Just as we are attempting to eliminate force out of our national relationships, and just as it is obvious today that the process of drastic penalties has not succeeded in preventing crime, or in deterring people from violent selfishness (for that is what all crime is), and just as the social attitude (in contradistinction to the anti-social position of all law-breakers) is being regarded as desirable, and taught in our schools, so it is beginning to dawn upon the public consciousness, that the inculcation of right relations, and the spread of self-control, and the growth of unselfishness (and these surely are the goal, subjective and oft unrealised, of all legal procedure) are the needed approach to the young.
Crime will be stamped out when the environing conditions in which children live, are bettered, when physical attention is given in the early formative years to glandular balance, as well as to teeth and eyes and ears, to right posture and correct feeding, and when there is also a more proper apportionment of time; when esoteric psychology and esoteric astrology give their contribution of knowledge to the bringing up of young people. The old methods must give way to the new, and the conservative attitude must be dropped in favour of religious, psychic, and physical training and experiment, scientifically applied, and mystically motivated. When I say religious, I do not refer to doctrinal and theological teaching. I mean the cultivation of those attitudes and conditions which will evoke reality in man, bring the inner spiritual man to the foreground of consciousness, and thus produce the recognition of God Immanent. (16 – 237).
(1) Shirk not these crises, hard and difficult though they may appear to be. Difficult they are. Forget not that the habit of confronting crises, is a long-established one within the consciousness of humanity. Man has the "habit of crisis", if I may so call it. They are only the points of examination as to the strength, purpose, purity and motive and the intent of the soul. They evoke confidence when surmounted, and produce greatly expanded vision. They foster compassion and understanding, for the pain and inner conflict they have engendered is never forgotten, for they draw upon the resources of the heart. They release the light of wisdom within the field of knowledge, and the world is thereby enriched. (16 – 477).
(2) The creative crisis (for Humanity) has been made possible by three major happenings:
1. The conclusion of a twenty-five thousand year cycle or movement around what is called the lesser zodiac. This connotes a major cycle of experience in the life of our planetary Logos . . .
2. The end of the Piscean Age. This simply means that the energies coming from Pisces during the last two thousand years, are now being rapidly superseded by energies coming from Aquarius. These result in major changes in the life of the planetary Logos, and potently affect His body of manifestation through the medium of His three major centres: Shamballa, the Hierarchy, and Humanity.
3. The increasingly dominant activity of the seventh Ray of Order or Ceremonial Magic, as it is somewhat erroneously called. This ray is now coming into manifestation, and is in close co-operation with the two above factors. (18 – 550/1).
(3) Unless such moments of crisis occur, the life simmers down to a general dead level and (even if useful) offers not the chance for an extreme effort with its consequent need to draw upon the full resources of the soul. (5 – 269).
(4) The handling of crises is the hallmark of the disciple, and every crisis met and rightly handled, provides (once the difficulty is occultly "under the feet") the place from which an extended vision can be gained, fresh knowledge can flow in and the transmuting light can shine from the Angel of the Presence and thus produce results.
Each of you has passed through a cycle of real difficulty and strain. This is true of all disciples. (6 – 13).
See also: (6 – 644).
(1) Why is (non-criticism) regarded as so essential a requirement? . . . Because in a sudden burst of critical thought, the entire personality can be galvanised into a potent co-ordination, but of a wrong kind, and with disastrous results. Because criticism being a faculty of the lower mind, can hurt and wound, and no man can proceed upon the Way as long as wounds are made, and pain is knowingly given. Because the work of white magic and the carrying out of hierarchical purpose meets with basic hindrances in the relations existing between its workers and disciples. In the pressure of the present opportunity there is no time for criticism to exist between workers. They hinder each other and they hinder the work.
. . . I urge upon all those who read these Instructions to forget their likes and their dislikes, and to overlook the personality hindrances which inevitably exist in themselves and in all who work upon the physical plane, handicapped by the personality. I urge upon all workers the remembrance that the day of opportunity will not last forever. The pettiness of the human frictions, the failures to understand each other, the little faults which have their roots in the personality and which are, after all ephemeral, the ambitions and illusions must all go. If the workers would practise detachment, knowing that the Law works, and that God's purposes must come to an ultimate conclusion, and if they would learn never to criticize in thought or word, the salvaging of the world would proceed apace, and the new age of love and illumination would be ushered in. (4 – 560/1).
