Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Processes After Death
"The Tower of Infinite Thought"
Is It Necessary to Experience Evil?
Avalokitesvara — The Divine Presence
REFERENCE: Letters XXIIIA and XXIIIB
Questions 15-20, page 147, Answers 15-20, pages 170-4
I would like to point out one thing first. We speak of accidents. I wonder if people realize when they use that term what they are implying. If such things as accidents really are in the way the men of the West understand this word, then the universe is lawless, it is chaotic, there is no order, no sequence of events in it. If anything in the universe can happen haphazardly, by chance, without a preceding cause, the whole universe is wrong, because chance cannot be a part of it, and all the rest of it be against chance. It is like saying a part of an apple is apple and all the rest of it is not apple, which is an absurdity. The apple is all apple and the universe is all law. Accident is merely a word which in the West is used to hide ignorance. Accidents are usually unforeseen events, and because we do not see the preceding causes, we say accident. In that sense there is no such thing as accident. Everything is the fruit of a precedaneous cause, and this precedaneous cause cannot touch any individual unless that individual was the producer of that cause, originally or intimately connected with the production of that cause.
As for instance, two or more people may be working together. By that fact of working together they are karmically connected. Karman governs all things with infinite justice, for it is the establishment of the law of harmony; and we with our feeble human understanding cannot always easily see how, when a thing is past and done let us say ten million years ago, harmony can be re-established ten million years later. But I ask: Why not? We must remember that our conceptions of time are pertinent to the time-sphere in which we live. Our ideas of time would be exceedingly long to the time-ideas of an individual living on an infinitesimal part of matter, let us say an electron, where a whole cosmical universe may appear and run its course and vanish during the time-period of what we call a tick-tick of the clock. Time to such individuals is enormously speeded up. Our time to such individuals would be like eternity. Yet what is our time when we compare it with the vast cosmical chronological sequences which are counted in our human years by billions and trillions and quadrillions and even higher figures of solar years, or, as we say, human years? To an individual living in that vastly extended time-sphere, or space-time-sphere, to use the jargon of the day, our time would be very quick. Ten million years is not anything from the standpoint of a genuinely cosmic law, and it might seem only an hour ago, or, as one might say, a moment in the past. We might say with the Jewish scripture, ten billion, trillion, quadrillion years in Thy sight are but a second of super-divine time. And so it is.
So with accidents. There is such absolute justice in this universe that an act cannot be committed, a thought thought, or an emotion experienced, without its due and orderly consequences. Why, everybody knows that. Now just apply the cosmic law to all these things. When we see something happen we cannot understand, we say accident. That is merely expressing our ignorance of what the past was. But it could not have happened to that man unless that man had been in the past, either in this life or some other life, in some way entangled in causes which brought the fruiting of those causes about now. It just happens now. Either this, or we live in a crazy world without law and order, and where chance and fortuity and accidents can happen. Where do we see any signs of this?
For example, ten men are in a boat. Nine drown and one is saved. Or one drowns, nine are saved. Why? Chance? A man is run down by an automobile, or something falls from above and crushes his skull. Chance? That is easy. If we could solve life's problems by chance, or accident, nobody would ever have a headache. I want an explanation, not just passing the buck to the God or devil, or something you call chance. Not on your sweet life!
Mark this: That while this body knows that it has an accident, the imbodying ego knows it was the result of karmic justice; and as this body is but a vehicle, and as the consciousness and the moral sense dwell in the imbodying ego, the cognising entity is the important thing.
Now about this matter of a man's thinking at the moment of death, and the consequences that that last short period of concentrated thinking has as a cause on the next life and after lives. Our Theosophical philosophy is so strictly logical that you can readily see here that such a thing cannot take place unless the few last moments of thinking were themselves the production of preceding causes. What then do we mean by the Master's statement? The significance of it is simply this. What a man thinks during the last vegetative instants of this life are the thought-habits — there is a key-word, habit — the thought-habits of that life and preceding lives. The preceding lives of course have made the thought-habits of the life just closing; and what a man thinks when the egoic consciousness is temporarily stunned by the impact of death, what the brain then thinks, is the automatisms of that habit. Isn't that simple? All the habits of thinking of all the previous lives at the last moment sink into those automatic habits; habit meets habit thinking habit-thoughts. It is the man's character expressing itself in the automatic thinking of his last moments, and that will be his character which he has earned for the future. And just apply it on a larger scale to the thoughts the man has, let us say at the end of a Round or the seven Rounds. It is precisely the same rule.
