Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
Teacher and student are links in a great spiritual chain, extending from infinity to infinity, from past to future. Invisible and intangible, this nevertheless exists, a golden chain of spiritual life, a great Reality. As a link in this chain, man becomes both giver and receiver, passing on the torch of truth from hand to hand, from nation to nation, and from age to age. — Katherine Tingley
G. de P. — Companions, I am ready to answer questions.
Student — In the past six weeks, we seem to have had a large number of catastrophes: earthquakes, fires, accidents, tidal waves, and an especial tendency towards accidents connected with fire. I have thought that it must be due to some very special influence of the planets at this time, and I wanted to ask you, since that is possibly true, if there is not also a particular influence on the inner life of the students in this connection that it might be helpful for us to know.
G. de P. — Yes, what you say is quite true. If you will examine the positions that the sun, moon, and planets have taken during the last three months or so, you will find very interesting and unusual configurations. For instance, the planet Jupiter and the planet Mars have been very close together, the latter in the sign of Leo, and Jupiter in the sign of Cancer, and both have been at different times in opposition to the heavy planet Saturn.
In addition to this, the moon of course has made its usual rounds and has made various astrological configurations; but perhaps the most important aspects or positions of the planets that I have spoken of have been the oppositions. Leo is supposed to be and is in fact a fiery sign. Mars itself is called a fiery planet, and is also one of the two "infortunes" — so called. Thus, a fiery planet in a fiery sign is very significant indeed, and in near or close opposition to the planet Saturn — as it has been for quite a long time — it must produce corresponding effects on the earth.
As regards similar effects on the minds of human beings, I see no reason why the great energies of the solar system which produce such effects on the earth, and on the other planets — I see no reason why these same spiritual and psychomagnetic energies should not affect the minds and psychical apparatus of human beings; and, as a matter of fact, they do. I do not care to speak overmuch on this subject, and I will tell you very frankly why.
There is indeed a true science of astrology. It is a sublime science, fascinating to study, productive of great benefit, not only to man's intellect, but also to his ethical instincts in the lessons that he can draw from that study. But this sublime and genuinely real and very archaic science of astrology is practically unknown in the Occident. All that the Occident knows of astrology is the more or less tattered remnants of the ancient and sacred science of the stars.
I do not mean to imply by this remark that Occidental astrology has no value whatsoever. On the contrary, even those remnants, those mere fragments of the ancient sacred science of the stars, can today give lessons of real value to the student who knows how to interpret what has come down to us from the past. You can actually read human destiny, racial, national, and individual, in the positions and so-called aspects or configurations of the sun, moon, and planets.
The old astrologers had a saying: "Stellae non cogunt, agunt," which means that the stars — that is to say the sun, the moon, and the five planets of the ancients, as well as the stars — do not compel, but impel. This means, however, that individual human beings always have their native free will unimpeded and uncoerced. The stars, the planets, the sun, and the moon, by the energies that they send to us, impel us to think certain things, to feel in certain ways, and therefore to do certain acts; but they do not compel us to any of this. Man always can change his own feelings, his own thoughts, and necessarily, therefore, his own acts. You must not suppose that the ancient astrology taught a rigid fatalism, or indeed a fatalism of any kind. It did not. The main idea was that man, being an inseparable part of the universe, can read in all the various parts of the universal machine, considered as a mechanism, exactly what the past has been. Therefore, due to the laws of cause and effect, he can deduce what the present is, and therefore again, due to the same laws of cause and effect, what the conditions and impulses arising in the future will be.
Now, any individual man, due to his spiritual faculty of choice, of free will in thought and in action, and due to his spiritual insight, can change his own course of destiny, and the course of destiny of others, at least in some degree, at any time whatsoever — no matter what the positions or aspects or configurations of the celestial bodies may be.
It is obvious that certain human beings will be more strongly affected, impelled, by certain aspects or configurations of the celestial bodies than other human beings are. Certain individuals are born under one of the twelve signs of the zodiac, which merely means that they have closely sympathetic relations with that sign. Other human beings are born under some other sign, for the same reason; and so is the case with all the other ten signs, there being as you know twelve signs of the zodiac.
We may see by this that mankind may therefore be divided into twelve classes of beings, this division corresponding intimately and very accurately with the ten classes of the monads, of which HPB speaks in The Secret Doctrine. As a matter of fact, there are twelve classes of the monads, but they are usually referred to as ten — just why, would take me too long to explain tonight. Again, these classes are but infrequently alluded to as numbering ten, and usually only seven classes of the monads are spoken of in our literature. The reason for this common or usual reference to the monads as of seven classes and not ten I can tell you at once. In the division into ten, it is always understood that seven composed the manifested or active portion of the hierarchy, thus leaving three classes "unmanifested." Just so it is with the structure of the universe: there are ten, and indeed twelve, planes or realms or spheres or worlds — call them what you like — in any one hierarchy. Let us say that there are ten, which is the usual way of speaking. Of these ten worlds or planes or spheres, seven are manifested, and three dwell, as the Pythagoreans used to say, in the silence and in the darkness of unfathomable spirit.
