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Masters | Egos Awaiting Reincarnation | Refrain from Judging | The Pleiades | Temptations of Chelaship | Preparation Before Sleep | Four Sacred Seasons | The Tribunal of the Higher Self | KT's Work
G. de P. — I suppose all of us have a certain amount of vague interest in the mere physical appearance of the teachers. But after all, they assume bodies at will, and cast them aside at will, and what does it matter whether the skin be shriveled like an old apple, or whether it be soft and smooth and downy like the skin of a child? How does that affect the spirit or the soul? It is the inner power that makes the man.
There is no objection to speaking of the Masters or of talking about them to outside friends who are not theosophists, but the thing that we should do is to essay to place them before our eyes as a pattern, a copy, to look up to and to strive to become alike unto them. This really is very important. Have the ideal; for the Master is already in each one of us. Each one of us is a Master clothed with all the vestures of the lower consciousness. If we can figurate to our imaginations, reverently and beautifully, what the Masters essentially are, not in the body but in themselves, and strive to become like unto them, I think it is one of the finest yoga parts of our training. I think everyone of us ought to do that, every one of us. Furthermore it has this effect: the higher parts of the auric egg become strengthened in action in the constitution, the akasic powers of the auric egg collect around an individual who keeps the ideal of the Master constantly in his heart and before his eyes. I do not say that it will enable him to avoid every danger, because karma cannot be set aside, but it will act as a shield around him against temptation, against evil influences of all kinds, against doubt and envy, and against making new bad karma. It will make himself humble in the beautiful sense of the word. And it will enable him to see the beauty in others — and that already is a huge achievement.
We should keep the Master before our eyes as an ideal for us to attain to. To the Master within it is beneficial in every line, in conduct, in our dealings with others. In our own troubles and trials and difficulties it is an immense comfort and consolation. Keep the ideal of the Master before your eyes always, and you will find as time goes on that there will be an ever greater disinclination to chatter about them, because you feel the realization has become holy, sacred, something that you prize almost too much to talk about, although there is no harm in it.
The very fact that we proclaim the existence of these exalted and perfected men seems to clinch the argument in the minds of those who are not theosophists. It gives them an ideal. It is the answer to the question: Well, have there ever been men like that? The answer is: certainly; consult the annals of history. They live today and they founded the TS, and while they do not guide it, they protect it and watch over it, and will continue protecting and watching over it as long as we who compose the TS are faithful to our part of the work; and when we abandon that — should we ever become crazy — then they would withdraw, or found a new TS.
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The point in the discussion of the Instruction just read is whether the Occidental world was ready for a more or less public dissemination of occult truth, instead of carrying it on as the Lodge had been doing for several thousands of years, more or less secretly and by the training of individuals or small groups of individuals.
I honestly wish there were a little less running after visions and a greater concentration on facts that we know to be facts. I realize well that facts are not so easy to formulate. They require thought and study. Visions are often fascinating, because dressed in the habiliments usually of the theater and of the playwright. They are attractive. You don't have to think. You either swallow down or you spew up, according to whether you accept a so-called vision, or not. I don't see that any vision will do any man any good unless he has it himself, and unless it be a vision spiritually speaking. Then indeed they are very different, and are wonderful, because, as the Hebrew Bible says, "Without a vision — (which means without a glimpse of the Real) — the people perish." It is one of the truest statements in literature. But that is a vision which the people have themselves. It is not something which is handed to them and they are told: this is a vision. I hope you understand.
If sincerity in believing one has visions were enough in itself, then every fanatic in history, because every fanatic is deadly sincere, would be doing righteousness.
It is a fatal error, I think, to assume that attitude of being "holier than thou," or of knowing all, because that is exactly what we do not claim. None of us believes that. We have to use our brains in these things, our tact, our diplomacy, our good sense, our judgment. In the first place, the whole purpose of the ES is to form a group or body of devoted students whose first thought is the TS. The ES was founded, not solely for the individual development, for the development of individuals, or for their gaining of curious and recondite teaching. Not at all. But to gather together a band of absolutely loyal and devoted theosophists who would give all they could of strength, time, and money, to keep the Masters' work in the world going, in other words the TS. Now that means that we have to use our tact and our diplomacy and our good sense, our judgment, our discrimination, the kindliness of our hearts; and it would be a fatal error, a gross breach of all the proprieties, not only of ordinary social conduct, but of the ES rule of humility in the beautiful sense of that word, to pose before the world as the only channels of truth. We know better than that, and it is only recently that I myself have taken a positive stand in a public gathering to state that there are millions of people in the world who are just as good Theosophists as we are, so far as inner feeling, and so far as direction of spiritual aspiration, go.