Whatever your thinking habits have been during life, will be the ones that at the instant of death, not merely the loss of consciousness, but actual death, will be the ones that express themselves as automatic thought-currents governing that mental panorama which begins with the first instant of recollection from childhood, going rapidly through every single event and feeling you have ever had, right up to the moment of passing. Then there is unconsciousness, swift, quick. That is the idea.
Now there is no suffering about this, unless indeed a man now old and tender and wise may look upon that passing panorama in disgust and say: Why didn't I, when I had that chance, seize it? Why was I not strong in doing what I was doing, putting more force and power into it? Those are the reflexions of the higher mind as it sees the panorama. But essentially these thoughts are part of the automatisms of the past thinking, the thought-habits of the past. Everything is infinitely just, all your good and all your bad, and always will be.
Now another point in connexion with thoughts. Let us say that seven-principled man is composed, for the purpose of this illustration, of two parts, a higher triad and a lower quaternary. Let us call the higher triad X. This is the spiritual and the higher intellectual, higher psychical part of man. Let us call the lower quaternary Y. These are the emotions, the lower thoughts, the feelings good and bad and indifferent that form us as we are from day to day when uninspired by the higher parts. We will call that Y. And putting it in the form of an algebraic equation: X plus Y equals Z. Z is the man as we know him, as you are, as I, as we feel and think and act and do. X is the higher part of us, the upper triad. Y the lower part, the quaternary. Z is the whole man, acting through the brain and nerves, through the body.
Now then, when death ensues, the body is dropped because it is just a vehicle, a suit of clothes. Actually it is no more, although it is the vital abode of Y overshadowed by X. But it is dropped as a finger-nail paring. The nail is part of you, of your body, production of your vitality; but when the finger-nails are clipped, there still remain in conjunction X plus Y equaling Z. And when death ensues, we still have X + Y = Z minus V. We will call V the physical body.
Now what happens as time goes on? X separates slowly from Y until the strain of the separation can go no farther and there is a break. X ascends. Y drops. That is the second death. Until the second death occurs, the man is the man he is on earth in the physical body practically, in form a nirmanakaya, although of course not a nirmanakaya. He is a complete man minus only the physical body. Now then, when the second death occurs, X ascends, enters the devachan. What happens to Y? Y drops; no longer held up by X, no longer inspired by X, it drops to its own level in the astral light, wherever that level may be. Every individual case has its own of course.
Now then, what kind of thoughts has Y? We now call it the kama-rupa, or the spook. What kind of thoughts should it have except the automatic thoughts that it had when X plus Y equaled Z in the physical body? Its thinking now is feeble and weak. It is simply repeating, automatic, just a machine. It does not know what it does. It slowly runs down, the pendulum goes slower and slower until it finally stops. When the vital pendulum of a spook stops, that is practically the time when the spook is virtually disintegrated.
So it is utterly impossible to summon X into a seance room. There is no appeal to it. X cannot be reached except by spiritual love. Even thought won't reach it, at least the thoughts most men think. The Y can be reached. Y is still chock full, just after death, of animal vitality, animal magnetism, which is one of the reasons of the break with X. X insisted upon going up, and tried to drag Y after it; but the tendency of Y is down, and finally the inevitable break came. It is just as simple as it can be, and I am trying to use simple language especially for our friends who have not studied Theosophy as we have.
So the Y, the spook, the kama-rupa, thinks all the thoughts that are in its nature to think. It cannot think something that it is not thinking. Surely that is obvious. If you are thinking about apples, you are not thinking about stones or solar spectra. And if apples happen to be the automatic thinking process of the spook Y, about apples it will think, apples, apples, apples. Or again, the spook might be thinking about his favorite treasures, what during life it fancied most. That part of the nature is the lower part. The automatic thinking of Y will keep on and on, only it will keep on going less and less strong, because Y is disintegrating and decaying; and finally becomes — pardon me — a filthy stinking astral corpse, which is exactly what it is. It even smells putrid, of the graveyard, of decay.