Now then, it is or should be clear, I think, that when certain planets rise — as human beings see them from earth — or apparently rise in certain signs, those individuals most intimately connected with those signs are affected strongly, not only by the signs but by the planets which happen to be transiting those signs at the time.
Hence it should be obvious that at the present time when the planet Mars, a fiery body astrologically speaking, is transiting and actually is retrograding through the fiery sign of Leo, all those human beings whose natures are more or less fiery, martial, and of the type of this sign, will be more strongly affected than are other human beings.
If the planet Jupiter were transiting the sign Leo, as it will in a few months from now, then the sign Leo combined with the Jovian influence would affect very strongly those human beings who were born when the sign Leo was rising, but who at the same time were strongly affected at birth by certain aspects of the planet Jupiter, and so forth.
All these remarks, my dear Companions, I ask you not to construe to mean that human beings are the mere slaves of an inscrutable destiny flowing from the celestial bodies. It is not so. This warning is not ill advised; it is advisable to give it. I have known men and women, and I doubt not that others of you have, who will find plausible excuses for evil-doing in almost any fact. I have known them to say: "Yes, I admit I have certain faults and vices in my character, but what will you? I was born that way. The stars fought against me when I was born." I mean that no one should seek in the influences of the planets and of the sun and of the moon and of the stars, excuses for the faults in his character and lay upon the celestial bodies the moral responsibility for thoughts and feelings and acts which arise within himself.
I am talking vaguely because I do not desire to go too deeply into this matter. I do not want to fire your imaginations or your thoughts and have you all studying astrology as it is taught in the West. I do not desire that. Here is the point of thought that I am trying to elucidate. A human being is born at a certain time on earth when sun, moon, and stars are in certain positions and have certain aspects to each other, not because he is attracted by them to be born then, but because coming to birth at that moment, the instincts and impulses of his being find, with such conjunctions, oppositions, quadratures, semisextiles, trines, and what not, the open and proper door to physical birth. In other words, such influences as then prevail are they which fit his taking a body at that time. It is the inner man who has the free will and who acts, and who enters life of his own choice, impelled also by his own karma — planetary configurations and aspects and positions, being merely like an open door, define or designate or point out the type or kind of human being who then is coming to birth. Therefore I repeat the old axiom: Stellae non cogunt, agunt; the stars do not compel, they impel. Or, to change the phrase to accord with my last remark: the stars do not make you, they mark you for what you are.
Are there any other questions?
Student — May I ask a question? It is regarding Reichenbach, the German, or Austrian I think he was. We have been told that it is best while sleeping to have the head turned towards the north. Now Reichenbach says that it is even more important to lie on the right side in the northern hemisphere, because the strongest polarity in the human body is not between the head and the feet, but between the right and the left side. He says there is a triple polarity in the human body, the strongest between the right and left side, the next strongest between head and feet, and the third or least strong between the front part of the body and the back. So if people sleep in the southern hemisphere of the earth, they should lie on the left side. But he seems to say that it is because of another reason almost the opposite of the one that you have given us. It is not because the head, for instance, is the similar pole to the north pole of the earth, but because it is the opposite pole, because opposite poles attract each other, and he had found this fact through his experiments with magnets. The astral of the human body is kept safe just because the right side of the body and the head of the body are of opposite polarity to the north.
It seems rather remarkable to me because, according to our teaching, I understand that the head and the right side of the human body have similar polarity to the north pole, in which case they should repel each other. So if magnetic conditions reign over such things, one ought to sleep less well, perhaps be turned out of the body, by sleeping in the position you recommend.
Reichenbach says he has made several experiments and observed many things. For instance, certain people, weak ladies, sitting in a church for a couple of hours, turned towards the east, have the left side to the north: that is the wrong side, and so they are turned out of the body, and swoon, fall down — in short cannot stand it.
I should be thankful if you could give some explanation of the philosophy of this matter.
