(1) There has been a great deal of nonsense talked and taught about the science of breath. Many groups give a great deal of dangerous instruction anent breathing – dangerous because it is based on book knowledge, and its exponents have never practised it extensively themselves, and dangerous because many groups simply exploit the unready, usually for commercial gain. Fortunately for the mass of aspirants, the information and the instruction given, are both feeble, inaccurate and frequently innocuous, though there are many cases of significantly bad reaction; fortunately also, the purpose of the average aspirant is so weak that he is incapable of persistent, [Page 34]daily, unchanging compliance with the requirements, and fails to render that application which would be the guarantee of a dubious success; hence, in these cases, no danger exists. Many occult groups exploit the subject, in order to build up mystery, and to hold out inducements to the unwary, or give their adherents something to do, and thus gain kudos for themselves as learned and well-trained occultists. Anyone can teach breathing exercises. It is largely a matter of periodic in-breathing and exhalation, timed and spaced according to the wish of the teacher. Where there is persistence in effort, results will be achieved, and these will usually be undesirable, because the average teacher emphasises the technique of the breath, and not the ideas which – upon the energy which that breath engenders – should take form in the life of the disciple.
The entire science of the breath is built around the use of the Sacred Word, the OM. The use of the Word is intended to be confined to those aspirants who are earnestly pledged to tread the Way, but it has been passed on, and its use enjoined by many unscrupulous teachers, particularly those swamis who come from India, pose as Holy Men, and get silly women of the Occident into their clutches. The Word is then used with no spiritual intent, but simply as a sound which, carried on the breath, produces psychic results, which indicate to the gullible their deep spirituality. The trouble is that breathing is inevitably related to the OM, but the effects are dependent upon motive and inner fixed intention. (10 – 253/4).
(2) The right use of the Life-Breath is the whole art at which the aspirant, the disciple, and the initiate work, bearing in mind, however, that the science of the physical breath is the least important aspect, and follows sequentially upon the right use of energy, which is the word we apply to the divine breath of life. (4 – 152).
(3) No breathing exercises can be safely used where there is no attempt to impose rhythm upon the life of every day. The two activities must go hand in hand. . . . Let no one doubt the effect of breathing exercises upon the vital body. As surely as eating and drinking build or destroy the physical body, and aid or hinder its right functioning, so do breathing exercises produce potent effects, if rightly used over a long period of time. (4 – 206/7).
(4) The only factor which makes the breath effective, is the thought, the intent and the purpose which lies behind it. In this statement, you have the clue to dynamic, useful breathing exercises. Unless there is a clear appreciation of purpose, unless the disciple knows just what he is doing as he practices esoteric breathing, and unless the significance of the words "energy [Page 35] follows thought" is
Behind this lies a third and even more important factor – the will. Therefore, the only person who can safely and usefully practice breathing exercises, is the man whose will is active – his spiritual will and, therefore, the will of the Spiritual Triad. (10 – 255/6).
(5) That breathing exercises may eventually find a place in the training of the disciple, is true and possible, but they will be self-initiated as a result of rhythmic living, and a constant right use of the Sacred Word, the O M. (10 – 262).
(6) Breathing exercises or pranayama training should never be undertaken without expert guidance, and only after years of spiritual application, devotion, and service. (13 – 18).
(1) The Buddha came approximately five hundred years before Christ. . . . Buddha answered the questions posited in His time by giving the Four Noble Truths, which satisfactorily and eternally answer man's demand of why. These Truths can be summarised as follows: the Buddha taught that misery and suffering were of man's own making, and that the focussing of human desire upon the undesirable, the ephemeral and the material, was the cause of all despair, all hatred and competition, and the reason why man found himself living in the realm of death – the realm of physical living, which is the true death of the spirit. (8 – 106).
(2) The Buddha came embodying in Himself the divine quality of wisdom; He was the manifestation of Light, and the Teacher of the way of enlightenment. He demonstrated in Himself the processes of illumination and became "the Illumined One". Light, wisdom, reason, as divine yet human attributes, were focussed in the Buddha. He challenged the people to tread the Path of Illumination of which wisdom, mental perception and the intuition are aspects.