So that is happening all through the ages, and when these dear spiritists in their ignorance try to establish communication with the departed, with their beloved departed, the only thing they can possibly, in nature's law, establish communication with, if anything, is Y, the spook. And what else can Y be but itself? If its name was John Smith, it will say, "Yes, I am John Smith." If it lived at 472 West Burlington Avenue, "Yes, 472 West Burlington Avenue." It is decaying, going to pieces.
You know, there is a pathos about these things. I appear to be ridiculing it, but it is not in my heart to do so. I am trying to make very graphic the situation. Of course this spook Y, this kama-rupa, will remember its name. It probably will remember where it lived, and remember the names, or some of them, of its companions or family. "My wife Emma. Yes, Emma. That is Ruth, Emma. Come tomorrow. I am called now. Good-bye, dear." You get in touch with the automatic functioning of the spook, but the mental procedure is gone. A clever question by a medium who is in astral-psychic touch with a spook like that will start all its automatic processes following the question: "Are you John Smith?" "Yes, John Smith." "Where did you live?" "So and so." "Were you married?" "Yes, I was married. No I was not married. No, Yes, I was. Her name was Emma." This is not a bit of exaggeration.
So when you ask what were the thought-processes of the spook you have examples right here, the automatic thought-processes that carry over from the life just closed; and as the spook is the lower part of us, you can understand what thought-processes these are.
Now on the other hand, do not mistake the medium for a mediator. That is a very different thing. A mediator can ascend and come into actual spiritual communication with X, the higher triad, the real ego in the devachan; and if the mediator is sensitive enough, by its love it can catch as it were the vibrational synchrony of the immeasurably lovely and heavenly dreams of X; and the mediator can even bring it back. The physical mind has come in touch, and what is the devachani thinking of? It depends upon what the automatic thought-habits of that man were. If he was a musician, the devachani will be thinking of music, composing the most celestial harmonies. If the man on the other hand was a convinced and deeply earnest religionist, religion will color the devachan. If the man was a Baptist and a convinced and very earnest one, it will be full of Baptist thoughts. If he was a Seventh-Day Adventist, or a Mohammedan or an Episcopalian or a Buddhist — it will be the same. You see here why we call even the devachan a fool's paradise, because surely neither the Baptist nor the Mohammedan nor the Episcopalian nor the Roman Catholic nor any other type of religious belief is Truth, Absolute Reality.
There is something beyond the devachan, and this is when the higher part of X comes into direct and intimate relation, spiritual relation, communion, self-identification, with the Divine mind of which it is a child, the spark, the offspring. Then you have Reality. That is Nirvana.
REFERENCE: "For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a giant's Tower of INFINITE THOUGHT, wherein the Titan dwelt, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to co-operate with him and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow will be found to prevail." — Letter IX, p. 51
These are the words of a Master of Wisdom, and I want you to hearken to them and try to get the inner meaning of them, for they are really godlike. A great intellect composed them.
What is this Tower of Infinite Thought? It is the general Cosmic Intelligence, here particularized as the hierarchies of the Dhyani-Chohans, the Cosmic Spirits, the Lords of Meditation and Cosmic Wisdom. We call them the hierarchies of the Sons of Light, representing the consciousness-side of the universe. They are innumerable, extending from even below man up through countless hierarchies, stretching indeed to Infinity.
This is the Tower of Infinite Thought, in which the cosmic Titans dwell and think and live and plan. These cosmic Titans are the aggregate of the cosmic logoi, the cosmic spirits, an army of the suns of light and life. And from this inexhaustible fount of all perfect wisdom and perfect love, from time to time there issue forth great souls who take imbodiment among men, and guide and lead and help and aid and inspire, and raise not only us superstitious and fallible men, but all beings less than they, for Nature is one organic unity. What is above in the highest is shadowed in the lowest, for there is but one cosmic law, because there is but one cosmic intelligence and one cosmic life; and therefore that law, that life, that intelligence, prevails throughout. So that, as you see, what is here below, is but a shadow or a copy from a pattern of what is above; and the whole secret of life, and the whole secret of living, is to become at one in consciousness and in feeling, in spirit and in soul, with that pattern of Infinite Thought.