(2) One of the major faults of disciples today, is the paying of too close attention to the faults, errors and activities of other disciples, and too little attention to their own fulfilment of the law of love, and to their own dharma and work. . . . Today, the neophyte must learn the same lesson of attention to personal perfection, and to personal work through the means of that inner silence which broods over the disciple, and forces him to attend to his own work and business, leaving others to do the same, and so learn the lesson of experience. A great deal of present right activity, is hindered by the speech interplay between disciples, and much time is lost through wordy discussion of the work and activities of other disciples. Humanity, as a whole, needs silence at this time as never before; it needs time in which to reflect, and the opportunity to sense the universal rhythm. Modern disciples, if they are to do their work as desired, and to co-operate with the Plan correctly, need that inner reflective quiet, which in no way [Page 59] negates intense outer activity, but which does release them from wordy criticisms, feverish discussions, and constant preoccupation with the dharma, the motives, and the methods of their fellow disciples. (15 – 43/4).
(3) Criticism is a virulent poison. It damages in every case eventually the one who criticises – owing to the fact of voiced direction – it hurts still more the one who is criticised. Where there is purity of motive, true love and a large measure of detachment, the subtler bodies of the one who is under attack, may remain immune, but the physical effects will be definite, and where there is any physical weakness or limitation, there will be found the localisation of the projected poison.
Unvoiced criticism is very dangerous, for it is powerfully focussed and strongly, though not individually directed; it issues continuously and as a steady stream, sent forth on the wings of jealousy, ambition, pride in a personal grasp of a supposed situation, and a belief that the one who criticises, is in a position to understand correctly and could – given right opportunity – take right action. (15 – 617).
(4) Watch with care your thoughts anent each other, and kill out at once all suspicion, all criticism, and seek to hold each other unwaveringly in the light of love. (5 – 10).
(5) Criticism is wholesome as long as it is not permitted to become destructive. (5 – 786).
(6) There are times when criticism is unquestionably a recognition of fact. This means that a criticising disciple has reached the point where his judgment is based on love, that it produces no personality effect in his own life or that of his fellow disciple. It is simply a loving recognition of limitation, and only becomes wrong when these undoubted facts are used to arouse criticism in the unqualified, and provide points for discussion. (5 – 725)
CYCLES (CYCLIC IMPULSES)
(1) The soul's meditation is rhythmic and cyclic in its nature, as is all else in the cosmos. The soul breathes and its form lives thereby. . . . There is an ebb and flow in all nature, and in the tides of the ocean we have a wonderful picturing of an eternal law. As the aspirant adjusts himself to the tides of the soul life, he begins to realise that there is ever a flowing in, a vitalising and a stimulating which is followed by a flowing out as sure and as inevitable as the immutable laws of force. This ebb and flow can [Page 60] be seen functioning in the processes of death and incarnation. It can be seen also over the entire process of a man's lives, for some lives can be seen to be apparently static and uneventful, slow and inert from the angle of the soul's experience, whilst others are vibrant, full of experience and of growth. This should be remembered by all of you who are workers, when you are seeking to help others to live rightly. (4 – 62).
(2) These cyclic impulses in the life of a disciple are of a greater frequency and speed and forcefulness than in the life of the average man. They alternate with a distressing rapidity. The hill and valley experience of the mystic is but one way of expressing this ebb and flow. Sometimes the disciple is walking in the sunlight and at other times in the dark; sometimes he knows the joy of full communion and again all seems dull and sterile; his service is on occasion a fruitful and satisfying experience, and he seems to be able to really aid; at other times he feels that he has naught to offer and his service is arid and apparently without results. All is clear to him some days and he seems to stand on the mountain top looking out over a sunlit landscape, where all is clear to his vision. He knows and feels himself to be a son of God. Later, however, the clouds seem to descend and he is sure of nothing. He walks in the sunlight and is almost overpowered by the brilliance and heat of the solar rays, and wonders how long this uneven experience and the violent alternation of these opposites is to go on.
