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G. de P. — Will the meeting please come to order. Has anyone any question to ask?
Student — May I ask if it is correct that at the time when Madame Blavatsky started her work there were only two Masters of the Lodge who thought the world was in such a state that it would be possible to revivify the spiritual forces in men's lives?
G. de P. — That is what has been reported on very reliable authority. I myself believe it to be true. Not that the other teachers disbelieved in the possibility; but due to karmic law only two teachers were able at the time to offer their services and work. And, as a matter of fact, I have heard it stated that the Chohan, the Chief, did not oppose it, but had grave doubts of the ancient wisdom in its esoteric parts receiving any welcome at all in the Occident at the present time. Of course, the Occident has always been hungry for wonders, for signs, for "miraculous" occurrences, and all that kind of thing; but such hunger is almost a sure sign of a lack of spiritual insight, and it is one of the greatest difficulties that my predecessors have had — to keep the esoteric work clean from that kind of thing and directly in line and accord with the principles and rules of the Oriental School.
Now, I think, due to Katherine Tingley's training of her pupils in esoteric principles — without the actual enunciation of esoteric rules so much, but by training — we have come to the point where the rules and ideals of the Oriental School can find safe lodgment in the hearts and minds of men and women in the Occident. Does that answer your question?
Student — Yes. May I ask another question? Has there been any time since Madame Blavatsky began her work, when the Masters have withdrawn?
G. de P. — No. And furthermore, I will add as a rider to the simple negative answer to your question, that instead of two, I now know of five who are interested and working in this present spiritual departure, in this present esoteric work: the two who originally by karmic law were the ones to begin and commonly known under the initials M and KH; and of the other three, one is a man who was a chela of KH when H. P. Blavatsky was alive and was known by the initials JK, signifying Jual Khul. The other two it is not needful to mention at all as regards names. One is a young man and the other is a very, very old man and a mysterious character. I know very little about him, but I have a feeling, however, that he stands the highest of them all. He is a very small man and very old. I think that I have spoken of him before as a man whose eyes impress one more than anything else. They are little black eyes that seem to be focuses of light when he looks directly at one. As I have said, he is very old, his skin is shriveled like the cover of an old book.
Are there any other questions, please?
Student — If I am not mistaken, Mr. Judge has said somewhere that most important work is going on outside the Theosophical Society. Now, if it would be permissible, it would certainly be interesting to know if that work is of an esoteric character as well as of a character which consists more in impressing men's minds without their knowledge — a kind of unconscious guidance — with what they have to do for the betterment of mankind and the advancement of some great cause.
G. de P. — Yes, such work is going on — has been going on for ages, and will continue for ages, in season and out of season; but it is merely the general and regular work of the great ones. Please mark you, there is but one line of authentic specific esoteric teaching, and that one line is in the Oriental School to which we belong. It is the only direct agency in the world for transmitting direct, specific instruction in the teachings of the esoteric part of the ancient wisdom-religion of humanity. The other general work, however, has been going on for ages and will so continue; but it also is a secret, esoteric work, done behind the veil of invisibility, and is work in a general way touching mankind as a whole. Do you understand what I mean?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — In other words, there are not two esoteric schools such as this of ours. This one alone exists, so far as the world is concerned. Each teacher, each mahatma, has his own school, has his own pupils, but that is something apart again, since his pupils are his own particular family circle of chosen ones. They all work together in the general work for mankind; and this general work may be done anywhere — in the churches, impressing individuals, in the councils of state, wherever there is a possible chance to infiltrate light and wisdom and the doctrines of love and forgiveness into men's minds and hearts. But as a school of esoteric training among men, there is but one in the world today, and this our own holy order is it.
Student — I have a question which it may not be possible to have answered; but at a recent ES meeting in the temple, you spoke of the fact that a stranger had been present that night; and I am wondering if that stranger could have been one of the five you mentioned.
G. de P. — No, he was not.
Student — May I ask also: are these five working directly as Master M and Master KH do, for and through this body?
G. de P. — Yes, but of course they do other work in the world; yet these five are especially interested in the work which HPB started as an extension of the Oriental School in the Occident, for the theosophical movement is in the world as part of the general plan or effort in swaying men's minds and hearts.
Now, who this stranger was, I do not know. He was a stranger to me — an entire stranger; a tall individual (I did not see his face well at all). That is all I can say. I know nothing about him. I do not know whether he is an Oriental, or one of the few who have come in from the West. I simply saw the Oriental garb, but that does not mean anything at all; and I also noticed the fact of his great size.
