Know Thyself - Welcome @ Kristo's blog

Know Thyself - Welcome @ Kristo's blog
David - I adore the community of saints / Gelukpa's

dinsdag 4 februari 2014

PASSING ON THE LIGHT - by G. De Purucker

There is but one occultism, one truth. The fountain of wisdom on this earth is the Brotherhood of adepts, the spiritual heart of the world, from which streams unceasingly a flow of inspiration and enlightenment. It is the one supreme source from which have derived all the facets of truth that the religious and philosophical systems of the world contain. From there come forth not only the great sages and teachers from time to time as the guides and instructors of men, but also envoys or messengers, whether known or unknown, who work in the world for the benefit of mankind.
This fountain-source of wisdom is formed of the noblest spiritual and intellectual giants that humanity has ever produced — men who have become at one with the god within. Knowing each other they band together and thus form the great school of light and truth, the great Brotherhood. Called by various names in different ages, the higher ones are known in Buddhist countries as Dhyani-chohans; the ancient Persians referred to the members of this solar hierarchy as Amshaspends. Jewish mystics and Qabbalists spoke of them as Bnei 'Elohim, Sons of the Gods; and in other countries they were called Sons of Light, or Sons of the Sun as in ancient Egypt.
Innumerable schools of occultism, all derivative from the mother-school, have existed in the past, exist presently, and will exist in the future. The Mysteries of the Greeks were one such school, as were those of the Persians and the Egyptians; the Mysteries practiced in the ancient Americas, such as among the Peruvians and the Mayas, were schools in the same sacred tradition. Both the Lamaism of Tibet and the Vedanta of Hindustan are essentially schools of occultism, although they are also systems of exoteric philosophy. The Rosicrucians of the mediaeval ages were originally a mystic theosophic and quasi-esoteric body; and the Martinists of France, existing even today, form one of the 'occultistic' schools. Then there are the so-called alchemical bodies, whether in India, Asia Minor, or in Europe, whose adherents, while possessing a modicum of spiritual aspiration, nevertheless yearn even more for powers or phenomena.
There are, moreover, in the Orient a number of quasi-occult groups, some larger, some smaller, which study in their own way the different remnants of mystical literature which past ages have brought into being in those countries. In Persia, Egypt, Syria and in parts of Turkey, similar bodies exist, often very exclusive, and usually nothing is heard of them.
All such associations, in every country and every age, do a certain good work in their way in proportion to the amount of the ancient wisdom that they teach. But such truth as they do impart is too often seen through the distorting mental prisms of those who have wandered from the fountain-source. Only as they pass on faithfully the splendor originally received from the mother-school can they rightly be called schools of occultism. It may be added that there are in the world at the present time, in every one of the great continental masses, a few — a very few — genuinely esoteric schools connected with the Brotherhood.
A few intuitive scholars have suspected the existence of esoteric teachings in the archaic Mystery schools, but these have never yet been found in a coherent body. In the different literatures of antiquity we find an allusion here, a reference there, but a reasoned and explicit series of such teachings exists only in places to which no uninitiated student has hitherto consciously penetrated.
In recording the deeper truths for later generations, the ancient sages and seers adopted the use of metaphor or figures of speech, often in fantastic and curious tales: legends, fairy stories, mythological romances. Plato, for instance, through the use of myth gave out many guarded hints regarding matters taught in the Mysteries; but because he himself knew what he was about and had received permission to do this, and did it under the cloak of metaphor, it was not a violation either of the letter or of the spirit of his oath.
It is actually by so using esoteric terms that the great teachers of past ages wrote letters to each other, and composed their books, passing them from hand to hand. Those who were initiated could understand what they read; to them it was intelligible and clear; but to the man who had not been received within the 'temple walls,' the teachings were merely speculative philosophy, or perhaps meaningless jargon.
These wisdom-teachings have come down in direct succession from sage to sage, ever since the Mysteries were first instituted among men in late Lemurian and Atlantean times — a step which became essential because mankind had lost the power of direct and conscious communion with their divine ancestors. Men were thus taught to raise the soul by an effort of the will combined with intense aspiration so that they might be brought into direct intercourse, spiritually and intellectually, with their own inner god — or with some other divinity. It was in this way that the noblest truths about man and the universe were originally perceived, and thereafter 'sung' — to use the word of the Veda — i.e. formulated into human speech.
Why is it that in practically all the ancient literatures spiritual teaching was given in the vernacular of the battlefield? The Bhagavad-Gita, for instance, tells of the conflict between the opposing armies of the Kurus and the Pandavas. In the Germanic and Scandinavian mythologies there is the constant battling between the gods and the heroes; so also in the Greek, Egyptian, Persian, and Babylonian mythologies — all are alike in this respect.
