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Re: Theos-World Re: Hi Lenny: a question for your question

Nov 05, 2005 09:40 AM
by piali

dear friends,
I am new to this wonderful world. Wanted to know the effect of negative
though forms on physical body>
----- Original Message -----
From: "W.Dallas TenBroeck" <>
To: "AA-BNStudy" <>
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 5:10 PM
Subject: RE: Theos-World Re: Hi Lenny: a question for your question

> 11/3/05
> Beware
> The effect of sounds can be controlled when we are conscious.
> If unconscious, we may be impaired, and not realize it.
> The purpose and direction of meditation is important - what is the motive
> Best wishes,
> Dallas
> ===============================================
> From: theos leonmaurer
> Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 5:46 PM
> Quest: .. I am just unsure if it is a benefit to begin meditation
> while inducing the brainwave it could cause premature
> states
> that would not be a step in the right direction of developing mindfulness
> and concentration.
> Ans: (Len) That sounds right.
> Some advanced theosophical meditators tell me that
> it might be dangerous to induce meditative states by artificial means and
> bypass the practice that is necessary to be in full control of ones higher
> states
> of consciousness.
> It's been known that untrained people who get induced into
> a low alpha state that opens up some doors into the Astral realm have
> into deep psychological trouble after they encountered some nightmarish
> visions
> that caused them to panic.
> That's why I have avoided any use of the various phased stereo
> music techniques advertised on the Internet that claim to induce
> such states. Relaxation is one thing, but encountering a psychic situation
> that causes panic, and could induce a heart attack is quite another.
> My advice is to leave such things alone, and go about meditation
> practices as outlined in Patanjali's Rajah Yoga Aphorisms.
> 2 Quest: Also .. what part do you believe gamma brainwaves play in
> meditation?
> Ans: Gamma rhythms appear to be involved in higher mental activity.
> Probably, it is active during deep sleep and has something to do with
> intuitive
> understandings which come during such sleep, when we have completely
> transcended our REM dream state and are in direct connection with our
> spiritual nature or higher self -- that is also the highest Samadhi state
> meditation.
> For more on the various brain waves, See:
> L M
> ===============================================
> THE term most generally in use to express what is included under the above
> title is SELF CULTURE. Now it seems to well enough express, for a time at
> least, the practice referred to by those who desire to know the truth.
> in fact, it is inaccurate from a theosophic standpoint.
> For the self is held to be that designated in the Indian books as Ishwara,
> which is a portion of the eternal spirit enshrined in each human body.
> this is the Indian view there is no doubt. The Bhagavad-Gita in Chapter 15
> says that an eternal portion of this spirit,
> ".having assumed life in this world of life, attracts the heart and the
> senses which belong to nature. Whatever body Ishwara [ATMA] enters or
> it is connected with it by snatching those senses from nature, even as the
> breeze snatches perfumes from their very bed. This spirit approaches the
> objects of sense by presiding over the ear, the eye, the touch, the taste,
> and the smell, and also over the heart."
> And in an earlier chapter, "the Supreme Spirit within this body is called
> the Spectator and admonisher, sustainer, enjoyer, great Lord, and also
> highest soul"; and again, "the Supreme Eternal Soul, even when existing
> within -- or connected with -- the body, is not polluted by the actions of
> the body."
> Elsewhere in these books this same Spirit is called the SELF, as in a
> celebrated sentence which in Sanscrit is "Atmanam atmana, pashya,"
> "Raise the self by the SELF," and all through the Upanishads, where the
> is constantly spoken of as the same as the Ishwara of Bhagavad-Gita. Max
> Muller thinks the word "self" expresses best in English the ideas of the
> Upanishads on this head.
> It therefore follows that such a thing as culture of this Self, which in
> very nature is eternal, unchangeable, and unpollutable by any action,
> be. It is only from inadequacy of terms that students and writers using
> English tongue are compelled to say "self culture," while, when they say
> they admit that they know the Self cannot be cultured.
> What they wish to express is, "such culture or practice to be pursued by
> as shall enable us, while on earth, to mirror forth the wisdom and fulfill
> the behests of the self within, which is all wise and all good."