Then came the next Teacher, the Christ. He embodied in Himself a still greater divine principle – greater than the Mind, that of Love; yet at the same time, He embraced within Himself all that the Buddha had of light. Christ was the expression of both light and love. (7 – 150/1).
THE CAUSAL BODY
(The Egoic Lotus)
(1) In considering the causal body (this "Temple of the Soul"), we are dealing specifically with the vehicle of manifestation of a solar Angel who is its informing life and who is in process of constructing it, of perfecting it, and of enlarging it, and thus reflecting on a tiny scale the work of the Logos on His own plane. (3 – 1110).
(2) The causal body is a collection of permanent atoms, three in all, enclosed in an envelope of mental essence . . .
Therefore, you have at the moment of individualisation, which is the term used to express this hour of contact, on the third subplane of the mental plane, a point of light, enclosing three atoms, and itself enclosed in a sheath of mental matter. The work then to be done consists of:
1. Causing that point of light to become a flame, by steadily fanning the spark and feeding the fire.
2. Causing the causal body to grow and expand, from being a colourless ovoid, holding the Ego like a yolk within the egg-shell, to a thing of rare beauty, containing within itself all the colour of the rainbow. This is an occult fact. The causal body will palpitate in due course of time, with an inner irradiation, and an inner glowing flame that will gradually work its way from the centre to the periphery. It will then pierce through that periphery, using the body (that product of millennia of lives of pain and endeavour), as fuel for its flames. It will burn all up, it will mount toward the Triad, and (becoming one with that Triad) will be re-absorbed into the spiritual consciousness, – will carry with it – using heat as the symbol – an intensity of heat or quality of colour or vibration, that before were lacking.
Therefore, the work of the Personality – for we have to view all from that angle until egoic vision may be ours, – is first to beautify, build and expand the causal body; secondly to withdraw within it the life of the Personality, sucking the good out of the personal life, and storing it in the body of the Ego. We might term this the Divine Vampirism, for always evil is but the other side of good. Then, having accomplished this, comes the application of the flame to the causal body itself, and the joyous standing by whilst the work of destruction goes on, and the Flame – the live inner man, and the spirit of divine life – is set free, and mounts to its source. (2–30/1).
(3) The content of the causal body, is the accumulation by slow and [Page 37] gradual process, of the good in each life. The building proceeds slowly at first, but towards the end of incarnation – on the Probationary Path and on the Path of Initiation – the work proceeds rapidly. The structure has been reared, and each stone quarried in the personal life. On the Path, in each of its two divisions, the work of completing and beautifying the Temple proceeds with greater rapidity . . . (2 – 32).
(4) At a later stage upon the Path of Initiation, the causal body also disappears, and the initiate stands free in the three worlds. The astral body and the causal or soul body are – in the language of esotericism – supplementary to reality. They have had a temporary reality during the evolutionary process, but (having served their purpose, and having endowed man with certain required assets – consciousness, feeling, sensitivity, and ability to establish and register contact) they pass away, and the initiate remains, possessed of power over form, and a fully awakened consciousness. He is a soul, and the fusion is complete. (18 – 162).
(1) The etheric body is a body composed entirely of lines of force, and of points where these lines of force cross each other, and thus form (in crossing) centres of energy. Where many such lines of force cross each other, you have a larger centre of energy, and where great streams of energy meet and cross, as they do in the head and up the spine, you have seven major centres. There are seven such, plus twenty-nine lesser centres and forty-nine smaller centres, known to esotericists. (17 – 72).
(2) The whole subject of the centres is dangerous if misunderstood; the centres constitute a menace when prematurely awakened, or unduly energised, and this entire subject can prove most dangerous to the curiosity-impelled man, and to the ignorant experimenter. The time is not yet ripe for the presentation of this subject in a fully co-ordinated manner; students are warned against publishing a clear correlated thesis on the subject as a result of their researches in my books. Nevertheless the true aspirant must be given the needed information. (18 – 336/7).