Have you anything else to ask?
Student — No, thank you very much.
Student — Can you tell us anything about the Master in Mexico of whom KT has spoken?
G. de P. — Yes. You mean the one who has been known under the title of the Master of Vibrations? Is that the one you mean?
Student — I cannot answer that.
G. de P. — Well, the one called the Teacher in Mexico has been also called the Master of Vibrations. Now, KT also has spoken of another one working in Mexico, and I don't know which one you mean. There are two, as a matter of fact. Every country, really, has its own especially designated workers or teachers, each working in the silence and behind the veil, and it is so in every country in the world, in the Occident or in the Orient. And the reason is that just as every country in the world is under the particular influence or guidance of the spiritual beings controlling one or another of the planets, so those designated to work in such countries are beings — men — who are also under the same planetary rays, if you understand me.
Student — In reference to the work in the world, do the teachers not deal consciously sometimes with outstanding characters? For instance, we hear about Jakob Boehme who spoke about some mysterious individual coming to him and teaching him. And in referring to history we find usually the positive influence of some one behind the scenes; but is not that consciously rendered at times to great characters?
G. de P. — Consciously or personally?
Student — At times of the great crises, so that the character himself knows that he is being assisted by a greater power than himself?
G. de P. — Rarely, very rarely indeed; and there are strong psychological reasons for its being so rare. Remember that here we are dealing with very recondite questions of human psychology, and with matters pertaining to the human spirit, and to the human heart; and the Occidental has great difficulty in understanding that fact. His mind works after its own manner. He looks to the page of the open book, and the number of the page, and just how many lines are on the page, and how many words there are to a line, and he notes the particular spelling of the words; but such pragmatical and matter-of-fact views are altogether contrary to the spirit of esoteric instructions.
There is no harm in having brain-mind knowledge of that kind; but it is the brain-mind view. The teachers work along more mystical ways. They inspire general principles into human hearts; they sway human minds and hearts by general ideals, such as rule men. And I can readily see that one of the worst things in the world (with rare exceptions, of course) would be to let these men of destiny (for these are they who are particularly influenced by the Masters) know that they are singled out and to know whence their inspiration comes. It is not good as a rule. Just think the matter over and try to understand it. I think your own minds, your own intuition, will make you realize why the teachers work behind the veil of invisibility and silence.
Student — Can you tell us something more about the Master of Vibrations and why he has been given that name?
G. de P. — Yes, I think I have spoken of it before. He is one who has "gone." That is all that I can say. I do not say that he has died. I prefer to say that he has "gone." There are many ways, as a matter of fact, by which a teacher can absent himself from work for a time and for very good reasons. One reason may be that he is called to an initiation which in some cases in its results occupies years; and there are many kinds of initiations, high, intermediate, and low. He may absent himself also because he changes his physical body. He may absent himself because he is on duty in some other part of the world, possibly on some other planet.
At any rate, the one called the Master of Vibrations is not here. He was so called because one of his especial duties was, and his especial personal interest was, the instilling of scientific ideas into men's minds, which to these men were intuitions — a very important work in this phase of Occidental civilization. My own feeling is that the work of this great man, of this so-called Master of Vibrations — which words were a mere title given to him (and a very good title too, in view of the present status of modern scientific thought) — my own view is that when he returns to work it will not be in our time. He has done his work for the present. He was a very mysterious character in the sense that very little has been allowed to be said about him.
Student — I wanted to ask you about those three visions that General Washington had at Valley Forge. You remember them? And the last one in connection with what we were talking about just now, about who sent those visions? And might I ask a double question? You remember KT had them printed about thirty years ago, 1900, in one of the magazines; and then she had them reprinted again some ten or twelve years ago. And in that last vision the angel, as he described it, who appeared to him in his tent, described how a great hand came out and dipped out water from the Atlantic and poured it over Europe and that an army came over here and very nearly destroyed this country; and then one of the army of light sounded a bugle and woke these people up, and fighting, they vanquished it. And I would ask if it is possible for you to elucidate that a little.
G. de P. — Yes, I was trying to recollect. I remember hearing of these three visions. I think I read them very hurriedly. I know that KT spoke of them and had me put them in The Theosophical Path, just as you said. I should judge, as nearly as I can recollect the atmosphere of these three visions, so called, that they were actual visions and not teaching. I believe that in Washington's case it was one of those instances of inner inspiration which may happen to anyone, particularly to anyone occupying an exalted post. His own inner teacher, his own higher parts, illuminated for the time being his mind; and a great deal of such teaching comes in the form of pictures, of so-called visions, which only seem to be seen.