G. de P. — Yes, it is a very interesting matter that you have spoken of, and I think Reichenbach has on the whole seized a real truth. But there is one thing that you speak of which, if I understood you aright, perhaps really is that you make a distinction without a difference. The magnet according to modern Occidental theory has two poles, has it not? That which is called the north pole and that which is called the south pole. Now when you put two magnets together, it is the north pole of one magnet which must be presented to the south pole of the other magnet in order that the two shall hang together or cohere. Is not that correct?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — Just so. Therefore the two north ends are pointing in the same direction, and thus do not repel each other. Just so is it with the human body sleeping in bed with the head to the north. The man's positive pole, his north pole, his head, is then pointing to the north pole of the earth, and thus it receives the magnetism coming from the south pole of all objects immediately contiguous to or touching his head. Do you understand me? Do you now follow the thought?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — That is the reason why the north pole, so called, should be pointed to the north. It is also the reason why a man should have his north pole, his head, also directed to the north. It is because the influence, the magnetism, coming into his north pole, his head, comes from the south pole of the magnet, whatever it may be, visible or invisible, with which his head is in immediate connection. The distance between north pole and head of sleeping man may be small or may be long. But this distance is composed of matter or material things between the north pole and the human head, and thus is like a series of magnets one pendant from the other, in a shorter or longer chain of magnets. In all cases the north poles all point in the same direction to the north pole of the earth. Do you get the idea?
Student — Yes, I now see.
G. de P. — Outside of what I have just said, I doubt very much whether Baron Reichenbach is quite right about sleeping on the various sides of the body. I understand that certain doctors recommend that men should sleep on the right side, due to some theory, I believe, regarding the alleged fact that the heart thereby has freer action, is not compressed. But much more important than that is the following fact: the ideal way to sleep, if human beings could become accustomed to it, is the head to the north or northeast — but best of all is to the north — and the body somewhat curved in bed, with the knees more or less drawn up, not uncomfortably so, and with the feet pointing to the south.
It is a very interesting fact that many ancient peoples buried their dead in this semicircular or curved position, "sleeping their last sleep." It is also said to be the position of the unborn child in its antenatal sleep. The theory is, the idea is — and it is a fact — that all electromagnetic energies move in spirals or circles. That is their perfect way; and the body lying in the bed thus curved with the head pointing preferably to the north, and with the knees more or less drawn up and the feet pointing south, offers every opportunity for the natural magnetic circulations of the earth to have freest passage through the body, without undergoing an unnecessary resistance. We have nature likewise showing us the unborn child so sleeping.
So far as human beings can do so, I would suggest, indeed strongly urge, that they try to follow this position of the body in sleep. It is not perhaps of high or great importance, because the average healthy body can withstand a great deal.
Are there any other questions?
Student — May I add another point? Modern physicians [[physicists?]] have found out something that corroborates Reichenbach with regard to the right and the left sides of the body. They have found that at each beat of the heart an electric current passes through the body from right to left.
G. de P. — That is true. You say that Reichenbach discovered this?
Student — Yes, the polarity, but not the fact of the electric current. But the newer discovery seems to corroborate his teaching about the polarity.
G. de P. — I think that is true. The head is certainly the north pole of the human body, the feet the south pole; the front of the body, again, is positive, and the back is negative; the right side is positive, and the left is negative. There is thus a triple but uniform current swirling or circling through the body at all times.
Student — I want to be quite clear on this because of my work with the children. When you speak of sleeping with the head to the north and the legs drawn up, does that mean on the back or on one or the other side?
G. de P. — On the side of the body.
Student — With the children I notice that young babies almost invariably lie flat on their backs with the knees drawn up slightly; and three of the older children in my care sleep similarly, and I did not think it was a very good position.
G. de P. — I do not think that it is, unless it occur with a very young child; and in that case I would not disturb him because very young children act from instinct. But in an older child, or in an adult, the conditions are altered. I would not advise anyone to sleep on the back. As a matter of fact it is better to sleep on the stomach, face down. But I find that the most restful position in the bed is sleeping on either the right side of the body or on the left, and preferably on the right side with the head to the north and with the legs drawn up as I have said, but comfortably so, and with the body at ease — relaxed. Of course, if you try to draw up the legs and use energy and willpower in so doing, you will very greatly disturb your rest, very greatly.
Student — The children I speak of are about seven or eight years old.
G. de P. — That is not old; that is not old at all. I was thinking of older children or of adults when speaking.
Student — Yes, Professor, I quite understand.
G. de P. — I would suggest that after ten years of age any child be advised to try to avoid sleeping on its back. I do not think it is a good thing for adults or for growing children. For babies, of course, I would let them lie just as they seem instinctively to take a position in sleep.
Student — Is there any danger, if one lie constantly on one side and not on the other, of producing an abnormal curvature of the spine?