Once, however, that he grasps the fact he is watching the effect of the cyclic impulses and the effect of the soul's meditation upon his form nature, the meaning becomes clearer, and he realises that it is that form aspect which is failing in its response, and reacting to energy with unevenness. He then learns that once he can live in the soul consciousness and attain that 'high altitude' (if I might so express it) at will, the fluctuations of the form life will not touch him. He then perceives the narrow-edged razor path which leads from the plane of physical life to the soul realm, and finds that when he can tread it with steadiness, it leads him out of the ever changing world of the senses into the clear light of day and into the world of reality. (4 – 63).
(3) May there be a full and steady play of cyclic force from the kingdom of the spirit upon each one of us, calling us forth into the realm of light, love and service, and producing a cyclic response from each one! May there be a constant interchange between those who teach and the disciple who seeks instruction! (4 – 64/5).
(4) The ebb and flow of daily life during a particular incarnation, will also demonstrate its interludes, and these the aspirant has to learn to recog-[Page 61] nise and to utilise. He has to register the distinction between intense outgoing activity, periods of withdrawal, and interludes wherein the outer life seems static and free from active interest. This he must do if he is to avail himself fully of the opportunity which life experience is intended to furnish. The whole of life is not concentrated in one furious continuous stretch of rushing forth to work, nor is it comprehended in one eternal siesta. It has normally its own rhythmic beat and vibration, and its own peculiar pulsation. Some lives change their rhythm and mode of activity every seven years; others alter every nine or eleven years. Still others work under shorter cycles and have months of strenuous endeavour, followed by months of apparent non-effort. Some people again are so sensitively organised that, in the midst of work, events and circumstances are so staged that they are forced into a temporary retirement wherein they assimilate the lessons learnt during the preceding period of work. (4 – 514).
(5) Growth is one long period of building in order to destroy, of constructing in order to disorganise later, of developing certain rhythmic processes in order to later disrupt them, and to force the old rhythm to give place to the new. (2 – 82).
(6) Cyclic appearance, therefore, governs the rays as well as the kingdoms in nature, and the forms contained therein. It determines the activity of God Himself. Races incarnate, disappear and reincarnate, and so do all lives in form. Reincarnation or cyclic activity, lies behind all phenomenal activity and appearance. It is an aspect of the pulsating life of Deity. It is the breathing out and the breathing in of the process of divine existence and manifestation. (14 – 266/7).
(7) The way of the aspirant climaxes at times, and might be described as a series of steady growth cycles, accentuated at intervals by definite periods of forced development, wherein one limitation after another is forcibly removed, by yourself. All limitations and hindrances have to go. (5 – 598).
(8) The "cycles of interest", or those periods in which the Masters pay close attention to the quality aspect of mankind, are also being speeded up; the "gauging" process will take place now every three hundred years, instead of every one thousand years, as has been the case until 1575 A.D. (6 – 335)
THE DARK FORCES
(1) I might here touch upon the paralleling activity of the forces which are working to prevent the externalisation of the Hierarchy of Light, since such a happening as that would mean increased – because proven – power. As you know, on the astral and mental planes, centres exist which are called "dark centres", because the emphasis of their activity is upon the material aspect of manifestation, and upon the activity of material substance; all energy is subordinated to purely selfish purpose. As I have stated before, the Forces of Light work with the soul, hidden in every form. They are concerned with group purposes, and with the founding of the Kingdom of God on earth. The dark forces work with the form side of expression, and with the founding of a centre of control which will be theirs entirely, and which will subdue all the living forms in all the kingdoms, to their peculiar behests. It is the old story, familiar in Biblical phraseology, of the kingdoms of the world and the kingdom of the Christ, of the power of the anti-Christ, and the power of Christ. This produced a great climax in Atlantean days, and though the Hierarchy of Light triumphed, it was only by the merest margin. The battle was fought out on the astral plane, though it had its correspondence upon the physical plane, in a great world conflict, of which the ancient legend tells us. It ended in the catastrophe of the Flood. The seeds of hate and of separation have been fostered ever since that time, and the three modes whereby the forces of darkness seek to control humanity, are hatred, aggression, and separativeness. The three great spiritual counterparts are love, selfless sharing, and synthesis.