(3) Much has been written and discussed anent the centres, and much mystery exists which has aroused the curiosity of the ignorant, and has tempted many to meddle with that which does not concern them. . . . I do not in any way intend to take up the subject from such an angle as to convey [Page 38] rules and information that will enable a man to vivify these centres and bring them into play. I sound here a solemn word of warning. Let a man apply himself to a life of high altruism, to a discipline that will refine and bring his lower vehicles into subjection, and to a strenuous endeavour to purify and control his sheaths. When he has done this and has both raised and stabilised his vibration, he will find that the development and functioning of the centres has pursued a parallel course, and that (apart from this active participation) the work has proceeded along the desired lines. Much danger and dire calamity attends the man who arouses these centres by unlawful methods, and who experiments with the fires of his body without the needed technical knowledge. He may, by his efforts, succeed in raising the fires and in intensifying the action of the centres, but he will pay the price of ignorance in the destruction of matter, in the burning of bodily or brain tissue, in the development of insanity, and in opening the door to currents and forces, undesirable and destructive. It is not the part of a coward, in these matters concerning the subjective life, to move with caution and with care; it is the part of discretion. The aspirant, therefore, has three things to do:
1. Purify, discipline and transmute his threefold lower nature.
2. Develop knowledge of himself, and equip his mental body by good deeds and thoughts.
3. Serve his race in utter self-abnegation.
In doing this he fulfils the law, he puts himself in the right condition for training, fits himself for the ultimate application of the Rod of Initiation, and thus minimises the danger that attends the awakening of the fire. (3 – 161/2).
(4) The centres in the human being deal fundamentally with the FIRE aspect in man, or with his divine spirit. They are definitely connected with the Monad, with the will aspect, with immortality, with existence, with the will to live , and with the inherent powers of the Spirit. (3 – 165).
(5) The centres are formed entirely of streams of force, pouring down from the Ego, who transmits it from the Monad. In this we have the secret of the gradual vibratory quickening of the centres as the Ego first comes into control, or activity, and later (after initiation) the Monad, thus bringing about changes and increased vitality within these spheres of fire or of pure life force.
The centres, therefore, when functioning properly, form the "body of fire" which eventually is all that is left, first to man in the three worlds, and later to the Monad. . . . When the form is destroyed there is left this intangible [Page 39] spiritual body of fire, one pure flame, distinguished by seven brilliant centres of intenser burning.
. . . We must disabuse our minds of the idea that these three centres are physical things. They are whirlpools of force that swirl etheric, astral and mental matter into activity of some kind. (3 – 166/7).
(6) The evolution of the centres is a slow and gradual thing, and proceeds in ordered cycles varying according to the ray of a man's Monad. (3 – 173).
(7) The centres in physical matter are recognised as being simply focal points of energy located on the etheric body, and having a definite use. This use is to act as transmitters of certain forms of energy consciously directed by the Ego or Self, with the intent of driving the physical body (which is not a principle) to fulfil egoic purposes. (3 – 1155).
(8) Only one in a thousand aspirants is at the stage where he should begin to work with the energy in the centres, and perhaps even this estimate is too optimistic. Better far that the aspirant serves, and loves, and works, and disciplines himself, leaving his centres to develop and unfold more slowly, and therefore, more safely. Unfold they inevitably will, and the slower and safer method is (in the vast majority of cases), the more rapid. Premature unfoldment involves much loss of time, and carries with it often the seeds of prolonged trouble. (4 – 590).
(9) I teach no mode of awakening the centres, because right impulse, steady reaction to higher impulsions, and the practical recognition of the sources of inspiration, will automatically and safely swing the centres into needed and appropriate activity. This is the sound method of development. It is slower, but leads to no premature development, and produces a rounded unfoldment; it enables the aspirant to become truly the Observer and to know with surety what he is doing; it brings the centres, one by one, to a point of spiritual responsiveness, and then establishes the ordered and cyclic rhythm of a controlled lower nature. (10 – 261/2).