G. de P. — Just so.
Student — On November 2nd (1930) at the close of the program on Cagliostro you made certain remarks and two of them were as follows: "To every Cagliostro who appears there is always a Balsamo closely accompanying him, and indeed inseparable from every messenger is his shadow." Can these statements be elucidated, if permissible?
G. de P. — I think so. At least I can say something about them here that I could not say in a public meeting. You have all heard the story of the Christ and his Judas. There is a very interesting meaning to this story. It can be construed as a tale of the betrayal of one human being by another — in other words as just common or current legend. But, as a matter of fact, every human being contains in himself his own Judas, which is the lower, passionate, evil side of his nature.
Coming to the matter of the messengers from the Lodge, every one of the messengers who has appeared thus far has had his or her Judas. I prefer not to define, or rather to specify, who these Judases have been, or who the one is at present. I have my Judas.
It is a strange law in Occultism, and it works out in daily life too, that no spiritual impulse in the present state of human evolution seems able to succeed or to be carried on, or carried out, alone — I mean, unimpeded, unhindered. Every spiritual impulse seems to arouse a corresponding and equivalently powerful reaction, which brings forth as its imbodiment a human Judas, so far as the messengers of the Lodge are concerned.
Giuseppe Balsamo was unquestionably the Judas of Cagliostro. That I think is obvious. The fact has already been spoken of, and there is no reason for hiding it. The one who was the Judas or shadow of the Comte de Saint-Germain seems to be unknown, and perhaps that fact is fortunate too.
And now I want to say something that may sound very odd. There are many mysteries in occultism, and yet they are so fruitful of profitable thought when they are brought to our attention. I go so far as to say that not only does every messenger have his own Judas, but that the Judas is brought forth by the messenger's own acts, and seems karmically destined, in some strange and mysterious way, to be the means, first of hindering the messenger's work, and finally of bringing it into brilliance, into success.
Take the story of the Christian savior, Jesus, called the Christ. It has been said of him that unless there had been a Judas to betray him, and thus to permit the "divine plan" to be carried out, he could not have accomplished his work. Do you understand that idea? It has been similarly said of the Christian Devil, considered as a hypothetical personality, that unless the Devil existed — unless the Devil had existed — what on earth would have been the use of the coming of the Christ?
Now back of this strange and weird story of the Christians there lies an actual esoteric truth that I have tried to hint at. The messenger cannot do his proper work, and finally does not succeed in his proper work, unless he can bring the Judas forth to oppose him. Is not that a strange, weird, mysterious thing? And yet it is so true. It thus would seem that the messenger himself is, in a sense, responsible for the Judas who betrays him.
Student — I am reading a book, The Face of Silence by Mukherji. There is much of interest about Ramakrishna who seems to have been a remarkable man, and a messenger of a different type. Is it not true that there are different types of messengers? You see, his terminology is so different from ours. It seems to me that he lacks the theosophical wisdom, but he seems to have a very wonderful insight in many ways. Would you mind explaining these different types of messengers?
G. de P. — Yes, as far as I can, my dear Brother. I would not call Ramakrishna, or another Hindu, whose name occurs to my mind, Ram Mohun Roy — and indeed there have been a number of similar men — messengers. The situation is this: a messenger is a certain individual who comes with a mandate from the Lodge of the Masters of wisdom and compassion and peace to do a certain work in the world. But outside of this particular class, set aside, and whom we call the messengers, the human race at different times in its history brings forth great men, sometimes very holy, very good men, highly spiritual, who although they are such cannot technically be called messengers, because they are not sent forth by the Masters with a particular and especial mandate to do certain work in the world. Do you see what I mean?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — So therefore I would not say that Ramakrishna was a theosophical messenger in our sense of the word.
Student — Is there any analogy between this fact of the messenger having to bring forth his Judas, and the individual who is strong bringing out difficulties and obstacles to overcome in his nature, and meeting them?
G. de P. — It is exactly the case. You have put your finger just on the pivotal point of the fact. It is just that.
Student — Thank you.
G. de P. — And I will go a little farther even. You may call the Judas of a messenger his twin, but a twin of the Shadows. It is a strange fact, that as far as I know, as far as I have learned, for every Master of Wisdom who has worked in the world there has been a corresponding Brother of the Shadow.
It seems somewhat like the polar antithesis that was alluded to a little while ago with regard to the physical body. It would seem almost as if a positive pole could not exist unless there exist its equivalent other end, the negative pole. That is the case in the present stage of human evolution.
