great. . . . 

One of the results of wisdom is the ability -- in degree, at least -- to do
the right thing, at the right time, and in the right place. 

The object of all right doing is to help others who are seen and known not
to be right. Our seeing and knowing their present condition gives us the
clue to the kind and manner of helping. If we judge them incapable of help,
we shall afford them none. 

So we judge not, but like the Sun and Nature treat all alike -- shine for
all, work for all, irrespective of presently held ideas, or presumable
qualifications in any. 

Such has been the course of all great Teachers. They come to call "not
saints, but sinners to repentance." All have had their Judases, but even
Judases have to have their chance with the rest; even they are inherently
perfect, and having free will may rise to the opportunity. The Gospel hymn
which says, "While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may
return," voices a truth; so what is there in all this that calls for mortal
judgment? None, I think you will say, when you consider the matter in its
wider bearing, and in the light of Karma which brings opportunity both to
give and to receive. 

There is no pretense of personal virtue or knowledge in handing on for the
benefit of others what one perceives to be good for them. A claim, even a
thought of personal virtue, is detrimental -- because it is personal. The
Egoic perceptions on this plane are limited by this very thing. 

Says the "Voice of the Silence:"

"Thy body is not self, thy Self is in itself without a body, and either
praise or blame affects it not." 

"Deliverance of mind from thralldom by the cessation of sin and faults is
not for 'Deva-Egos' (reincarnating egos). Thus says the 'Doctrine of the

"The Dharma of the 'Heart' is the embodiment of Bodhi (True, Divine Wisdom),
the Permanent and Everlasting." 

"To live to benefit Mankind is the first step. To practice the six glorious
virtues is the second."

The six glorious virtues are: 

ONE -- 'Sama.' It consists in obtaining perfect mastery over the mind (the
seat of emotions and desires), and in forcing it to act in subordination to
the intellect which had been strengthened by attaining - 

(a) 'Right knowledge of the real and the unreal' (Right Philosophy). 

(b) 'Perfect indifference to the fruits of one's actions, both here and
hereafter.' (Renunciation of the fruits of actions.) 

TWO -- 'Dama.' Complete mastery over bodily acts. 

THREE -- 'Uparati.' Renunciation of all formal religion, and the acquirement
of contemplation of objects without being in the least disturbed in the
performance of the great task one has set before oneself. 

FOUR -- 'Titiksha.' Cessation of desire and a constant readiness to part
with everything in the world. 

FIVE -- 'Samadana.' That which renders the student constitutionally
incapable of deviating from the right path. 

SIX -- 'Shradda.' Implicit confidence on the part of the pupil in his
Master's power to teach, and his own power to learn. 

SEVEN -- One other, and the last accomplishment required, is an intense
desire for liberation from "conditioned existence" and for transformation
into the One Life. [Nirvana should be looked on as "un-conditioned
existence." And existence in Spirit as an impersonal force for good alone.]

While some of these may be beyond us, we can 'practise' in these directions;
in fact, we have been so doing, and we know that practice makes perfect. 

[The Friendly Philosopher, pp. 78-81, Robert Crosbie]


The one inclusive idea is UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD -- based on the Spiritual
Unity at the core of every being. The entire Universe is pervaded by this
primal SPIRITUAL ESSENCE. No one is exempt from it.

Best wishes,



Part I covered the "PSYCHIC POWERS."  

Let me know if you would like a copy,


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