> As the use of this term "self culture" demands a constant explanation
> outwardly declared or inwardly assented to, it is wise to discard it
> altogether and substitute that which will express the practice aimed at
> without raising a contradiction.
> For another reason also the term should be discarded. That is, that it
> assumes a certain degree of selfishness, for, if we use it as referring to
> something that we do only for ourself, we separate at once between us and
> the rest of the human brotherhood. Only in one way can we use it without
> contradiction or without explanation, and that is by admitting we
> desire to cultivate ourselves, thus at once running against a prime rule
> theosophic life and one so often and so strenuously insisted on, that the
> idea of personal self must be uprooted.
> Of course, as we will not negative this rule, we thus again have brought
> before us the necessity for a term that does not arouse contradictions.
> new term should, as nearly as possible, shadow forth the three essential
> things in the action, that is, the instrument, the act, and the agent, as
> well as the incitement to action; or, knowledge itself, the thing to be
> known or done, and the person who knows.
> This term is CONCENTRATION. In the Indian books it is called Yoga. This is
> translated also as Union, meaning a union with the Supreme Being, or, as
> is otherwise put, "the object of spiritual knowledge is the Supreme
> There are two great divisions of Yoga found in the ancient books, and they
> are called Hatha-Yoga and Raj-Yoga.
> Hatha-Yoga is a practical mortification of the BODY by means of which
> certain powers are developed. It consists in the assumption of certain
> postures that aid the work, and certain kinds of breathing that bring on
> changes in the system, together with other devices.
> It is referred to in the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita thus:
> "Some devotees sacrifice the sense of hearing and the other senses in the
> fires of restraint; some offer objects of sense, such as sound, in the
> of the senses. Some also sacrifice inspiration of breath in expiration,
> expiration in inspiration, by blocking up the channels of inspiration and
> expiration, desirous of retaining their breath. Others, by abstaining from
> food, sacrifice life in their life."
> In various treatises these methods are set forth in detail, and there is
> doubt at all that by pursuing them one can gain possession of sundry
> abnormal powers. There is risk, however, especially in the case of people
> the West where experienced gurus or teachers of these things are not
> These risks consist in this, that while an undirected person is doing
> according to the rules of Hatha-Yoga, he arouses about him influences that
> do him harm, and he also carries his natural functions to certain states
> and then when he ought to stop for a while, but, having no knowledge of
> matter, may go on beyond that and produce injurious effects.
> Then, again, Hatha-Yoga is a difficult thing to pursue, and one that must
> pushed to the point of mastery and success. Few of our Western people are
> nature fitted for such continuous and difficult labor on the mental and
> astral planes. Thus, being attracted to Hatha-Yoga by the novelty of it,
> by the apparent pay that it offers in visible physical results, they begin
> without knowledge of the difficulty, and stopping after a period of trial
> they bring down upon themselves consequences that are wholly undesirable.
> The greatest objection to it, however, is that it pertains to the material
> and semi-material man, roughly speaking, to the body, and what is gained
> through it is lost at death.
> The Bhagavad-Gita refers to this and describes what happens in these
> "All of these, indeed, being versed in sacrifice, have their sins
> by these sacrifices. But he alone reaches union with the Supreme being who
> eats of the ambrosia left from a sacrifice."
> This means that the Hatha-Yoga practice represents the mere sacrifice
> itself, whereas the other kind is the ambrosia arising from the sacrifice,
> or "the perfection of spiritual cultivation," and that leads to Nirvana.
> The means for attaining the "perfection of spiritual cultivation" are
> in Raj-Yoga, or, as we shall term it for the present, Culture of
> Concentration.
> When concentration is perfected, we are in a position to use the knowledge
> that is ever within reach but which ordinarily eludes us continually. That
> which is usually called knowledge is only an intellectual comprehension of
> the outside, visible forms assumed by certain realities.