I believe that I may be wrong in what I am now going to say, because the matter is a very, very deep one. I may be wrong in making the following statement, my Companions, but I believe that this matter of a messenger and his shadow will not always be the case in the far distant future, meaning the seventh round and possibly the sixth round of our planetary chain, for instance. I do not think that the same dreadful — and it is dreadful in a very true sense of the word — that the same dreadful condition will then prevail, that a teacher of light cannot appear in the world without arousing an equivalently powerful force of darkness, force of evil. Of course, ultimately the light will always prevail. There is a logical reason for it, as we think it over.
Every man who makes a struggle to conquer himself — and I use the word struggle because following the ordinary parlance — instantly arouses exactly opposite energies in his being. He has issued a challenge, and the dark forces in his own character immediately spring to the fore, and they are the things which he must conquer — or perish if he does not. This same fact prevails in all the initiations, and doubtless those of you who are well acquainted with HPB's works will remember some of her hints as to what takes place during the initiations, when the initiant, the neophyte, must face and overcome, or perish — face and overcome himself. For in the initiation no quarter is given or taken. It cannot be. Either the light must shine, or go out.
Student — May I ask a question, Professor? If we did not have the opposing forces to arouse us and fight us, what incentive would there be for us to strive towards the highest pinnacle of spirituality — if we did not have to put forth an effort to overcome the lower nature? Is not that the main reason why temptations come upon us?
G. de P. — I think so. On the principle that we are all so well acquainted with, it is by overcoming our faults that we climb. What does the poet say? I do not remember the words exactly: "It is on our dead selves as stepping-stones that we climb to higher things."
that men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things. — Tennyson
G. de P. — That is it exactly. It is a very true saying. Of course the incentive in rising is the sublime victory that the striver knows he will gain in the end. But the process itself consists in rising over our dead selves as stepping-stones to higher things.
Student — Thank you.
G. de P. — It is a beautiful thought.
Student — In Leonid Andreyev's very wonderful mystical story about Judas Iscariot, he depicts Judas in a very different light from that in which we generally think of him. He seems in one part of himself conscious of what he is doing, and he has really a great love for Jesus. In this story he seems impelled in spite of himself to carry out this particular thing that he must do. I was wondering if it would be possible for such a condition of things to be true — if the Judas could be conscious of some higher feeling, but at the same time be obliged to carry out what he must carry out.
G. de P. — In a sense it is not only true, but it contains a great esoteric secret. Please remember that every Judas is a Christ in embryo. Every evil passion in the human being is a divine energy at its heart. It is the straightening of these energies, popularly called the destroying of them — the straightening, the rectifying of them — which once done, makes the man who thus conquers himself so grand and strong, because all his nature thereafter runs upward in one single current of energy.
Even the Judases, although their hatred is terrible, although they fight for their evil life — just as all evil energies do — nevertheless somewhere within their constitution know that their own death means a victory for their own spiritual selfhood. Of course I am employing ordinary human words, death, victory, and so forth. Their own overcoming paradoxically means salvation for themselves. In the Judas the currents are running downwards; in the Buddha, in the Master, the currents are running upwards. But in each case the energies are, relatively speaking, the same. This is a very fascinating subject of thought indeed for mystically inclined minds. Here again we see a reason for the grand old injunction which has come down to us from the gods: "Learn to forgive, learn to love, for this brings harmony and strength." The rule is simple, so simple indeed, that a child can understand it.
Student — May I ask a question about that?
G. de P. — Yes, in just a moment, please. And it is the duty of the Buddha, of the Christ, of the Master, to save his own Judas, and to turn him from being a bitterest foe, a most malignant and uncompromising opponent, into the greatest and most trusted helper. Strange paradox!
Now, you had a question to ask.
Student — We hear in our theosophical work of the necessity of struggling and striving against the lower part of our nature, and this is usually construed as meaning to strive against violent passions. Is it not more likely that we shall be affected by more subtle and what might almost be called negative passions — the absence of doing the right things or of holding the right feelings?
G. de P. — The answer is very easy to give. You are quite right. The most difficult problems we as human beings have to face lie, I think, not so much in our more violent instincts and impulses and passions, but rather in the subtle energies of our being which steal upon us unawares and capture us by storm, as it were. You know that every human being considered as an entity has three fundamental inherent qualities which the ancient Hindus called respectively tamas, rajas, and sattwa: otherwise the tamasa, the rajasa and the sattwika qualities. The tamasa qualities are they which you have called the negative qualities. The rajasa qualities are they which you have called the violent passions, the strong and unruly elements of our constitution. The sattwika qualities are they which are the most subtle of all the three classes perhaps, and although standing highest in serial order, they are also the qualities or energies or parts of our constitution which are the most difficult self-consciously to control because the most difficult to understand.