(10) If the aspirant but seeks spiritual development, if he but aims at sincerity of purpose, and at compassionate altruism, if he, with serene application, concentrates on the subjugation of the emotional body, and the enlargement of the mental, and cultivates the habit of abstract thinking, the desired results upon the centres will be produced from necessity, and danger will be eliminated. (2 – 77).
(11) You will therefore observe that the subject (the development of the centres) really becomes more abstruse, the longer it is studied. (2 – 80).
(12) I would also beg you to realise five facts:
1. That undeveloped men are energised and galvanised into outer activity through the medium of the three centres below the diaphragm.
2. That average man is beginning to function primarily through the solar plexus centre, and to use it as a transferring centre of force for energies which must be carried from below the diaphragm to above the diaphragm.
3. That the world aspirants are slowly being energised and controlled by the forces which are being transferred from the centres below the diaphragm, to the throat centre, and from the soul to the throat centre. This leads to creative activity of some kind.
4. That the world disciples are beginning to be governed and controlled by the throat and heart centres, and are also beginning to transfer the forces which have been raised to the heart and throat, to the ajna centre between the eyebrows, in the middle of the forehead. When this has been done, the man is then an integrated personality. The soul also stimulates the ajna centre.
5. That the more advanced disciples and world initiates, are also energised from two sources: by means of the energies raised up and lifted into the head from all the centres in the body, and by those that pour into the human frame from the soul, via the highest centre at the top of the head.
The whole process is, as you can see, one of development, use and transference, as is the case in all evolutionary development. (15 – 521/2).
(13) In both the astral and mental sheaths there exist the counterparts of the centres as found in the physical body. (3 – 58).
(14) The three major centres in the body of the planetary Logos are:
The head centre – Shamballa – 1st Ray of Will.
The heart centre – Hierarchy – 2nd Ray of Love-Wisdom.
The throat centre – Humanity – 3rd Ray of Active Intelligence.
The impact of the new incoming energies upon Humanity will result from a planned redirection. This will bring in an era of greatly enhanced creative activity; it will be an activity such as has never be seen before, and which will express itself in every department of human living. (18 – 551/2).
I challenge the thinkers of the world to drop their sectarianism, their nationalism, and their partisanships, and in the spirit of brotherhood to [Page 41]work in their particular nation, regarding it as integral part of a great federation of nations, – a federation that now exists on the inner side, but waits for the activity of the world thinkers to bring it to materialisation on the outer side. I charge them to work in the cause of religion, and in the field of that particular religion in which they, by an accident of birth or choice, are interested, regarding each religion as part of the great world religion. They must look upon the activities of their group, society or organisation, as demanding their help, just in so far, as the principles on which they are founded, and the techniques which they employ, serve the general good, and develop the realisation of Brotherhood.
I ask you to drop your antagonisms and your antipathies, your hatreds and your racial differences, and to attempt to think in terms of the one family, the one life, and the one humanity. I would remind you that hatred and separateness have brought humanity to the present condition. I would add to that reminder, however, the fact that there is in the world today a large enough number of liberated men, to produce a change in the attitudes of mankind and in public opinion, if they measure up by an act of the will, to what they know and believe.
I challenge you also to make sacrifices; to give yourself and your time, and your money, and your interest, to carry these ideas to those around you, in your own environment, and to the group in which you find yourself, thus awakening your associates. I call you to a united effort to inculcate anew the ideas of brotherhood and of unity. I ask you to recognise your fellow workers in all the groups and to strengthen their hands. I ask you to seal your lips to words of hatred and of criticism, and to talk in terms of brotherhood and of group relationships. I beg of you to see to it that every day is for you a new day, in which you face new opportunity. Lose sight of your own affairs, your petty sorrows, worries and suspicions, in the urgency of the task to be done, and spread the cult of unity, of love and of harmlessness.
I also ask you to sever your connection with all groups which are seeking to destroy and to attack, no matter how sincere their motive. Range yourself on the side of the workers for constructive ends, who are fighting no other groups or organisations, and who have eliminated the word "anti" out of their vocabulary. Stand on the side of those who are silently and steadily building for the new order – an order which is founded on love, which builds under the impulse of brotherhood, and which possesses a realisation of brotherhood, which is based on the knowledge that we are, each and all, no matter what our race, the children of the One Father, and who have come [Page 42] to the realisation that the old ways of working must go, and the newer methods must be given a chance.