The question is easily answered: to little children we give storybooks; to those who cannot understand the meaning of peace and quiet and the enormous strength that lies in these, we talk of battle and of fighting, because there is always a victor and a vanquished. Thus in the literatures of the world secrets of mystic truths were written in the epic vein in order to meet the mental characteristics of those ages. But behind all this there were the esoteric schools (1) which taught truth and compassion more directly, such as did Lao-tse of China: "The way of Tao is not to strive." This is the contrary of quietism, for quietism is usually spiritual stupefaction, whereas the whole effort should be to imbody in one's life and in every fiber of one's being an active spirit of compassion for all mankind.
Just as the original esoteric bodies became the great religious and philosophical schools of the past, just so the present theosophical movement was intended to be the spiritual-intellectual nursery from which will be born the great philosophical and religious and scientific systems of future ages — indeed, the heart of the civilizations of the coming cycles.
In every important age, theosophical movements in various parts of the globe have been founded. A few succeeded; most of them lived for a while, did some good, achieved a certain amount of the work that was to be done, and then failed, becoming a church, a sect, a dogmatic set of beliefs. Such periodic efforts to instill into men's hearts the ageless verities will continue throughout future time, until human beings shall have so evolved that they will welcome light when it comes, and will honor it as the most precious gift that they have.
Thus it was that in 1875 two men of buddha-like soul took upon their shoulders the challenge of making themselves karmically responsible in a sense for the sending out of a new message which, by the force of its innate vigor and the persuasive power of its truths, would induce men to think. From then on science began to have stirrings of new ideas; fresh impulses were injected into the thought-atmosphere of the world and, not least, the ideal of working toward an eventual universal brotherhood among all peoples took firm hold. The chief objective was to have these ancient spiritual principles work as a leaven in human thought, in the religious and philosophical strata and, ultimately, in the social structure itself. H. P. Blavatsky was inspired to write her masterworks, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine — not for the purpose of founding another religion, but to restate once again and in fuller measure the archaic wisdom-tradition of mankind in its more esoteric aspects. As such, she was one of the links in the serial line of teachers who come at certain stated periods for the passing on of esoteric light and truth. She came at the beginning of a new Messianic cycle and the ending of an old one, and thus was the messenger for the age to come.
This succession of teachers, the one following the other, has continued through countless centuries. There is nothing amazing about it; it is simply an illustration of one of nature's laws, that just as generation succeeds generation, and one genus in evolutionary time comes after some other genus, so is there a chain of wise men continuing the flow of truth down the ages. In Sanskrit writings this is called the guruparampara, of which there are two kinds: first, those sages who rise one above the other, as it were, in progressively greater wisdom and spiritual dignity; and second, those who follow each other in time, and in one line of succession in the outer world of men.
The same pattern was known to the Greek poets and philosophers, Homer and Hesiod both speaking of the Golden Chain connecting Olympus and earth, and later Greek mystical writers referred to it as the Hermetic Chain. This passing on of the torch of light from hand to hand has always been, and always will be — as long as the call comes from the hearts of men. When that call dies, the chain of succession remains intact, but the teachers no longer work openly.
The guardians of mankind — name them as you will, masters, mahatmas, adepts or elder brothers of the race — work wherever they see the slightest chance to do good, to cultivate the spiritual nature of their fellow human beings. Obviously, any society or group of people, or any individual, who tries to follow a noble pathway in life will receive their help, if worthy of it. Worthiness is the test, the sole test. Whenever the right call is made, it will be answered. But any call merely for self-benefit most emphatically is not the 'right call.' The only call they recognize is that given by those whose hearts yearn for light, and whose minds seek wisdom and whose souls are swayed by compassion. And further, the call must be made solely in order to lay such wisdom and light as may be received on the altar of service to humanity. There is not a single earnest heartbeat that remains unanswered, not a single soul-aspiration to help that is not faithfully registered.
Thus is the Brotherhood of adepts the guardian and custodian of the primeval wisdom, whose members are sworn to preserve it in secrecy and in silence until someone knocks at the portals with the right knock. They in turn receive light from others higher than they; and so on forever is this theosophia — the wisdom of the gods — transmitted to men along the Golden Chain of Mercury, the interpreter.


Spiritual and astral forces are at work continuously, and have been so from the very earliest ages of the earth. But there come certain times in human history when the doors between our physical world and the inner realms are partly open so that men become more receptive to these subtle influences. We are leaving an era of materialistic life and thought and are entering a more spiritual one. At the same time, the world is full of evidences of an outbreak of psychical influences, and these are always deceptive, always dangerous, because the astral realms belong to a lower range of material existence, filled with evil emanations, human and other.