The inner receiving apparatus receives them as pictures, just as the receiving apparatus of the eye receives as pictures the outside world. In other words, the mind translates to its own understanding these things as pictures. I do not think that Washington was in any especial communication with the Lodge except in the manner that I have just spoken of. That is my own belief. I cannot go farther than that, because I do not know.
Student — May I ask another question in connection with that, because it seems to me it is a very important one? One of the lady members of the London Lodge, a very devoted, splendid member, had a vision. She woke up and wrote it down. She saw this vision at four o'clock in the morning. I thought it was genuine. But some six months later when KT was in London I told her about this and she said: "It is absolute imagination." She said, "It was not genuine. The member, pure, devoted, splendid member, thinking about that a great deal, just had the vision. It was not from the soul. It was not real."
Now the question I want to ask you is this: how are we to tell those things, the true from the false? That vision to me had all the earmarks of truth. How can we, when we are absolutely sincere, looking for light, thinking (especially out in the world) of some great difficulty which we are impersonally trying to face, when we get a message like that, how can we tell whether it is truth?
G. de P. — The only way is by training, just as in any other department of life. You must learn to read before you can interpret. And may I ask why you received this as a genuine vision? What real authority was behind it?
Student — In what way do you mean?
G. de P. — In just the way by which you have presented your question. You speak of having been told of this vision.
Student — I had nothing to do with it. It was not I. This member of whom I spoke received it.
G. de P. — You speak of this member as having told it to you, and then a moment ago you spoke of it as a vision. Now I ask you, why did you think it was a message?
Student — I thought that she, being so sincere and so keen —
G. de P. — Pardon my interrupting; but I don't want you to lose the atmosphere of your question in explaining. Your earnest, honest, receptive mind took it for granted that it must be true, because this person was so sincere?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — Don't you see that just because you may believe a person to be sincere, and such a person is indeed sincere and truthful, yet sincerity itself is no sign-manual of truth? Therefore I say that the only way to distinguish between the true and the false is by training, by study, by aspiration — and this is the old, old rule. You are warned again and again and again: beware of misleading lights. They sometimes come with all the clothing and paraphernalia of truth — logical, beautiful, thoughtful, kindly, apparently impersonal; and yet they may be quite false. Be alert, watchful. Remember the old rule: accept nothing as coming from the Lodge unless you have the authority of the teacher for it.
Never take anything that comes from anyone as being true in an esoteric line unless facts prove it to be true, or unless you have your teacher's statement on the matter. That rule may seem a little arbitrary, and I am the last one in the world to wish to put myself or my great predecessors in a position which would seem to make them Sir Oracles. That is not the idea. Yet, I am telling you truth: the Esoteric School of the Theosophical Society is the only — the sole — means of coming into direct touch with the Masters of Wisdom. That is what I mean when I tell you that the teacher is the only one, if you cannot solve the problem yourself, to go to. Do you understand me?
Student — Partly, but not altogether. This is what I was trying to get at: Judge says in one of those wonderful articles of his, that are so full of esoteric teaching, in the first three numbers of The Path — he says there that if we would only "go out" at night in the right way, we would bring back every night the wonderful things that the soul sees, and be able to live them in the daytime. I have never been able to do that, though I have wanted to so much; and I thought that in this case this member had gone out so absolutely sincere and had seen the Teacher (it was KT she saw) and it sounded so much like her — KT; and I was wondering not so much about the answer to that incident, but as regards a rule for all of us members. How can we tell if we bring back a thought in the night like that, that has practically nothing selfish in it, but apparently all for the work, if it is genuine or if it is not?
G. de P. — I have answered this: you can tell by two methods — by training and by study in the ES School, and by spiritual striving. You cannot reach Olympus in a single stride. The ES study is a matter of many lives to attain to in full understanding. You are beginning. You have set your feet on the pathway for the receiving of light. You will have to grow into an understanding of these things.
Meanwhile, study, be careful, be alert. Do not be deceived; do not take things for granted because they are beautiful or apparently impersonal or touch one's sensibilities. The other pathway is, as I have already said: after you have tried your best to solve your own problem, and fail to find its solution, then turn to the teacher whom you trust. If he does not know or cannot tell you, he will so say. If he can, he will tell you in private.
Student — Thank you.