No grander words I should think have ever issued from human lips. No more sublime conceptions have ever been penned, than those contained in the extracts from the Master's communication that have been read to you. They are a new gospel of thought and of love, a new dispensation of human effort; and a man must be blind who fails to sense and to feel the immense import, the grand content, enwrapped in these human words.
When the times are not propitious, or the times are not right, then the adepts — never indeed abandon mankind to its hopeless fate; there remain on earth at least the Brotherhood of the Mahatmans or Masters of Wisdom and Compassion. They inspire and instill intimations of wonder and of grandeur in sensitive and receptive human souls. But if the times are not right for a larger spreading of the Wisdom of the Gods, then for the time being they retire upwards and inwards into this Tower of Infinite Thought, and await there until the time is ripening once more so that they may once again work publicly, or semi-publicly, among us.
We too, even now in our smallness and weakness, inhabit this Tower of Infinite Thought. And precisely as the Masters do when the times are not propitious or not ripe for a new installment of the God-Wisdom of Infinitude, we too, although our hand is always outstretched ready to impart what little we ourselves have taken by strength of the Kingdom of Heaven, when the times are not ripe, precisely like our own Teachers, we retire into the higher consciousness, and to outward appearance may seem to have retired into silence and quiet. But that is only so to the outer seeming.
The Masters of Wisdom, the Adepts, simply retire when the times are not ripe for them to do their greatest work among men. They do what they can, and what human karman or destiny will allow them to do; but to a certain extent, they ascend, vanish from the outer seeming, to become only the more active and the grander in works of beneficence on the inner planes. And when the times become ripe, when men through suffering and sorrow, pain and racking care, once more find their hearts yearning for a greater light, and for the comfort which is never gained by egoisms, but given only by the spirit — when men then make the inner call, soundless yet ringing unto the very spheres of light, then Those, hitherto silent but watching and waiting in the Tower of Infinite Thought, from their azure thrones, so to speak, bend a listening ear; and if the call is strong enough, if it be pure enough, impersonal enough, they leave the portals of the inner invisible realms to enter these portals of our universe, and appear amongst us and guide and teach and comfort and solace and bring peace.
How great is the inspiration to be derived from this teaching of the God-Wisdom we today call Theosophy: that the universe is not chaotic nor insane, but is an organism guided and controlled from within outwards, not only by infinite and omniscient cosmic intelligence — intelligences rather — but by cosmic love. For love is the cement of the universe and accounts for the orderliness of the universe, and its harmony and unity that every one who has the seeing eye may discern in all around him. Scientists speak of these orderlinesses as the laws of nature, as manifested in the cosmic bodies and their inhabitants, as manifested in their times and places and regularities.
How wonderful likewise is the feeling that the man who trains himself for it may enter into touch, into communication, with these grander ones in evolution above him, above him only now, because some day he shall evolve to become like unto them, divine as they are; and they themselves shall have passed upwards and onwards to divinities still more remote to us. There is a path which is steep, which is thorny, but it leads to the very heart of the universe. Anyone, any child of nature, may climb this path. Anyone who ventures to try to find it may take the first steps upon it; and these first steps may be followed by others. What a blessing to know this! What an inspiration for the future that our destiny lies in our hands! Nought shall stay, nought can prevent, no outer god nor inner, can stem the inspiration welling up from the deepest recesses of the human spirit, because that human spirit is but a spark of the cosmic divine.
How beautiful, how inspiring, how simply pregnant with as yet undisclosed significance, is this phrase: the Tower of Infinite Thought! It is a god-like phrase, and only a semi-god-man or a god-man could have so worded his sublime conceiving. What magic vistas of inner realms of faery, true faery, do these wonderful words suggest to reverent minds. This Tower of Infinite Thought, is likewise the Tower of Infinite Love, for it is infilled with love, and its inhabitants are the exponents of love. From time to time its portals open and Teachers from these inner realms come amongst us. Such was the Lord Gautama, the Buddha; such was the Avatara Jesus; such was Krishna; such were a multitude of others whose names are known even in the Occident to every educated man. No wonder a grateful humanity has called them Sons of God, or children of the gods — a phrase which I prefer; for such indeed they are, just as we humans likewise are offsprings of the gods, our forebears and forerunners on the evolutionary path, leading upwards and inwards forever to divinity.