> Take what is called scientific knowledge of minerals and metals. This is
> merely a classification of material phenomena and an empirical
> It knows what certain minerals and metals are useful for, and what some of
> their properties are. Gold is known to be pure, soft, yellow, and
> ductile, and by a series of accidents it has been discovered to be useful
> medicine and the arts. But even to this day there is a controversy, not
> wholly settled, as to whether gold is held mechanically or chemically in
> crude ore. Similarly with minerals. The crystalline forms are known and
> classified.
> And yet a new theory has arisen, coming very near to the truth, that we do
> not know matter in reality in this way, but only apprehend certain
> presented to us by matter, and variously called, as the phenomena alter,
> gold, wood, iron, stone, and so on. But whether the minerals, metals, and
> vegetables have further properties that are only to be apprehended by
> other and undeveloped senses, science will not admit.
> Passing from inanimate objects to the men and women about us, this
> intellectual knowledge aids us no more than before. We see bodies with
> different names and of different races, but below the outer phenomena our
> everyday intellect will not carry us.
> This man we suppose to have a certain character assigned to him after
> experience of his conduct, but it is still only provisional, for none of
> is ready to say that we know him either in his good or his bad qualities.
> know there is more to him than we can see or reason about, but what, we
> cannot tell. It eludes us continually. And when we turn to contemplate
> ourselves, we are just as ignorant as we are about our fellow man. Out of
> this has arisen an old saying: "Every man knows what he is, but no one
> what he will be."
> There must be in us a power of discernment, the cultivation of which will
> enable us to know whatever is desired to be known. That there is such a
> power is affirmed by teachers of occultism, and the way to acquire it is
> cultivating concentration.
> It is generally overlooked, or not believed, that the Inner Man who is the
> one to have these powers has to grow up to maturity, just as the body has
> mature before its organs fulfill their functions fully. By inner man I do
> not mean the Higher Self--the Ishwara before spoken of, but that part of
> which is called Soul, or astral man, or vehicle, and so on. All these
> are subject to correction, and should not be held rigidly to the meanings
> given by various writers. Let us premise, first, the body now visible;
> second, the inner man -- not the spirit; and third, the SPIRIT itself.
> Now while it is quite true that the second -- or inner man -- has latent
> the powers and peculiarities ascribed to the Astral Body, it is equally
> that those powers are, in the generality of persons, still latent or only
> very partially developed.
> This inner being is, so to say, inextricably entangled in the [physical]
> body, cell for cell and fibre for fibre. He exists in the body somewhat in
> the way the fibre of the mango fruit exists in the mango. In that fruit we
> have the inside nut with thousands of fine fibres spreading out from it
> through the yellow pulp around. And as you eat it, there is great
> in distinguishing the pulp from the fibre. So that the inner being
> of which we are speaking cannot do much when away from his [physical]
> and is always influenced by it.
> It is not therefore easy to leave the body at will and roam about in the
> double. The stories we hear of this as being so easily done may be put
> to strong imagination, vanity, or other causes. One great cause for error
> respect to these doubles is that a clairvoyant is quite likely to mistake
> mere picture of the person's thought for the person himself.
> In fact, among occultists who know the truth, the stepping out of the body
> at will and moving about the world is regarded as a most difficult feat,
> for the reasons above hinted at. Inasmuch as the person is so interwoven
> with his body, it is absolutely necessary, before he can take his astral
> form about the country, for him to first carefully extract it, fibre by
> fibre, from the surrounding pulp of blood, bones, mucous, bile, skin, and
> flesh. Is this easy? It is neither easy nor quick of accomplishment, nor
> done at one operation. It has to be the result of years of careful
> and numerous experiments.
> And it cannot be consciously done until the Inner Man has developed and
> cohered into something more than irresponsible and quivering jelly. This
> development and coherence are gained by perfecting the power of
> concentration.
> Nor is it true, as the matter has been presented to me by experiment and
> teaching, that even in our sleep we go rushing about the country seeing
> friends and enemies or tasting earthly joys at distant points. In all
> where the man has acquired some amount of concentration, it is quite
> possible that the sleeping body is deserted altogether, but such cases are
> as yet not in the majority.