For instance, a man can fail from a good or sattwika impulse just as readily as he can fall from submission to a rajasa or violently passional impulse. As a matter of fact, the most difficult things to conquer in our character are the good parts of us. Is not this a strange paradox? It all means that a man must be completely master of himself, not partially master. He must not allow even his will, or his judgment, or his discrimination — the higher part of himself in short — to be led astray by his good impulses. He must not do good things unwisely, for any amount of mischief can be caused by unwise action even when trying to do good deeds. Man must be completely, wholly, entirely, master of himself to be a Master of Life. He must have self-control over all parts of himself. He must be master not only of his body, which we may call the tamasa part; not only of his passionate and psychical part, which we may call the rajasa; but he must also be master of his higher nature, his sattwika part.
I sometimes believe that there is no such thing really as sin, so called, in the world. I have yet to meet a human being whom I could honestly qualify as a deliberately, willfully, malignantly, wicked man — wholly and absolutely so without any reservations whatsoever. In the worst men whom I have ever known I have always managed to discover that the evil things that they do arise more in their attempts at self-adjustment than in any unnatural and unholy love for horrible and repulsive acts and things. This last remark illustrates the point, if I have understood your question aright.
Again, it is the little things which often are very important. It is often the negative, the passive side of our character which leads us astray. Indolence is an instance in point. I have much more hope for a man who is violent in his feelings, violent in his instincts, even violent in his actions, than I have for a man who is drunken with spiritual self-satisfaction, or who is sunken in absolute ethical sleep. And, finally, I am most afraid of the man whose instincts are themselves good, whose impulses are aspiring upwards, but who does not understand himself properly. Such a man though advancing rapidly is nevertheless always in trouble, always in hot water, as the saying goes. Always misunderstanding others he is himself always misunderstood.
So you see with these observations, it seems to me that the only answer that we could give to your question is this: Man must learn to control himself on all planes, to control all parts of his constitution, and then to act impersonally with his heart filled with an impersonal love in self-forgetful service to all that is.
Now I want to say a word about these usual expressions which are so common not only in our literature but in the literature of the world — struggle, fighting, battling — the figures of speech of the battlefield or of the prize-ring. They are very customary in all parts of the world. But I very much question whether victory — to use the same line of thought — whether victory is not more easily gained by not struggling and battling and fighting. You see possibly how dangerous this remark might sound to some who do not grasp my thought.
I believe that the way to win is to win by love, by kindness, by impersonality. I believe that the best way to overcome the lower nature is not by battling it and fighting it, thus exercising it and making it strong and vigorous, but by understanding it to be a part of yourself and by resolutely putting it in its proper place with inflexible and impersonal kindness and gentleness. Sometimes and very often indeed the best way to begin to do this is by completely ignoring it, turning the back upon it.
I have often seen men and women who obviously have passed their lives in fighting themselves, battling themselves, struggling with themselves. The fact was written large all over them. It showed in the way they walked. They were bundles of nerves, red hot nerves. This seems to me a totally wrong psychological method. It is much easier and much more effective quietly to rise above these lower elements of our constitution, and thus to live in an atmosphere of inner peace and of inner harmony, simply ignoring the ignoble elements in us; and finally they die a natural death. In this way you don't stimulate them and feed them by paying undue attention to them. Just ignore them! Let your heart be filled with harmony, with peace, with impersonal love. That is the real word — with love for all things great and small. The man or woman who is continually in a battle, continually in a struggle, continually in a fight, is really beaten before he has begun to achieve. I do not know whether you follow my thought or not?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Lao-Tsu of China was a wise old boy, a wise man. His Paradoxes contain more profound psychological truth in this particular line than those of almost any other teacher, than the teachings of almost any other sage. He used to tell his disciples constantly: "Don't fight, don't struggle, don't battle. Be still; be at peace; be harmonious."
Student — Can it be that it all depends upon the part of our constitution with which we identify ourselves? If we identify ourselves with the personal being for whom there is this code of struggle in the world, and see ourselves only in that light, we limit ourselves to that circle. If we identify ourselves with the higher part of our nature, the spiritual part, the part that is going to live and see throughout the whole period of activity, would it not seem that identifying oneself with this last in a way deadens the struggle on the lower planes: that the energies are then so uplifted that they are applied to these wider circles, and that there is not then this life of struggle on the lower planes?