Student — Was Joan of Arc conscious of receiving messages from a higher power?
G. de P. — I think that she in a way believed this, but she was not a messenger of the Lodge. She was one of those rare and unusual cases of human beings who, through a peculiar psychological apparatus became, or who become, people of destiny. She did a noble work, a good work, for her country. But it was not a universal work. It was a local work, and therefore it lacked the touch of real spirituality. She was an uninstructed, but big-hearted, peasant girl. Her mind had been filled by her dreams with what she thought was a great and noble duty to perform; and being of the peculiar psychological type spoken of, she believed that she was told to do that work. Her visions, so called, were the product largely of her own inner feeling, of her imagination if you like. But they fired her; they stimulated her. She felt the force of something mystical and impersonal behind her; but it was not from the Lodge. She was one of these persons of destiny of whom I have spoken. Mr. J. W. Keely — quite another type, however, was also one of these humans of peculiar psychological nature. These human beings are the lusus naturae, the peculiar people and things of nature, that will grow more numerous as the ages roll by. As the race slowly grows out of the morass of materiality, of material thoughts, these unusual men and women will become much more numerous than now they are. But that they are to be considered as teachers — no, that is not true.
Do you understand the idea? Do you get the atmosphere of what I am trying to tell you?
Student — I see the difference between the teacher and the person of destiny; but she had unusual wisdom, had she not, in dealing with her particular work?
G. de P. — No, she had not. Her wisdom was instinctive. Wisdom is something which is consciously used in our work for a universal purpose. Local success often arises out of great mental or psychological individual capacity, but such capacity is not necessarily of a spiritual type; and nothing that lacks spiritual force belongs to the Lodge work. The test of spirituality is one test: universality.
Joan of Arc was a good girl. She was a most unusual character, and she did what was considered in her time to be a holy work — for her time, you understand me; but she was not a messenger of the Lodge. There are none of the marks of a messenger there, not one. That was one reason why I rebelled once, and gave vocal expression to my rebellion, when I heard some one state that in his opinion KT was a reincarnation of Joan of Arc! Her fate was tragic, to be sure — cruel, unjust, but Karma will take care of all that.
Student — In reference to the overshadowings that you were speaking of just now, I was thinking of Henry More and of Bismarck. Would they be included in that class? Henry More in his third dialogue — the Platonic philosopher — refers to his being out in a bark and a great Indian teacher appearing to him and teaching him a great many things. The thoughts are very theosophical. In fact, it includes nearly everything — the rounds and the races and a great number of other things; and HPB in a letter speaks of Bismarck as having a private adept in the mountains or in the Black Forest, who helped him in his struggles against the machinations of the Church, which was then trying to get the domination of Germany and very nearly did so. Would these cases be examples of just impersonal help by the Masters?
G. de P. — Yes. It is true that Bismarck was a very much misunderstood man. To say that he had an adept is speaking a truth. It does not mean on the other hand that Bismarck was a chela. It does not mean that he himself was an adept. It means that he was one of the men of destiny, whose exalted post at the time and whose psychological capacity fitted him to be a quasi-unconscious, a quasi-conscious, instrument for the work of the White Lodge against the Black Lodge. Do you understand?
Henry More was of the same category. He was a dreamer, an idealist. His thoughts were often universal. There was high spirituality there, as there was also, by the way, in some of Bismarck's work. Henry More was an unconscious chela. Such exist — men who have not arrived at the point where they can, as yet, be told of their chelaship. They have not come to that point yet, but they are very near to the point. They are what you might call unconscious chelas — men who are being trained behind the veil of invisibility for a future great work in the history of the world.
Student — Can you tell us something more about the initiation period, which I understand goes on at this time of the year? Is there not something more, besides its being the time of the winter solstice, in the fact that so many of the great teachers have been born at this time of the year?
G. de P. — Yes, indeed. That is a question which I would like to answer as a finish to our study tonight. It is now ten minutes past nine. If there are any other questions, will you kindly ask them at present, and just remind me later of the question that you have asked.
Student — Mine is short. You have spoken tonight of the test of spirituality as being universality; and I have wondered so much many times about the Neoplatonist teachers, Ammonius Saccas, and the Alexandrian teachers, Plotinus and Hypatia, were they messengers?
G. de P. — No, not exactly. They were all human beings who knew of the existence of the Lodges of the great teachers. They were individuals who were chelas or rather who were beginning chelaship; but with the possible exception of Ammonius Saccas, they were not what could be called the messengers of the Lodge. Ammonius Saccas might fall within that category. I think he belonged there. A messenger, Companions, means just what the word says — one who comes with a message from the Lodge. The next question, please.