Of course, even publicly, if I were asked whether I thought the TS was a channel for truth, I would speak with emphasis: Indeed I do, Sir, or my friend. If I were asked if it is the only channel of truth in the world, I would say: Emphatically not, never has been. If I were asked by an ES student: Is there another body of students of the archaic occultism in the world directly connected with the Lodge, and helped by the Teachers, except ours, I would say: No, there is no other formally organized body or group or association, working albeit occultly, in the outer or exoteric world.
True impersonal love will never condone self-indulgent weakness in a child. Never. The parents' hands are always to be firm and never faltering. I was envisaging parents with some degree of wisdom. Such love should never excuse or condone deliberate evildoing or weakness, nor should the parental love and sympathy ever be allowed to affect the child as condoning further self-indulgence or weakness. The true love is that which will sometimes restrain, just as the spiritual love in a man's own heart will restrain and constrain the human soul of that man to act manly; and such spiritual love will never condone or assist in continued weakness. If so, you have the cases, so rare, of the parting of the soul from the spirit, resulting in what we call a lost soul, because the spiritual soul will never condone. It would not be a spiritual soul if it did. It would not be wise. It would simply be a partner in weakness, and no true parent will ever be a partner in the weakness of his child. That is the worst kind of love. It amounts to evil love, because it stimulates the child into thinking it has the sympathy of his parent in further ill-doing.
When the egos are awaiting incarnation on earth, where are they, and what is their state of consciousness? All the egos are in the devachan, of course. When you recollect that life on earth may endure anywhere from a few moments of time after birth up to almost any age this side of l00, but that the periods in the devachan are 100 times as long averagely of course, not rigidly, you can readily see that there must be many, many times more egos in the devachan than there are imbodied.
Whether we will or whether we nill, whether we like it or dislike it, so great is the power of human destiny moving onwards and upwards, that wounds are healed, destiny is accomplished, even after the most fearful earthquakes, moral and spiritual and physical.
I think it a very wise rule for us students of occultism to refrain from judging. If anyone thinks he is wise enough, let him take the consequences. I can assure you that I for one do not think I am wise enough to sit in judgment of anyone. I know perfectly well in my poor dumb way what is right and what is wrong, and I strive to follow the right and to avoid what is wrong, and that takes all my time and all my energy. I have learned that I do not know enough to condemn any fellow human being whatsoever; and I bless the stars that be that I have learned this much.
I am sorry but I fail to understand the desire of this particular companion to know more about the constellation of the Pleiades, unless indeed it is because of a very ancient belief that the group called the Pleiades stands relatively high in spirituality, so that even the Hebrew Bible in one of its passages speaks of the "sweet influence of the Pleiades." I can only say that among the great numbers of stars, some are higher than others, and others inferior, but the Pleiades is higher than the average, higher in spirituality.
You are a chela, let us say. You are striving to break through a mist which to you is almost impenetrable. You do not seem to succeed. The teacher knows that until you break your own way out like the chick from the shell, you will never have freedom. If the Master comes and dissipates the fog around you, he has cheated you of the chance to gain in strength and knowledge and wisdom. You must grow yourself.
Now then, suppose the Master sees in your destiny the approach into your vicinage, or into your friendship we will say — no, not your friendship, but into your neighborhood — of someone else who, because of karmic links between you and him, gives you the opportunity to overcome something that is in your character, I can conceive a situation where your own teacher — you are a chela under this hypothesis — will not aid this agent provocateur as the French call it, this provoking agent, he will not aid that agent to tempt you, but he will stand aside, watchful, in pity, hoping that you will have the strength to repel and thus break through the fog surrounding you. Do you get the picture? Because you will have to meet that some day under the hypothesis we have just tried to sketch; and why not do it now when by overcoming you will have a chance to break out of the fog, rise into the sunlight and reach freedom.
Of course, every temptation is not like that at all; and when the Masters — to use the graphic language spoken of — use a dugpa for holy purposes, it is never to betray or to defeat the struggling spirit of the pupil; but on the contrary only when the Master's wisdom knows that that influence will act somewhat as a catalyst — you follow me? — will act somewhat as the whip or spur to force you to rise in rebellion against the situation and free yourself. To me there is an enormous difference between the two. Do not assume for a moment that I mean to say that the Masters use the dugpas to tempt their disciples, because that would be awful, and it is not true. Sometimes our truest friends help us greatly, not so much by the comforting hand, but by arousing our innate powers of vision, of rebellion against an evil one could fall into. Often our own friends do that, and thus they prove themselves the truest friends. I can assure you that the teachings of occultism are held so strictly secret because, in the keeping of weak and unstable moral characters, the results could be disastrous. Surely you all see that! There are many truths that some people are just not fit to be told. They would not take them in properly. They would take them in in the wrong way, and it might be an opportunity for indulgence in evil, or an opportunity for self-indulgence along a weak line.