These Teachers of men have themselves been worshiped as gods by men who forgot the injunctions to take the message and worship it, but not to worship the bringer. Therein lies grandeur; for it is, after all, the thought of a man which is powerful, not the mouth through which the thought pours forth. It is the love in a man's heart which makes him sublime, not the mouth which declares it. I think that one of the proofs that these Great Ones who have lived amongst us and who will come again and again and again — I think one of the proofs of their divinity is precisely the fact that they accepted nought for themselves, but called attention to their teachings only.
How beautiful to the hearts of men are they who come bringing tidings of great joy. Their faces are suffused with the dawn of a newer, a grander, a more beautiful, age. For they are its prophets and its heralds, harbingers of a new time to come, when instead of enlarging quarrel and war, men shall learn that the ways of peace are the ways of strength and of power and of wisdom and of plenty and of riches.
REFERENCE: These comments followed a discussion in The Mahatma Letters of pages 74-78 during which the question was asked whether the colorless and negative characters we sometimes meet are those who have not yet been awakened by the experiencing of evil in earth-lives.
It is no longer necessary for human beings to go down into the intellectual and moral mire and absorb it, for the simple reason that we are now on the upward arc. We have passed the grossest point in human evolution. Up to that point it was necessary for human monads to have every experience that consciousness, slowly evolving, could take unto itself in order to make that consciousness rounded out, full, rich with experience and marked with suffering so greatly that sympathy and pity and compassion have waked in the heart when that heart sees the suffering of others.
Hence the gray and feckless characters that we see around us are not they who lack experience in the drinking of the evil cup of filth. We are now on the upward arc. These gray, colorless characters, often weak and with attributes which arouse no admiration in any outstanding human being, are unfortunate cases, or rather cases of unfortunate human beings, who are passing through a resting time psychologically speaking, on this plane. Something in their past destiny has made this present incarnation of theirs one in which they are somnolent, resting, asleep, making no especial mark on the world, "neither hot nor cold, only lukewarm."
But mark you: in the past spiritual and intellectual and psychological history of these entities, heaven knows how many times they have shaken the gates of Heaven with their aspirations and their cries of triumph. Heaven knows how many times on earth they have been victors in well fought fights. Let us not forget that. Let us not condemn because to us of a happier destiny in this life, certain fellow human beings are less strong than we are in opposing temptation, and in refusing to be swept along in the easy currents of the world's life.
But here is my point: Let it never be said that Theosophists teach that now the human race is in need of deliberate, wilful entering into the currents of evil-doing in order to assuage passion, to experience evil and by learning it, to surmount it. All that part of our destiny has been gone through. Our destiny now is to conquer the remaining Atlantean elements of impulse and appetite, no longer to indulge them but to surmount them, and to begin our march up that ladder of life, higher and higher; for we are now on the Ascending Arc!
It was very different before the beginning of the Fourth Round, or what comes to the same thing, before the middle of the Fourth Round, or the middle of the Fourth Race. Then Monads were descending into matter, dropping, attracted by it, drawn into it; and it was necessary for them to gain experience; but they did so automatically, unconsciously, without purposive exercise of will-power, and not with purposeful self-consciousness, but somewhat as little children do through ignorance, learning that if the hand is put in the fire, burning follows, learning that if you put your finger in a closing door, it will be severely pinched or squeezed. They had to learn just as the animals; and little children are learning through experience.
But we are adults, and just so with the human monads when they attained the central point of the Fourth Round. Then the descent stopped. Everything after that, by the laws of nature, is on the Ascending Arc, and we should work with nature and be one with her, obey her laws by arising with her. Then we can become not merely the champions of right and the forerunners and heralds of justice, but we shall ourselves be exemplifications of the divinity we teach.