Student — In connection with what you were just saying about Bismarck, may I ask if there is anything in the story of the "Little Red Man" who visited Napoleon?
G. de P. — I remember reading a very interesting book (I think it was written by Alexandre Dumas) about "the little red man of the Tuileries."
Student — Mr. Judge refers to it quite profoundly, I think.
G. de P. — Now, as a matter of fact, Napoleon has been greatly admired on account of the character of the work that he did in his life. He was, in fact, one of the men of destiny. I do not believe, however, that he was at any time in communication with Masters of wisdom. I will go a little farther and ask you a question: do you think that if he was in communication with invisible powers, that these powers were Masters of holy wisdom or unholy wisdom?
Student — I think they were unholy, because you said in the Temple that Napoleon was an agent of the destructive forces.
G. de P. — Yes, I did say words to that effect. Alexander the Great, so called, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, even Charlemagne — Charles the Great of France — and many more men of the same kind, were agents of the White Lodge only in the sense that they were men of destiny and their work was a work which had to be done. But, considered from another viewpoint every one of them was an agent of the Black Lodge.
Now, that statement may sound like a paradox; but just think it over. I mean this, that knowing that certain things have to take place in order to bring to pass certain other events which are karmic consequences in human history, the Masters of holy wisdom, of the White Lodge, work with and in those circumstances in order to ameliorate, to soften, what otherwise would be much worse than it is. Furthermore, the white magician will employ at times the agents of the black magician for that purpose. Do you get that idea?
It is said that one of the best ways to catch a thief is to employ a thief for that purpose and that principle is apparently one that the French secret police follow. The French surete generale are said often to employ men as police agents, as clever detectives, whom they know to be or to have been unusually clever and expert criminals.
And, somewhat after the same way, the White Lodge uses a certain type of workers among men. Knowing that certain events are destined to take place, the karmic consequences of causes which consequences have been waiting their time to come forth, they take the situation as it is and control it as best they may. They try so to direct the conditions that the consequences will become diffused and therefore less harmful to men than if they were concentrated, and therefore disruptive or explosive. Do you understand what I mean? And yet these very men, whose work they so direct and control, often are the agents of the Black Lodge, although usually unconscious agents.
Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and others like them in my judgment belong to the destroyers, not to the builders. Of course, every destroyer in a larger sense is a builder. That is true. I mean that every work of destruction naturally makes place, makes a pathway, for something greater, which will come after. But that in no wise relieves the karmic responsibility of those who destroy. They will be held responsible to the very last iota.
Student — Before I ask my question, may I state certain things which I believe to be true? One is that a man must love his religion. I wonder, when someone who is a lover of material things, has esoteric parents, and those parents in turn who naturally love what they believe, force upon the child much that the child resents, does their very sincerity help the soul of that child in spite of himself?
G. de P. — Yes indeed, very greatly, very greatly. The influence of impersonal devotion is magical. Love, I tell you, is the greatest magic agent in the universe. Nothing can withstand its force. In time it permeates everywhere — even stony human hearts are finally captured by love and impersonal devotion. And just so, the devotion of good, self-respecting parents towards an erring child helps that child greatly, no matter what the child does, no matter what ingratitude it may show, even if it break its parents' hearts, that steady love, that impersonal love, that devotion and that desire to help and aid, in the end do affect the child's karma very beneficially indeed. Does that answer your question?
Student — Thank you.
Student — You spoke of the nations, each nation having its helpers and also receiving its planetary influence. Just what is the national spirit? Is it the higher nature of all the people of that nation, plus the planetary and the Lodge helpers?
G. de P. — In a vague way; but you are putting the cart before the horse, it seems to me. If you will look upon the question in another way, any body of human beings born in the same land are so gathered together on account of karmic attractions, attractions which bring them together. These karmic attractions in turn are more or less controlled by the planetary influences which control the different countries.
Now, this does not mean that the planet Venus, for instance, sends its rays only on one country of the earth, or on two, perhaps; not at all. But it does mean that certain lines of force from the different planets center or come together with larger fullness or greater intensity on certain spots of the earth, on certain countries in other words. Incarnating souls having vibrations most akin to these concentering forces from the planets are drawn thither, and gather together as a national body of people; and this combined common spirit, this quasi-identity arising in the similarity of vibrations it is which forms the national spirit of this or that or some other folk. Does that answer your question?