G. de P. — Just so. Just so. What you have said is profoundly true from the psychological standpoint, and it is what I was alluding to a little while agone. It is obvious that if you identify yourselves with your lower nature you will have to battle with it, to fight it, to struggle with it. You are then on that plane. You are then bemeaning yourself. Consequently, why not rise above it all, ignore it all, forget it all? Be at inner peace. If your heart is filled with harmony, your lower nature won't bother you. Remember that every time when you give way to your lower nature you are not only making it more difficult for you at the next time to rise above it, but you are also degrading the very fiber of your constitution. Therefore don't live on the lower planes. Don't sink to those planes. Don't recognize these other and ignoble things. Be still, there. Be quiet, there. Rise above it all. Live on another plane. It is just as easy, in fact easier — infinitely easier.
Any man or woman who battles with passion — let us take that instance — identifies himself with that passion for the time being and does so at a fearful cost. Don't acknowledge such passion by sinking to its plane. There is the rule. How many of you are strong enough to follow it, and to live in peace, to live in harmony, with all other things? For that is really what it means. Such is the recompense. You ally yourself with the higher parts of your nature, and in consequence you identify yourself thereby with the higher parts of the universe. And I now return to what I said before, I think that all this talk about struggling and fighting and battling is horribly bad psychology.
Student — Is it identifying ourselves with this lower self when we feel remorse or suffer, feeling that we have not lived up to what we know is best in our natures?
G. de P. — Yes, it is true in a very real sense. It is a much less evil way of self-identification with faults that we have committed, or with evil deeds that we have done, than fighting them, struggling with them. Nevertheless, the abnormal and unwholesome dwelling in thought upon our sins of the past is a self-identification with them, and is a great stumbling block to progress.
Student — What is it in us that suffers when we have made a mistake? It is not the higher self, is it?
G. de P. — It certainly is not. It is not the Christ within you which suffers. It is the Judas which suffers. It is the lower nature which suffers from shame, from anguish, from remorse.
Student — Would not the same pertain to mourning and sorrow for the departed?
G. de P. — Quite true. This may sound a little harsh to some whose hearts are tender. We all love those who have passed on; but after all, when we think about it, to us theosophists how foolish it is to waste our strength in unwholesome lamentation, in allowing our hearts to be so continually wrung. It is not good. It is not a virtue. It is a weakness. This does not mean, please understand me, that we ought to be hard-hearted. Hard-heartedness is a vice. No human being can escape feeling pain and regret when those he loves have passed on. That is natural and in a way it is quite proper. But admitting that fact, the unwholesome dwelling in thought upon the virtues of the loved one who has gone, and our own reaction in personal pain and suffering because we are deprived of their companionship — that is indeed foolish and therefore wrong. Let us remember their virtues. Let us hold their memory green in our hearts. Let us love them more than before. That is human, divinely human and proper. All that is one thing; but loud lamentations, or silent lamentations, mourning and mourning and mourning through the months as they pass by — all that is not right.
Student — May I refer for just a moment to the subject of the Judas? On at least two occasions Katherine Tingley spoke at length upon an enemy of Mr. Judge whom she called the man behind the tree; and on one of these occasions that enemy was her enemy. Now is my idea correct that the Judas that follows each teacher like a shadow, or that is brought out by the teacher, is a person, a man among men, or a woman among women, imbodied on this plane? Or is it possibly on another plane — one of the Brothers of the Shadow? I was under the impression from what KT said, that this man behind the tree, who was Mr. Judge's great enemy, was not on this plane.
G. de P. — Answering your question briefly this may be said: the Brothers of the Shadow in certain respects are like the Masters of Wisdom, they may or may not be on this plane. But the Judases, to whom I alluded when first speaking, were all men or women — human beings. Every Master has his shadow. Every messenger has his or her shadow. And this term shadow is not used unadvisedly. It is an individual very closely connected karmically with the messenger, so closely indeed that they may be called as individuals alter egos. There is a strong bond of union between each individual case and his shadow or her shadow.
Student — Thank you.
Student — Could it be true then that when the messenger is withdrawn, the shadow dies or is also withdrawn?
G. de P. — It is so. Almost invariably it either dies or fades out of the picture. Sometimes it happens that the shadow goes first.
Student — Referring to this matter of the lower nature suffering remorse and shame: in that connection I would like to ask where the state of consciousness can be considered to abide? Is it partly in the lower nature?
G. de P. — It is in the lower nature. That fact is just what I have often alluded to when I have spoken of the conscience as being a guide, but by no means an infallible guide; for the simple reason that the higher nature within the lower nature in which the conscience is, is not yet brought forth sufficiently to be an infallible guide. Do you understand?
Student —Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — You see somewhat the same thing even in the beasts. A pet dog, for instance, has the rudiments of a conscience. It knows perfectly well when it has done wrong, at least for the time being. Is not that a fact?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — And this illustrates the question that you have asked. The conscience is the guiding light of the lower nature, and this lower nature is the average human being, that part of his constitution which is the lower human part. The conscience working in it is the higher human part, a part of the divine ray from the inner god, imperfectly expressing itself because the lower nature, the ordinary human part, has not yet been enabled to bring it forth into greater glory. It shines dimly, but still it shines and it is a light.