It is no longer necessary for any human being ever to think at any time that he must experience evil-doing for the sake of going upwards. All that we have been through in the past. We have had enough of that. Too much. Now our line is upward, ad astra, to the stars. Now we are on the upward path; and these colorless characters are simply they who, just as we occasionally may rise from a night's sleep to face a negative and apparently purposeless day, feeling tired and worn out because we have over-eaten or our health is not of the best, and we do not feel like facing difficulties, and we do not want to argue, we want to be left in peace — we have a day of intellectual colorlessness; so these egos have a life of it. They are resting, they are sleeping. But perhaps in the very last life they rose to occasions like heroes, or it may be two or three lives ago: and perhaps in the life to come heroism will again shine out from their hearts. No one can lay down automatic quantitative durations in things like this, for every individual case is dependent upon the individual destiny or karman of the human ego.
REFERENCE: Letter LIX, pp. 343-345
Mahayana Buddhism, which is mainly the form studied in Tibet today, as it has been for centuries past, recognises three distinct entities or hierarchical Logoi in the Buddhists' hierarchy of spirit. They are the Buddha Amitabha or the Buddha of Boundless Light, then Alaya, then Avalokitesvara. Alaya means the spirit-source of all, the garment or clothing of the boundless light; matter cosmic or infinitesimal in nature. Out of it spring the multitudinous rays, as rays of light leave the sun for instance; and each ray is itself a being.
Avalokitesvara does not mean "the Lord looking down," as Rhys Davids translates it, in direct violation of the elementary rules of Sanskrit grammar. Ava means 'down,' lokita is the past participle passive of the Sanskrit verbal root lok, 'to see,' hence meaning 'seen.' Iswara means 'Lord.' So Avalokitesvara means, paraphrased somewhat, "the Lord who is beheld everywhere," the cosmic light, the cosmic spirit, in which we live and move and have our being, whose very essence, whose very light, thrills and burns in every human soul, the spark within every human being. It is the immanence or the constant presence of divinity around us, in everything, seen down here in all its works, pre-eminently for humans in man, the most evolved vehicle of this divine presence.
Compare this wonderful Buddhist triad of Tibet, which is likewise our own, with the Christian trinity, degenerated and grossly transmogrified as this latter is through centuries of theologic and scholastic mishandling because of misunderstanding. We find that Amitabha, the Boundless Light, corresponds to the Father in the Christian Trinity, the Cosmic Father or Abstract Spirit, the Pythagorean monad of monads, the source — in silence to us, and darkness to us — of all the monads emanating from it, streaming from it, born from it through the second logos, Alaya, the Spirit, which in original Christian teaching was feminine, the productive and generative power in nature, in spiritual matters as well as material, the mother of all, the fosterer of all, the preserver of all. And Avalokitesvara corresponds to the original third Person of the Christian Trinity, the Son, the cosmic or Third Logos. In Brahmanism the triad runs: Parabrahman or Brahman, Pradhana or Mulaprakriti, Mahat. When manifesting in individual monads such as a human being, the trinity is Amitabha, Atman; Alaya or Mahakasa, Buddhi; Avalokitesvara, Manas; for Manas is a direct ray from the cosmic Alaya, and our Atman, a direct ray from the Paramatman, the cosmic Atman, or Brahman or Parabrahman, or the Father.
Thus we have Father, Spirit or Holy Ghost, and Son — the original Christian trinity which the Latin Church finally succeeded in turning around into Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, making the Son or Logos precede the Mother from which it is born!
So, as the Masters pointed out in the last part of the letter we have been studying, Avalokitesvara has its temple in the Universe around us. It is the creative Logos, the Third Logos, the one closest to us as it were, from which we all spring as rays from a cosmic sun, which is the divine presence in nature, which is the divine presence in the human manasic part, emanating of course from Atman or Amitabha; for the Son, is he not the Son of his Father? Is not Manas through Buddhi the offspring of Atman? Is not Mahat through Alaya or Mahakasa or Pradhana — all names for the same thing — the offspring of Adi-Buddha, or if you wish Paramatman or Brahman or Parabrahman?