> Most of us remain quite close to our slumbering forms. It is not necessary
> for us to go away in order to experience the different states of
> consciousness which is the privilege of every man, but we do not go away
> over miles of country until we are able, and we cannot be able until the
> necessary ethereal body has been acquired and has learned how to use its
> powers.
> Now, this ethereal body has its own organs which are the essence or real
> basis of the senses described by men. The outer eye is only the instrument
> by which the real power of sight experiences that which relates to sight;
> the ear has its inner master - the power of hearing, and so on with every
> organ.
> These real powers within flow from the spirit to which we referred at the
> beginning of this paper. That spirit approaches the objects of sense by
> presiding over the different organs of sense. And whenever it withdraws
> itself the organs cannot be used. As when a sleep-walker moves about with
> open eyes which do not see anything, although objects are there and the
> different parts of the eye are perfectly normal and uninjured.
> Ordinarily there is no demarcation to be observed between these inner
> and the outer; the inner ear is found to be too closely interknit with the
> outer to be distinguished apart. But when concentration has begun, the
> different inner organs begin to awake, as it were, and to separate
> themselves from the chains of their bodily counterparts.
> Thus the man begins to duplicate his powers. His bodily organs are not
> injured, but remain for use upon the plane to which they belong, and he is
> acquiring another set which he can use apart from the others in the plane
> nature peculiarly theirs.
> We find here and there cases where certain parts of this inner body have
> been by some means developed beyond the rest. Sometimes the inner head
> is developed, and we have one who can see or hear clairvoyantly or
> clairaudiently; again, only a hand is developed apart from the rest, all
> the other being nebulous and wavering. It may be a right hand, and it will
> enable the owner to have certain experiences that belong to the plane of
> nature to which the right hand belongs, say the positive side of touch and
> feeling.
> But in these abnormal cases there are always wanting the results of
> concentration. They have merely protruded one portion, just as a lobster
> extrudes his eye on the end of the structure which carries it. Or take one
> who has thus curiously developed one of the inner eyes, say the left. This
> has a relation to a plane of nature quite different from that appertaining
> to the hand, and the results in experience are just as diverse. He will be
> clairvoyant of a certain order, only able to recognize that which relates
> his one-sided development, and completely ignorant of many other qualities
> inherent in the thing seen or felt, because the proper organs needed to
> perceive them have had no development. He will be like a two-dimensional
> being who cannot possibly know that which three-dimensional beings know,
> like ourselves as compared with four-dimensional entities.
> In the course of the growth of this ethereal body several things are to be
> observed.
> It begins by having a cloudy, wavering appearance, with certain centres of
> energy caused by the incipiency of organs that correspond to the brain,
> heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and so on. It follows the same course of
> development as a solar system, and is, in fact, governed and influenced by
> the very solar system to which the world belongs on which the being may be
> incarnate. With us it is governed by our own solar orb.
> If the practice of concentration be kept up, this cloudy mass begins to
> coherence and to shape itself into a body with different organs. As they
> grow they must be used. Essays are to be made with them, trials,
> experiments. In fact, just as a child must creep before it can walk, and
> must learn walking before it can run, so this ethereal man must do the
> But as the child can see and hear much farther than it can creep or walk,
> this being usually begins to see and to hear before it can leave the
> vicinity of the body on any lengthy journey.
> Certain hindrances then begin to manifest themselves which, when properly
> understood by us, will give us good substantial reasons for the practicing
> of the several virtues enjoined in holy books and naturally included under
> the term of Universal Brotherhood.
> One is, that sometimes it is seen that this nebulous forming body is
> violently shaken, or pulled apart, or burst into fragments that at once
> a tendency to fly back into the body and take on the same entanglement
> we spoke of at first.
> This is caused by anger, and this is why the sages all dwell upon the need
> of calmness. When the student allows anger to arise, the influence of it
> at once felt by the ethereal body, and manifests itself in an
> trembling which begins at the centre and violently pulls apart the
> coherent particles. If allowed to go on, it will disintegrate the whole
> mass, which will then reassume its natural place in the body. The effect
> following this is, that a long time has to elapse before the ethereal body
> can be again created. And each time this happens the result is the same.