Student — Yes . . .
G. de P. — I sense the "no" in your voice, and I don't blame you at all, because you are touching upon a very deep question.
Student — It has always seemed to me that there was something quite tangible that was the national spirit in every country, and I had presumed that it was the composite higher nature of all the people. And tonight, when you spoke of each country having its helpers, and that both the country and the helpers had their inspiring influence from the planets, well, I simply added those to the national spirit that I supposed to be the basic thing; not that I felt that my national-spirit idea was the primary one, but I wondered: what is the national spirit?
G. de P. — The national spirit is the combined vibrations of a similar type existing in all the souls which incarnate in a certain country of the globe. Take the illustration of a tree. A tree above the earth has its stock, its trunk, with all its branches and twigs and leaves, and beneath the earth has its thousands of roots and rootlets. Let us say that each root or rootlet or leaf or twig is a human being. They all join in the trunk. A common vitality, as it were, flows from the trunk into all the roots and leaves and back again. Now the national spirit is this trunk, fed by the roots and leaves, it is true; but the roots and leaves in turn are fed by the trunk.
You look at your problem from below; you look upwards. Now try to imagine the national spirit as the aggregate of all the spirits, all the entities, incarnated in a certain country; and that they are drawn together on account of the forces flowing from the different planets rather than from the men themselves, considered merely as an aggregate of individuals composing or building up a so-called national spirit. Do you get the idea?
Student — Well, I had supposed that the national spirit, when we speak of the national spirit —
G. de P. — It is a phrase.
Student — It is a phrase; but it seemed as if the national spirit was the best quality in all the individuals. I have not included man's lower nature. Is the national spirit the best of the man or, in other words, is the national spirit the national character?
G. de P. — The national spirit is often inferior to the best of a man, usually is very much inferior. The national spirit, as I have told you, is simply the similarity of vibrations of a certain group of people, and belongs rather to the vitality than to the spirit side. I don't think that you have your question clear in your own mind. Just state your question again.
Student — I do not know whether or not to think of the national spirit, then, as simply a poetical phrase, simply as a literary phrase.
G. de P. — Well, what is your question?
Student — Well, I do understand the answer, that the national spirit is the individuals brought together, and I shall cease to think of it as only the combined higher nature of a people.
G. de P. — That is partially true, but I am afraid that I have not answered your question. State your question clearly, if you can remember it. Just state it anew, because it touches upon a very interesting topic of thought.
Student — I can make it no simpler than to say, what is the national spirit? What is it? What do we mean by that phrase?
G. de P. — The national spirit is the similarity of astral vibrations, which belong to a group of people. It is called spirit by courtesy. Individual men are usually far higher in ideals than their national spirit is, far higher; and this was shown very clearly in the last great war. Do you get the idea?
Student — Yes, I think I understand.
G. de P. — Probably every human being in all the countries knew perfectly well that the war was an insane outbreak; and yet the national spirit ran away with them. And I don't mean mere patriotism, I mean the national spirit, such as you have been talking about. Probably every man in all the countries involved in the Great War, had he had his way, had he had the power, would have stopped it over night and resorted to reason and justice. Such is the man, the individual.
It is all right to have a national spirit, to be proud of one's country. The man who does not love his country, the land of his birth, is an unnatural sort of man. But higher than that feeling is the spiritual view that we are all children of our common earth — brothers not merely in instinct, brothers not merely in feeling, brothers not merely in human qualities, but actually, ultimately of the same blood, no matter what the colors of our skins are. If we go back far enough in time, we realize that we are of the same one stock, humanity. That is the fundamental thought which will make wars become impossible.
This national spirit, when it expresses itself concretely, produces the various nationalisms that you hear so much about. And these nationalisms make for wars. This does not mean that nationalism is necessarily wrong. Please do not leap from Charybdis into Scylla. Keep the middle view, the middle road, in your thoughts. Be proud of the fine qualities of your country; but in thinking of individuals remember the men in history who have achieved great moral deeds, impersonal deeds, rather than the military and naval heroes.
Student — May I ask a question? I think it is HPB who says that there is a body in Spain connected with the Lodge, or that there was at that time. Is that body still working?
G. de P. — Certainly. Every country has its own corps of adepts, if you like to put it in that way; and they are working all the time. There is one in each country.
Student — Is the one in Spain a center disguised, as you might say, under the form of a Roman Catholic institution, perhaps?