So Avalokitesvara is the divine presence around us everywhere, which every sensitive human soul can feel continuously, day and night, even when we are in dreamland or when imbodied on Earth. And that same divine presence is in the human breast, because the human breast, even the human body, is a microcosmical representation on this plane of the Universe. No wonder the ancients had their Holy of Holies in every temple — originally a beautiful metaphor and a suggestive one when understood by those who came to the temple to worship the divine in purity of heart and with utmost reverence — wherein as in the universe, the divine presence dwells. It was a symbol; so that when one approached the Holy of Holies, shoes were cast from the feet, the garments were wiped, the heart was raised, the mind was elevated; for the worshipers in their reverent raising of their own spirits upwards entered into the Presence, even the Presence Divine.
That Presence is Avalokitesvara; and its ray in us through the Atman is the Higher Manas, illuminated by Buddhi, Buddhi in its turn infilled with the divine light of Atman. For the Father dwelleth in the Mother, and the Mother giveth birth to the Holy Son, and the three are one and yet three, each distinct from the other. Very simple to understand, but amazingly difficult to attain a deeper realization of that marvel! Yet it is wonderful to know and to strive upwards towards. Would that every man and woman realized that in every human breast is such a Holy of Holies; for when the man, through his own self-discipline and cultivation of the highest within him by forgetting himself in service to all others, thus sinking the unit into the all, thus becoming even then relatively divine, becomes so overpowerfully strong that nothing less than It will ever satisfy, then he yearns upward, he opens the portals of his holier being, and the light streams in and fills the Holy of Holies within his breast. Then the man is transfigured, he is a Christ, he is a Bodhisattva, for the time being.
That was the effect of successful initiation, just that. Sometimes the aura of the event remained with the man for days, it may be weeks, and his very body at the time was surrounded with light. He was spoken of as being clothed with the solar splendor, the sun being a symbol of Atman, as he is in his kingdom; and our own inner God being the sun, the inner God of our own divinity, our Father in Heaven, that ray from the cosmic Avalokitesvara.
I think it is just here that we find the reason why the Tibetan esoterics and mystics, Initiates, and the common people — by that I mean the mass of the people, the hard working, kindly, good-natured, loving, aspiring men of the multitude — why they all look upon the Bodhisattvas with deeper reverence and a more fervent love than they do even upon the Buddhas. For the Buddhas have achieved, they have left these spheres. Behind them remains their glory as a spiritual influence. But the Bodhisattvas are still men, not yet Buddhas, men whose life is consecrated to making Avalokitesvara a living power in the world through themselves. This is why it is the Bodhisattvas that the multitudes love. They deeply revere the Buddhas as having gone on and shown the way, but they love with an exalted human devotion the Bodhisattvas who remain behind with arms outstretched to help in pity. No wonder they love the Bodhisattvas, for he who brings Avalokitesvara to live in this Holy of Holies in the human breast, becomes more than man. No wonder he is loved and revered and trusted. I think these thoughts are beautiful beyond description. Their sublimity does not blind us, for it is like divinity clothing itself in human habiliments, in human apparel, and therefore becoming understandable to us humans. It is like seeing humanity clothed with divinity. The Bodhisattvas are not so abstract, so seemingly far away, as are the Buddhas.
So true is this psychology that to it is due, to it alone I believe, all the success of early Christianity, that it taught the very ancient doctrine which had become almost forgotten in the so-called pagan world, and it was this: that a man lived who had been infilled with divinity, and that he came amongst us and taught and showed the way and loved us all so greatly that he laid down his life and all that was in him so that others seeing might follow on the path — the typical Bodhisattva, the typical Christ. I think that one thing alone captured for Christianity those who joined the Christian Church.
But how very old is this doctrine of beauty and inspiration! The Christians received it from the Orient. It is far older than the so-called enduring mountains, for when they were still sea-slime, not yet having been raised, these doctrines were taught among men in other continents, in other ages, in other Root-Races, these same wondrous teachings of cosmic origin.
See the difference between the Christian theological idea of Avalokitesvara as wrongly translated by Rhys Davids and others as being the "Lord who looks down," something "up there" and apart and away, as compared with the real meaning: the Lord here amongst us, the Lord of Pity, human and yet divine, the Divine Presence surrounding us everywhere, which makes the human breast recognising this the human Holy of Holies.