> does it make any difference what the cause for the anger may be. There is
> such thing as having what is called "righteous anger" in this study and
> escaping these inevitable consequences. Whether your "rights" have been
> unjustly and flagrantly invaded or not does not matter. The anger is a
> that will work itself out in its appointed way. Therefore anger must be
> strictly avoided, and it cannot be avoided unless charity and love --
> absolute toleration -- are cultivated.
> But anger may be absent and yet still another thing happen. The ethereal
> form may have assumed quite a coherence and definiteness. But it is
> that, instead of being pure and clear and fresh, it begins to take on a
> cloudy and disagreeable color, the precursor of putrefaction, which
> every part and by its effects precludes any further progress, and at last
> reacts upon the student so that anger again manifests itself. This is the
> effect of envy. Envy is not a mere trifle that produces no physical
> It has a powerful action, as strong in its own field as that of anger. It
> not only hinders the further development, but attracts to the student's
> vicinity thousands of malevolent beings of all classes that precipitate
> themselves upon him and wake up or bring on every evil passion. Envy,
> therefore, must be extirpated, and it cannot be got rid of as long as the
> personal idea is allowed to remain in us.
> Another effect is produced on this ethereal body by vanity. Vanity
> represents the great illusion of nature. It brings up before the soul all
> sorts of erroneous or evil pictures, or both, and drags the judgment so
> that once more anger or envy will enter, or such course be pursued that
> violent destruction by outside causes falls upon the being. As in one case
> related to me. The man had made considerable progress, but at last allowed
> vanity to rule. This was followed by the presentation to his inner sight
> most extraordinary images and ideas, which in their turn so affected him
> that he attracted to his sphere hordes of elementals seldom known to
> students and quite indescribable in English. These at last, as is their
> nature, laid siege to him, and one day produced all about the plane of his
> astral body an effect similar in some respects to that which follows an
> explosion of the most powerful explosive known to science. The consequence
> was, his ethereal form was so suddenly fractured that by repercussion the
> whole nature of the man was altered, and he soon died in a madhouse after
> having committed the most awful excesses.
> And vanity cannot be avoided except by studiously cultivating that
> selflessness and poverty of heart advised as well by Jesus of Nazareth as
> Buddha.
> Another hindrance is fear. This is not, however, the worst of all, and is
> one that will disappear by means of knowledge, for fear is always the son
> ignorance. Its effect on the ethereal form is to shrivel it up, or
> and contract it. But as knowledge increases, that contraction abates,
> permitting the person to expand. Fear is the same thing as frigidity on
> earth, and always proceeds by the process of freezing.
> In my next the subject will be further developed.
> IT is now over one year since I sent in Part I to the Editor of the PATH.
> Since then I have heard that some students expressed a desire to read Part
> II, forgetting to observe, perhaps, that the first paper was complete in
> itself, and, if studied, with earnest practice to follow, would have led
> beneficial results. It has not been necessary before to write No. II; and
> the various students who so soon after reading the first have asked for
> second I plainly say that you have been led away because a sequel was
> indicated and you cannot have studied the first; furthermore I much doubt
> you will be benefited by this any more than by the other.
> Success in the culture of concentration is not for him who sporadically
> attempts it. It is a thing that flows from "a firm position assumed with
> regard to the end in view, and unremittingly kept up." ..students are too
> apt to think that success in occultism can be reached as one attains
> in school or college, by reading and learning printed words.
> A complete knowledge of all that was ever written upon concentration will
> confer no power in the practice of that about which I treat. Mere book
> knowledge is derided in this school as much as it is by the clodhopper;
> that I think book knowledge is to be avoided, but that sort of acquisition
> without the concentration is as useless as faith without works. It is
> in some places, I believe, "mere eye-knowledge." Such indeed it is; and
> is the sort of culture most respected in these degenerate times.
> In starting these papers the true practice was called Raj Yoga. It
> those physical motions, postures, and recipes relating solely to the
> personality, and directs the student to virtue and altruism as the bases
> from which to start. This is more often rejected than accepted.