G. de P. — I would not say that it is disguised, but it does the work with the material which is present and with the human beings which compose the people among whom this center works. Now, the Lodge in Spain is not working for the immediate future. Its destiny lies on the horizon of time. Spain once more will be a great power in the councils of the world in time to come, but not yet. That time has not come, nor is it even close at hand. It is too far away. It is on the horizon in time. There is a devotion in the Spanish character which is the basic factor in keeping that people alive. Thus far it has expressed itself as national egoism, strong Roman Catholic views, and so forth; but that spirit of devotion, however misguided it may be at present, nevertheless is the vital power behind that folk, and it is on that devotion that is going to be builded the better and nobler Spain of the future.
Student — I think in the early days of 1900-1-2 or 3, somewhere about that time, KT spoke in a meeting in the Rotunda about there being a Lodge in Spain, and that she would come into an estate there before she passed out; that she would get this estate and work in Spain; and I have often wondered about that.
G. de P. — I don't know what the speaker's reference is to, I am sure.
Student — Perhaps some of the others here remember something about it. I made a little note of it at the time.
G. de P. — Well, may I remind you, Companions, of how often KT has protested against remarks made by her being taken down and, years later, brought up, such remarks being usually misunderstood, as signifying something that she did not mean. A teacher often speaks in parables, uses words that are perfectly proper and appropriate at the time, but does not mean that too much weight should be put upon such merely verbal statements. Yet some student will make a note of it, it may fascinate the imagination of that student, the imagination then begins to work to misconstrue; and a few years later a statement is brought up: "But you said so-and-so." Immediately the teacher, in that student's view, is put on the defensive. Why? Because the student himself has misunderstood.
Now, dear Companion, I do not say that you have misunderstood in this instance; but your remark gave me the occasion to point this fact out. "G. de P.," our beloved KT told me once, "my own students are going to damn me. They misunderstand what I say. I make a remark. It is treasured up, twisted or distorted or misunderstood, and years afterwards I hear about it; and I shall be damned in the future if this thing goes on." It was the same with HPB, and the same with Judge.
Student — Professor, may I ask that we have the answer to the question concerning initiations at the winter solstice?
G. de P. — Yes. Will you kindly state your question again?
Student — Can you tell us something more about the period of initiation which takes place at this time of the year as I understand it? Is there not something more in the fact that so many of the great teachers have been born at this time of the year, than the mere fact of its being the winter solstice time?
G. de P. — How do you know, dear Companion, that the teachers were born (physically born is what you have in mind), at the season of the winter solstice? I will tell you that it has reference to the mystical birth; and it is this mystical birth, achieved through initiation, which took place in the middle of the winter period. The supreme initiatory cycle takes place when the Sun, and Mercury, and Venus, and the Moon, and the Earth are in syzygy, as the astronomers say, in a straight line as it were; that is to say a straight line from the Sun would pass through or very close to each of the other bodies mentioned.
Why was this combination of time and circumstance perpetuated as the time of the supreme initiation? I can tell you this: the Sun is a divine being. It is constantly throwing forth from itself currents of physical and vital power, as well as spiritual and psychological energies; and when a number of planets are in line, the influences received from the Sun are colored by the vitality, the vital and other powers, inherent in each planet.
Now, as regards the Moon. The Moon on this occasion must be new, not full. That is to say the Earth must be the outermost of the celestial bodies that I have spoken of, the Sun must be the most distant, Mercury must come next, then Venus, then the Moon, and then the Earth.
The Moon (now listen carefully) is the receiver and giver of human souls. It receives human souls at death, and they pass from the Moon to the Earth before reincarnating. The typically ideal situation for initiation is where a straight line will pass through the center, or nearly so, of all these celestial bodies. Then the spiritual influences streaming from the Sun carry along with them, as they proceed to the Earth, the respective vital impress or color of each one of the planets and of the Moon. The aspirant who has been in training for months or perhaps years before, approaches this date of his initiation in heart and mind (that is to say, in thought and aspiration) by still more and more intensive preparing. He has been told in general what is coming, what he is to expect. Preparations have been made. He is watched over and cared for by the teachers; and at the exact time when the Moon, the center of the Moon (this is the ideal situation) and the other celestial bodies — or at any rate at the exact time when the Moon is nearest this straight line — his spirit, the spirit of the aspirant, more accurately the soul-spirit, leaves his body and travels along that line by magnetic attraction sunwards, and enters the Sun. In some cases the return is made almost instantaneously, because human time is not a factor in these things so far as the mystical movements are concerned. The body meanwhile is entranced.