Furthermore, let me point this out, it is quite collateral, that sometimes the human being who in sincerity stumbles on the path, is rising more rapidly than the holy saint who is too high to stumble, and therefore has a plain pathway before him, and may even long for an opportunity to test his strength. Therefore blame never those who stumble on the path. It all depends upon whether the heart is earnest and pure and innately good.
The reference is to the knowledge gained by the higher ego when freed from the fleshly trammels of the body during sleep. The man returns refreshed and inspired; and if the life on earth is at all accordant with the rules of spirituality, it helps to break down the barriers of what will later become conscious inspiration. One of the best rules to help this was that laid down by old Pythagoras which he taught his pupils in far past times in Crotona. It has been beautifully rhymed, I do not remember it exactly but it runs something like this:
Let not the setting sun close thine eyes in sleep ere thou hast passed in review all the events of the day just ending. What have I done that was done amiss? What have I done that was done aright? Let me learn to do all things aright.
I think that is wonderfully beautiful, and the mind falling into the dreamland, or the dreamless lands of sleep, with that urge carrying it upwards into the higher regions of the spiritual nature, returns when the morning comes, not only refreshed, but fired with spiritual and higher intellectual wisdom which acts as an unconscious vital urge through all the next day. We seem to arise quieted and at peace. Things fall simply and easily into place. There are no sweet bells jangled out of tune for that day. All things seem to run harmoniously, and it is true. Any one can experience it who will practise it. You people sometimes ask me for so-called practical rules of occultism. There is one of the finest: you can practise it and gain the benefit of it. If you don't you won't.
We celebrate these four sacred seasons in reverence, and some of us in holy awe — I cannot think of a better or more expressive term than this — and we do this because at each one of these sacred seasons actual initiations are held somewhere on the surface of this earth. Some human being at every one of these seasons is passing the portals of wisdom into the greater light. As far as I know, the supply of such disciples has never ceased; and it continues, and their number will grow larger as the yugas pass.
So please do not think that when we celebrate these sacred seasons, they are merely commemorative celebrations. We commune as it were in spirit with those who are actually passing through the trials.
HPB pointed out many years ago that every New Year was a new chance to take a step ahead, that there was actually something wonderful about the New Year time, which of course in her meaning did not signify the exoteric 1st of January, but it meant what we call the time of the winter solstice. Every one of us students — we are approaching it now — has a new chance at each such recurring cycle every year to make a step forwards, if we will and dare. It depends entirely upon us, and I mean every word of this, Companions. It is easier to do it at the times of these four sacred seasons; easiest perhaps at the time of the winter solstice.
Our appearances before the tribunal of the higher self up to the time when we undertake a true initiation self-consciously are karmic. Periodically, indeed every night when we sleep, the karmic record for the past time, be it a day or a month, whatever it may be, is read by our higher self, by our spirit, by the god within each one of us. Our destiny is as it were written down. We ourselves have carven that destiny: our thoughts, our feelings, and our consequent actions following upon these feelings and thoughts. Indeed this happens every night. We do not know anything about it, but what we are is registered, noted, and, to use a figure of speech, the inner lipika makes the record. From this there is no appeal, there is no recourse. We simply must abide by what we are, which means what we have made ourselves.
Now then, when at a true initiation, a self-conscious undertaking of the dread trials, if the neophyte is successful, he meets for a longer or shorter time his own inner god face to face. Self meets self and gives an accounting of selfhood. This is the same thing exactly, only instead of the higher self scanning the record of the time just past, and inscribing it as it were in the books of the karmic recorders, then is the time when a man faces the god within him. I cannot find the language to carry this thought farther, but I am sure that you can intuit what I am trying to say. Language simply drops powerless. We can sense it, feel it by intuition. The soul then learns its destiny from the karmic judge which is the god within, the man himself, man's own divine part. Self sees self unveiled. Self recognizes self, self calls to self, self helps self, self judges self. See the infinite wisdom and beauty of this. There is no favoritism, it is simply naked truth.
Now then, if the soul standing before its spirit can receive that spirit unto itself, if the soul can become the spirit, enter into the substance of the spirit, in other words to use the Egyptian phrasing, if the human being is capable then of becoming Osirified, becoming the inner Osiris, the man thereafter is Osiris, thereafter the man is Buddha, is Christ. If not, there is another chance.
It was proposed once in the KTMG early meetings that one evening should be devoted to KT. And you now ask would it be all right to do so now?
Well, I understand the devotion in the heart of this querent asking this question, and I remember some time after I took office I myself spoke of the great pleasure it would give us all to devote an evening's study to KT. But I have come to the conclusion that no useful end or objective could be served, and furthermore it would concentrate the attention of our students too much on one single teacher; or to put it otherwise too much on a person as contrasted with the work itself. I think it is better to just wash that out of our thoughts, if you please. KT's work itself was so grand that I prefer to have it stand as an unpainted monument, an unworked-over monument, in our hearts and minds.