Such indeed is the present period, one wherein not so much the spiritual and astral energies are quickened as that we are at the junction of two great cycles, the ending of one and the beginning of another; and, concordantly with this transition of cyclic periods, the minds of men are rapidly changing, becoming more psychically sensitive. There is great danger in this, but there is also a larger chance more quickly to progress, if man's consciousness is turned towards higher things, for this accelerated movement of change is especially potent in so far as spiritual forces are concerned.
There is nothing unique about this; it has taken place in the past. An immense effort was made at the time of the downfall of the Atlantean race — an effort which culminated in the establishment of the Mystery schools which long ages afterwards found expression in the various mystical, religious and philosophical centers of the ancient world. When we examine the world's sacred literatures, we find the oldest of them containing the fullest measure of the archaic esoteric teachings. The reason for this is that from about the time of the submersion of the last island of the Atlantean continental system — recorded by Plato as having occurred some 9000 years before his day — there has been a steady increase of materiality in the world, and a consequent and equal recession of spiritual impulses. But this cycle, as indicated, has recently come to an end. The one we are entering is a very unusual one, in that it does not belong to the so-called Messianic era which is 2,160 years long, but covers a time span of some ten to twelve thousand years.
Great events are in the making, for the entire civilized world is approaching a critical point in its history. There is literally a battle proceeding between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, and it is a matter of very delicate balance as to which side of the dividing line between spiritual safety and spiritual retrogression the scales of destiny will fall.
In a letter written shortly before her death, H. P. Blavatsky warned:
Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers, is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic outruns the Manasic and Spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the Manasic principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of controlled, using instead of being used, lead the Student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction. Watch therefore carefully this development, inevitable in your race and evolution-period, so that it may finally work for good and not for evil.(2)
Unfortunately, as is always the case in an age which has lost touch with spirituality, people today yearn for powers, for the development of suspected but scarcely accepted higher faculties; and in their blindness they search outside of themselves. Their hearts are hungry for answers to the enigmas of life, and so they take what they can from self-advertised teachers about how to gain and use psychical powers, and such 'teachings' are always baited with personal benefit. It is difficult to speak of these things without hurting many trusting souls who, not knowing the truth, follow what seem to them to be glimpses of a greater life than that which they have; and this accounts for the many so-called psychical and quasi-mystical movements (3) presently existing which, in many cases, are leading people away instead of toward the light emanating from their own inner god. We have to be ever watchful in these matters. The waves of the astral light are exceedingly unreliable, and thousands and thousands follow the will-o'-the-wisps of psychic light instead of the steady burning splendor of the divinity within.
The plain fact is that the West is being misled by psychical teachings which in themselves have nothing permanent in them. And those who follow these practices are, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people of untrained spiritual and psychical fabric of character who are thus easily caught by the maya of psychism. This does not mean that such faculties and powers are evil or are not natural parts of the human constitution; nor that they are useless. The meaning is that they are very hazardous to one without spiritual vision and the power of intellect and spiritual will to guide and control the psychical nature in which these faculties inhere.
Dangerous also are the hatha-yoga practices of a psycho-astral type, usually connected with physical posturing, etc., to which certain individuals are addicted in their attempt to gain for themselves powers of a lower kind. These practices not only can affect the mind and even dislodge it from its normal seat, thus producing insanity, but also can interfere with the proper pranic circulations of the body. Religious fanatics often go insane; and in certain sensitive instances become the so-called ecstatics, believed by the ignorant to be exemplars of a holy life merely because their skin may bleed, and their hands or feet show wounds supposed to represent the nails of the Cross. The same may be said of the fakirs and lower type of yogis of the Orient. Results can be produced which endanger both the mind and the health, as well as the life itself. In all these practices there is not a breath of spirituality.
He who enters the path with the hope of gaining powers of any kind, regarding them as something of paramount importance, is destined to failure. Indeed, he is embarking upon a very hazardous and questionable road, which at worst could lead to sorcery and black magic, and at best will bring to him only the Dead Sea fruit of disappointment. Powers as such, whether spiritual, intellectual, or psychic, will develop in due course and in a perfectly natural way as we progress, provided that we have the unflinching determination to achieve, and, above all, that our heart is forever brightened and filled with compassionate love, a love that is even now a distinguishing characteristic of the spiritual soul within.
There is immense hope and spiritual beauty in the teachings of the esoteric tradition. In them is the path along which we may evolve, but it depends upon the individual whether or not he ascends along the ray which is living and working within him. While it is true that fully to understand the deeper reaches of the philosophy requires high intellectual power and a spiritual vision, it is often very simple natures who see a great light. Light passes everywhere. We have but to open the closed doors of our personality and the light of itself will come in, and we shall then understand instinctively the most recondite secrets of nature.
Jesus the avatara, so ill understood in the Occident, taught the same truths. Seek first the treasures of the spirit, of the kingdom of heaven, and all other things will be added — all the psychical powers and energies and faculties will fall into place naturally and safely, enlightened and guided by the spiritual sun within.