Now, I will draw a curtain here, and take you in thought to a period two weeks later than the date of the winter solstice, when the Moon is full, to the 4th of January. The aspirant then returns into self-conscious existence on Earth. During those two weeks his soul-spirit has been peregrinating, and on the 4th of January his soul-spirit returns, carrying with it the solar glory, and as it re-enters the entranced body and the physical man awakens to physical consciousness, the whole being is suffused with solar splendor, the very face shines with glory. And when I say the solar splendor, I do not mean the ordinary physical solar light. I mean the spiritual splendor of the Sun, of which the physical light is the outer garment, the vitality of the Sun streaming forth.
His face is suffused, his whole body is surrounded with this splendor, with the glory, so that, as the truthful word has come out of the crypts of initiation, he is 'clothed with the sun.' For the time being, for that period, short or long according to the man himself who has gone through this test successfully, he is a 'risen Christ,' a manifested Buddha. He is surrounded with the buddhic splendor, and for the time being is an incarnate god, an incarnate human god. He has seen his own higher self face to face, and has been taught — and knows!
Thus are the buddhas and the christs "born."
You may remember having heard the 6th of January spoken of in Christian ritual and story, for that date is in the Christian Church the Epiphany. Epiphany is a Greek word meaning "the manifestations of a god." By the various changes of calendar, the Epiphany in the esoteric mystical sense, strictly speaking, should now fall on the 4th of January and not on the 6th, because the 4th of January is two weeks after the date of the winter solstice. Therefore the 4th of January is, strictly speaking, the beginning of the esoteric New Year.
Thus were all the great initiates of the past "born" in the winter season, and, by Occidental habit and custom, they are said to have been born on Christmas Day, or what we call Christmas Day. Actually, the true date is not December 25th, but December 21-2, the day of the winter solstice. It is merely through a mistake of the Christians, based on a misunderstanding of a custom of the Mithraic teachers, at some date previous to the time of Julius Caesar, that the 25th of December was chosen as the day instead of the 21st. There is a similar mystery connected with what the Christian Church commemorates as Easter, the resurrection from the tomb, from the dead; but that is another very interesting esoteric story.
Student — Might I ask what happens in the years when the new moon does not come on the date of the winter solstice?
G. de P. — The same rites are gone through, but with much less effect; and as the mystic birth of the great ones takes place at rare intervals, these initiations may be reserved from one incarnation to the next, or until such astronomical conjunction takes place more or less completely. Meanwhile, the initiations proceed just the same; but men not so great are initiated. There are also times when actually no initiation takes place at all; but the period is remembered, is commemorated, and is held in reverence and respect.
I think that HPB in one of the volumes of Lucifer refers to the 4th of January as being the beginning of the esoteric New Year.
There are a number of things that you can learn from the facts that I have stated: first, that one's inner self is not the same as the personal self, nor yet the same as the psychological self. There is in man an inner god. There is in man also the human soul. There is in man an entity still inferior — the animal soul; and all these three are the seats of entities, or the seeds of entities. The animal soul is an undeveloped human soul. The human soul is an undeveloped god. Yet they all work together in each human being to form the inner constitution which we call man. This inner god or inner self is at once you and not you. It is your parent, the source of all you are, the source of all your inspiration and illumination, the fountain of life and of all the noble virtues in you; and yet, while it is you, it is not you. You are the human soul, a child of the divine within you, and therefore a spark of divinity growing into full-blown divinity, or rather destined to achieve full-blown divinity, in time; and this fact is one of the great mysteries.
I do not expect you to understand it all at present. I have given to you the teaching, and I do expect that you will think about it and ponder over it and try to understand it; because this teaching is a key, a most wonderful key, to understanding the mysteries not only of the human being, but of the universal Mother Nature who surrounds us. We are all interlinked and interlocked. We are all interconnected, and yet each one of us is an individual. The very atoms which compose our bodies, our physical being, are our children and yet each one of them is a learning entity, destined through the coming ages of the future to bloom forth into self-conscious godhood. We human souls were such life-atoms once. We have now attained the human stage, and as time goes on we shall become divine beings in our turn then giving birth to others who will rise up along the evolutionary path in the way that we have done. And, as a concluding remark, Companions, remember that every entity belongs to the vitality and to the heart of some greater entity in which it lives, and moves, and has its being; and this is universal throughout the cosmos.
I think this is enough for tonight, Companions. We will close.
Supplement to Meeting 3