> So much has been said during the last 1800 years about Rosicrucians,
> Egyptian Adepts, Secret Masters, Kaballah, and wonderful magical books,
> students without a guide, attracted to these subjects, ask for information
> and seek in vain for the entrance to the temple of the learning they
> because they say that virtue's rules are meant for babes and
> but not for them. And, in consequence, we find hundreds of books in all
> languages of Europe dealing with rites, ceremonies, invocations, and other
> obscurities that will lead to nothing but loss of time and money. But few
> these authors had anything save "mere eye-knowledge." 'Tis true they have
> sometimes a reputation, but it is only that accorded to an ignoramus by
> those who are more ignorant.
> The so-called great man, knowing how fatal to reputation it would be to
> how really small is his practical knowledge, prates about "projections and
> elementals," "philosopher's stone and elixir," but discreetly keeps from
> readers the paucity of his acquirements and the insecurity of his own
> state.
> Let the seeker know, once for all, that the virtues cannot be discarded
> ignored; they must be made a part of our life, and their philosophical
> must be understood.
> But it may be asked, if in the culture of concentration we will succeed
> alone by the practice of virtue. The answer is No, not in this life, but
> perhaps one day in a later life. The life of virtue accumulates much
> that merit will at some time cause one to be born in a wise family where
> real practice of concentration may perchance begin; or it may cause one to
> be born in a family of devotees, or those far advanced on the Path, as
> in Bhagavad-Gita. But such a birth as this, says Krishna, is difficult to
> obtain; hence the virtues alone will not always lead in short space to our
> object.
> We must make up our minds to a life of constant work upon this line.
> The lazy ones or they who ask for pleasure may as well give it up at the
> threshold and be content with the pleasant paths marked out for those who
> "fear God and honor the King." Immense fields of investigation and
> experiment have to be traversed; dangers unthought of and forces unknown
> to be met; and all must be overcome, for in this battle there is no
> asked or given.
> Great stores of knowledge must be found and seized. The kingdom of heaven
> not to be had for the asking; it must be taken by violence. And the only
> in which we can gain the will and the power to thus seize and hold is by
> acquiring the virtues on the one hand, and minutely understanding
> on the other.
> Some day we will begin to see why not one passing thought may be ignored,
> not one flitting impression missed. This we can perceive is no simple
> It is a gigantic work.
> Did you ever reflect that the mere passing sight of a picture, or a single
> word instantly lost in the rush of the world, may be basis for a dream
> will poison the night and react upon the brain next day. Each one must be
> examined. If you have not noticed it, then when you awake next day you
> to go back in memory over every word and circumstance of the preceding
> seeking, like the astronomer through space, for the lost one. And,
> similarly, without such a special reason, you must learn to be able to go
> thus backward into your days so as to go over carefully and in detail all
> that happened, all that you permitted to pass through the brain. Is this
> easy matter?
> But let us for a moment return to the sham adepts, the reputed Masters,
> whether they were well-intentioned or the reverse. Take Eliphas Levi, who
> wrote so many good things, and whose books contain such masses of
> hints. Out of his own mouth he convicts himself.
> With great show he tells of the raising of the shade of Apollonius. Weeks
> beforehand all sorts of preparations had to be made, and on the momentous
> night absurd necromantic performances were gone through. What was the
> result? Why only that the so-called shade appeared for a few moments, and
> Levi says they never attempted it again. Any good medium of these days
> call up the shade of Apollonius without preparation, and if Levi were an
> Adept he could have seen the dead quite as easily as he turned to his
> picture in a book.
> By these sporadic attempts and outside preparations, nothing is really
> gained but harm to those who thus indulge. And the foolish dabbling by
> American theosophists with practices of the Yogis of India that are not
> one-eighth understood and which in themselves are inadequate, will lead to
> much worse results than the apocryphal attempt recorded by Eliphas Levi.
> As we have to deal with the Western mind now ours, all unused as it is to
> these things and over-burdened with false training and falser logic, we
> begin where we are, we must examine our present possessions and grow to
> our own present powers and mental machinery. This done, we may proceed to
> see ourselves in the way that shall bring about the best result.
> PATH, February, 1890
> ================================================
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