If you cannot yourself teach or preach or write, give of your thought and of your money, so that others can. Give of your hours and minutes of leisure, so as to set others free to serve the Plan; give of your money, so that the work of those associated with the New Group of World Servers may go forward with rapidity. Much time you waste on non-essentials. Many of you give little or nothing of time. The same is the case with money. Give as never before, and so make the physical aspects of the work possible. Some give of their very need, and the power they thereby release is great. Those on the inner side are grateful for the giving by those who can give only at great personal cost. Others give of what they can spare, and only when it needs no sacrifice to give. Let that condition also end, and give to the limit, with justice and understanding, so that the age of love and light may be more rapidly ushered in. I care not where or to whom you give, only that you give, – little if you have but little of time and money, much if you have much. Work and give , love and think, and aid those groups who are building and not destroying, loving and not attacking, lifting and not tearing down.
I challenge you above all to a deeper life, and I implore you for the sake of your fellow men to strengthen your contact with your own soul, so that you will have done your share in making revelation possible; so that you will have served your part in bringing in the light, and will therefore be in a position to take advantage of that new light and new information, and so be better able to point the way and clear the path for the bewildered seeker at that time. Those who are not ready for the coming events, will be blinded by the emerging light, and bewildered by the revealing wonder; they will be swept by the living breath of God, and it is to you that we look to fit them for the event. (14 – 187/9).
(1) Christ was the first of our earth humanity to achieve the goal (of individualisation). . . . So rapid was the development of the Christ, that in Atlantean days He found Himself upon the Path of Probation. . . . From the angle of evolution, the rapid unfoldment of the evolution of Christ was, and has been, totally unparallelled. It has never been duplicated, [Page 43] though there are people living today upon the planet, who are beginning to develop now with equal rapidity. (15 – 210).
(2) The first human being out of that "centre which we call the race of men" to achieve this point (the third initiation) was the Christ; in that first great demonstration of His point of attainment (through the medium of what was then a new type of initiation) the Christ was joined by the Buddha. The Buddha had attained this same point prior to the creation of our planetary life, but conditions for taking the third initiation were not then available, and He and the Christ took the initiation together. (18 – 385).
(3) The World Teacher is that Great Being Whom the Christian calls the Christ; He is known also in the Orient as the Bodhisattva, and as the Lord Maitreya, and is the One looked for by the devout Mohammedan, under the name of the Iman Mahdi. He it is Who has presided over the destinies of life since about 600 B.C. and He it is Who has come out among men before, and Who is again looked for. He is the Great Lord of Love and of Compassion, just as His predecessor, the Buddha, was the Lord of Wisdom. . . . He is the World Teacher, the Master of the Masters, and the Instructor of the Angels, and to Him is committed the guidance of the spiritual destinies of men, and the development of the realisation within each human being that he is a child of God and a son of the Most High.
. . . The World Teacher directs that indwelling consciousness in the life or spirit aspect, seeking to energise it within the form so that, in due course of time, that form can be discarded and the liberated spirit return whence it came. Ever since He left the earth, as related with approximate accuracy in the Bible story (though with much error in detail) has He stayed with the sons of men; never has He really gone, but only in appearance, and in a physical body He can be found by those who know the way, dwelling in the Himalayas, and working in close co-operation with His two great Brothers, the Manu and the Mahachohan. Daily He pours out His blessing on the world, and daily He stands under the great pine in His garden at the sunset hour with hands uplifted in blessing over all those who truly and earnestly seek to aspire. To Him all seekers are known, and, though they may remain unaware of Him, the light which He pours forth stimulates their desire, fosters the spark of struggling life and spurs on the aspirant until the momentous day dawns when they stand face to face with the One Who by being "lifted up" (occultly understood) is drawing all men unto Himself as the Initiator of the sacred mysteries. (1 – 43/4).