Now what are these treasures of the spirit? None other than those spiritual and intellectual faculties and energies which make us godlike in thought and deed: will power, vision, intuition, instant sympathy with all that lives. There is no reason why we human beings should not begin to use our heritage. All powers and qualities and attributes are in us, even now, but they are latent for the most part, because we have not yet learned to bring them forth. In reality, it is we ourselves in our ordinary lower mind and feelings who are 'sleeping,' whereas our higher nature is not dormant at all, but intensely active.
For instance, when the spiritual will is evoked and active in a man, he becomes supreme over himself so that he has absolute self-command, and not even the denizens of the astral world can in any wise control him. Will in action is a current of energy, which means a current of substance, precisely as electricity is both force and matter. Back of will lies desire. If the desire be pure, the will is pure. If the desire be evil, the will is evil. Back of desire lies consciousness. Therefore will originates in consciousness through desire. We desire, and instantly will awakens intelligence which directs this will, and we act — or refrain from acting, which sometimes is nobler still.
There is divine desire (4) which in men is called aspiration, and also its material reflection. How many of us allow our will to be directed by the egoistic and selfish impulses of the lower aspect of our desire-nature, the kama principle! Consequently, as the human will is rooted in buddhi-manas, it is the intuition and the higher manasic principle which should guide our human will to the nobler acts which it is in our province to do: deeds of brotherhood and of impersonal service; and this is the very nature and characteristic of the spiritual ego, the buddhi-manasic principle in man.
Intuition expresses itself as instant vision, instant knowledge. But there is a great difference between wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom may be called the knowledge of the higher ego, the spiritual soul, and knowledge the wisdom of the personality. In each case it is a storing up in the treasury of experience of what has been learned and unlearned — a treasury that is not a chamber, small or vast, but ourself. Each experience is a modification of the understanding self; and the repository of memory is filled with the record of the ages, precisely as the personality is stamped and impressed with the karmic record of all the personalities preceding it which made it.
Wisdom, knowledge, inner power, all are faculties of the spirit, signifying the fruits of evolutionary unfolding of the inherent power of the spirit-soul. Intuition per se is spiritual wisdom and garnered knowledge, gathered in the treasure house of the spirit-soul in past lives. Instinct, on the other hand, may be called the passive side of intuition, which is the energic, the will-side, the alert and active aspect. Instinct expresses itself all through natural being: the atoms move and sing by instinct, even as man using his consciousness and will, may do likewise; but the song and movement of intuition are incomparably loftier than the song and movement of instinct. Both are functions of the consciousness, the one vegetative, automatic; the other, energic, awake.
The spirit is all-permeant, living and moving everywhere for it is universal. Spiritual clairvoyance, of which the psychical clairvoyance is but a dancing shadow, enables one to see behind all veils of illusion, to see what is transpiring on some distant star in the fields of space. It is the power to perceive the truth of things at a glance, and to know the hearts of men and understand their minds. It is the faculty of visioning with the inner eye, not so much a seeing of forms as a getting of knowledge, and because this acquiring of knowledge comes in a way that closely parallels the way of seeing with the physical eye, it is called direct vision. (5)
So it is with spiritual clairaudience, which is not the power of hearing with the physical ear (or of seeing, for sometimes sounds are seen and colors heard, there being an interrelation between sense and sense), but of listening with the ear of the spirit. The sounds that are heard with the ear of the spirit are heard in the silence and with the repose of all the senses. Such spiritual clairaudience will enable one to hear the movements of the atoms as they sing their individual hymns; to hear the growing of the grass, the unfolding of the rose — to hear it all as a symphony.
Socrates used to say to those around him that his daimon, his inner monitor, never told him what to do, but always what not to do. (6) This daimon was the 'voice' of the higher ego, which in great men is often very strong in its energy; and in some hypersensitive constitutions may be heard as a 'voice.' It is not really a voice (although that is its effect at times on the physical brain), but rather is an urge from within, manifesting also, perhaps, as flashes of light and inner vision.
We cannot understand ourselves and others unless we have evolved the understanding heart. The key is sympathy, and the method is to look to the divine being within. As we aspire to become more like it in every moment of our lives, light will come and we shall know truth when we find it. We shall become compassionate and strong — qualities that are the true insignia of the self-illumined man. The first lesson, then, is to seek the light of our own inner god, and trust it alone. When we follow this light and are warmed by its sublime and life-giving rays, then we shall see the same god-light in others.
By going to the fountainhead we find the clearest water, so why drink from the muddy waters hundreds of miles from the spring? If a man would know himself and the wondrous powers and faculties that are his, let him see himself in the universe around him, and study that universe as being himself. An epigram, possibly, but a true master key to wisdom, and containing the essence not only of all initiation, but of all future growth.

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