Student — The Voice of the Silence speaks of losing the very consciousness of desire. When you have spoken to us of the buddhic splendor, does this mean that the consciousness at that time has identified itself with a part of the human constitution above the consciousness of desire mentioned in The Voice of the Silence? Is it then that the buddhic splendor is visible? Am I putting the question badly?
G. de P. — Well, I think I understand you.
Student — My idea of the expression in The Voice of the Silence, "to lose the very consciousness of desire," was what you said about rising above all the temptations and the so-called struggles of the lower planes, so that we might become unconscious of anything that is beneath the higher.
G. de P. — That is right.
Student— Then that is why the buddhic splendor is visible?
G. de P. — Yes. Of course this is a very profound, a very, very deep, subject of thought that you have touched upon. The expression losing all consciousness of desire refers, of course, only to the lower desire. Remember that desire can be a divine thing as well as a material thing. There are the divine desires.
The buddhic splendor can hardly be said to be seen with the physical eye, although its effects are actually visible in the human being in whom the buddhic splendor shines. The buddhic splendor radiates energies that are instantly sensed. In the man whose lower parts are so filled with evil desires that they entirely control him, it is practically impossible for the buddhic splendor to work. Rising above the desire plane, the plane of the lower desires, the man allies himself with his spiritual parts, and instantly thereafter his whole being becomes irradiated with the buddhic splendor. Have I answered your question responsively?
Student — Yes, so far. I have received the impression this evening that one should rise above even the higher desires and be unconscious of them.
G. de P. — I would not say to rise above them, but to control them.
Student — And be unconscious of them?
G. de P. — Not exactly. For instance, impersonal love is a divine desire, the fundamental desire of the universe. The love that I here speak of is totally impersonal. Now no entity can ever become totally unconscious of love. But even love he must control; in other words, love must control itself. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, now I do.
G. de P. — It is a subtle point, of course.
Now, Companions, before closing I would like to make a few brief remarks with regard to the life that the chela should follow. Training in chelaship, please understand to be training of and in your own constitution, the energies which are you. It is not something outside of you imposed upon you as a strange or outer code or course of conduct. This training means bringing forth ever more into ever fuller manifestation your own inner self, your spiritual self within, the spiritual-divine part of you. It means being truly natural in the spiritual sense of the word, and therefore quiet. Be quiet. Be at peace. Be still. Be harmonious. Live in love, impersonal love. Strive always for that which you feel and find to be noblest and best, and let the rest go. Be yourself, your spiritual self.
There is all the training of chelaship in a few words. Bring out the inner god; and when you realize that even ordinary human beings know somewhat of this, and find happiness and peace in practising this, you will realize what I mean when I say: the training is in you. Avoid struggling. Avoid battling. Avoid striving within yourself. Search for the inner harmony. Be it. Find the love within you. Be it. Search out your own mind, intellect, intuition — all the faculties of which these three are examples. Be them! Do you understand?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Very good then. And now you will easily see the next thought. Forget yourself. Is not this a strange paradox? Forget all the lower self. Be your higher self; and the time will come when you will even have to forget that. For the ultimate end of every human being is to become a self-conscious but impersonal energy in the universe. That is what the laws of nature are today. Every so-called law of nature, such as gravitation, is an instance of one of them. Electromagnetic energy is an instance of another, although gravitation and electromagnetic energy are like two sides of the same thing. This is an instance of energies, impersonal energies, flowing forth from the heart of a divinity who in some far bygone aeon — manvantara — was a man.
Mr. Judge used to teach his pupils, his friends, always to look to the Master within. That is a beautiful thought, for within every one of you lives a Master even at present. Do you think the Masters are born as Masters? Indeed, when a Master is born as a little child he has to go through all the life that little children have to go through. He has to conquer himself in the new life stage by stage. But because he has been through it so often, the goal is achieved very rapidly, and by the time youth is reached he is already a most remarkable individual. When young manhood comes he already is a Master, but still not expressing in full perfection all his inner faculties and powers. And then comes middle age, or early middle age, adulthood, and the Master then is there in full bloom, a quasi god-man. Masterhood could not have expressed itself unless it had been already within. Therefore I say: within each one of you lives a Master, as Mr. Judge used to teach. Carry this thought with you, aspire towards this goal. Look for it. Try to be one with it. This effort will bring you peace and wisdom.
Close the meeting, please.
[The sounding of the gong. Silence.]