(4) He has been for two thousand years the supreme Head of the Church [Page 44] Invisible, the Spiritual Hierarchy, composed of the disciples of all faiths. He recognises and loves those who are not Christian but who retain their allegiance to their Founders – the Buddha, Mohammed and others. He cares not what the faith is, if the objective is love of God and of humanity. If men look for the Christ Who left His disciples centuries ago, they will fail to recognise the Chirst Who is in the process of returning. The Christ has no religious barriers in His consciousness. It matters not to Him of what faith a man may call himself.
The Son of God is on His way, and He cometh not alone. His advance guard is already here, and the Plan which they must follow, is already made clear. Let recognition be the aim. (8 – 60).
(5) He is the World Teacher and not a Christian teacher. He Himself told us that He had other folds, and to them He has meant as much as He has meant to the orthodox Christian. They may not call Him Christ, but they have their own name for Him and follow Him as truly and faithfully as their Western brethren. (8 – 62).
(6) The church emphasis has been (and is today) upon the dead Christ. Men have forgotten that He lives, though they give a tentative recognition to this hope and belief at Easter time, largely because His resurrection guarantees our own "rising again", and "because He lives, we shall live also". The fact of His livingness and of His presence today, here and now, on earth is not emphasised, except through vague and hopeful generalities. Men have forgotten the Christ Who lives with us on earth, surrounded by His disciples, the Masters of the Wisdom, accessible to those who make the right approach, and saving men by the force of His example. . .
In the coming world religion, the emphasis will be on these truths. Life and not death will be proclaimed; attainment of spiritual status through spiritual living will be taught, and the fact of the existence of those who have thus attained and who work with Christ for the helping and salvaging of humanity, will be the goal. The fact of the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, the ability of mankind to contact its Members and to work in cooperation with Them, and the existence of Those Who know What the will of God is, and can work intelligently with that will – these are the truths upon which the future spiritual teaching will be based. (7 – 144/5).
(7) In the future, the eyes of humanity will be fixed upon the Christ, and not upon any such man-made institutions as the Church and its dignitaries; Christ will be seen as He is in reality, working through His disciples, through the Masters of the Wisdom, and through His followers who toil [Page 45] unseen (and usually unrecognised) behind world affairs. The sphere of His activity will be known to be the human heart and also the crowded market places of the world, but not some stone edifice, and not the pomp and ceremony of any ecclesiastical headquarters. (8 – 66).
(8) No man has ever been saved by theology, but only by the living Christ, and through the awakened consciousness of the Christ within each human heart. (7 – 133).
(9) Individual man and his soul are also attempting to come together, and when that event is consummated, the Christ is born in the cave of the heart, and Christ is seen in the daily life with increasing power. (14 – 288).
(10) As the man works with his personality, purifying it and bending it to the service of the spiritual will, he automatically raises the energies of the centres in his body up to the centre between the eyebrows. Eventually the influence of each of the two centres increases, and becomes wider and wider, until they make contact with each other's vibratory or magnetic field, and instantly the light flashes out. Father-spirit and mother-matter unite and are at-one, and the Christ is born. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God", said the Christ. This is the second birth, and from that moment vision comes with increasing power. . . . The Christ is being born today in many a human being, and increasingly will the sons of God appear in their true nature, to take over the guidance of humanity in the New Age. (14 – 291/2).
(11) That He Whom we serve may be nearer to all of us than ever before, that the work of establishing right human relations may proceed apace, and that light and love may stream forth from Shamballa and the Hierarchy over all of you who love your fellowmen, is the earnest wish, accompanied by my blessing, for you at this season of the will-to-good.
NOTE: The Tibetan has asked me to make clear that when he is speaking of the Christ he is referring to His official name as Head of the Hierarchy. The Christ works for all men, irrespective of their faith; He does not belong to the Christian world any more than to the Buddhist, the Mohammedan or any other faith. There is no need for any man to join the Christian Church in order to be affiliated with Christ. The requirements are to love your fellowmen, lead a disciplined life, recognise the divinity in all faiths and all beings, and rule your daily life with love. – A.A.B. (13 – 558).