However, the hold of the forces which are working against the living principle of love (as embodied in the Hierarchy), is not gaining ground at this time, for the response of humanity to that which is good and synthetic, is much more rapid and general, than it was a few hundred years ago. There is much reason to hope that there will be a steady waning of the undesired control. The dark forces are ruled on the physical plane by a group of six oriental leaders, and six occidental leaders; of these the oriental are the most powerful because they are the oldest racially, and therefore the most experienced. They work by the identification of glamour, and by the stimulation of the lower psychic powers. Their particular point of attack at this time, is the group of world disciples and initiates, for these latter are responsible for the fostering of love in the world, and for the binding of men together in the spirit of unity. If they cannot succeed with this task [Page 63] now, it should be possible to externalise the Hierarchy, and thereby greatly lessen the control of the so-called evil forces.
If these evil forces cannot induce the disciples everywhere, in group formation or individually, to succumb in some form to glamour, then they will endeavour to utilise group glamour to negative their efforts, and force those with whom the disciples work to believe evil, to impugn motives, and to produce such a convincing story, that the struggling disciple will be left to fight almost singlehanded. If this cannot be done, they may then attack the physical bodies of the workers and agents for the Hierarchy, and seek, through the distress of the physical body, to control the disciple's output. This does not always prove successful, as the Master can, and often does, protect His disciple. The dark forces work also through the identification or stimulation of the psychic mechanism, so that the lower psychic powers become abnormally developed, and prematurely assume proportions which are almost uncontrollable. This happened on a large scale in Atlantean days, and led to the entire astral plane standing revealed, but not understood. Its undesirable potencies, were then let loose upon the physical plane, and this led to the war between the two great schools of the mysteries – the Light and the Dark – which culminated in the destruction of the then known world.
Today these potencies, light and dark, are again struggling for physical plane expression and supremacy, but this time the result is vastly different. The effort to produce soul contact, or to hinder it is working out in the form of nervous diseases and pathological conditions, and this is affecting potently the group activity of man. The effort by the dark forces to stimulate the lower psychic powers, seems able to reach no deeper into matter and form than the etheric vehicles, and from there to condition the physical body physiologically, in the form of diseases, lesions, nervous troubles, and brain afflictions, and the many other ways in which the human being is rendered helpless and unfitted to cope with daily living, and modern world conditions. But the mind nature has reached a stage of protective usefulness, and some of the great guarding barriers which are flung up around humanity at this time, are the spirit of scepticism, and the refusal to recognise the existence or the usefulness of the psychic powers. This is a point to remember. (15 – 576/9).
(2) The major weapon now being used by the combined Forces of Evil is chaos, disruption, lack of established security, and consequent fear. . . . The entire rhythm of international thinking has to be altered, and that constitutes a slow and arduous task; the evil personalities which, in every [Page 64] country, are responsible for the chaos and uncertainty, have eventually to be replaced by those who can work in co-operation with the rhythm of the seventh ray, and thus produce ordered beauty. (13 – 668).
(1) I speak about Death as one who knows the matter from both the outer world experience and the inner life expression: There is no death. There is, as you know, entrance into fuller life. There is freedom from the handicaps of the fleshly vehicle. The rending process so much dreaded does not exist, except in the cases of violent and of sudden death, and then the only true disagreeables are an instant and overwhelming sense of imminent peril and destruction, and something closely approaching an electric shock. No more. For the unevolved, death is literally a sleep and a forgetting, for the mind is not sufficiently awakened to react, and the storehouse of memory is as yet practically empty. For the average good citizen, death is a continuance of the living process in his consciousness and a carrying forward of the interests and tendencies of the life. His consciousness and his sense of awareness are the same and unaltered. He does not sense much difference, is well taken care of, and oft is unaware that he has passed through the episode of death. For the wicked and cruelly selfish, for the criminal and for those few who live for the material side only, there eventuates that condition which we call "earth-bound". The links they have forged with earth and the earthward bias of all their desires, force them to remain close to the earth and their last setting in the earth environment. They seek desperately and by every possible means to re-contact it and to re-enter. In a few cases, great personal love for those left behind or the non-fulfilment of a recognised and urgent duty, holds the good and beautiful in a somewhat similar condition. For the aspirant, death is an immediate entrance into a sphere of service and of expression to which he is well accustomed and which he at once recognises as not new. In his sleeping hours he has developed a field of active service and of learning. He now simply functions in it for the entire twenty-four hours (talking in terms of physical plane time) instead of for his usual few hours of earthly sleep. (4 – 300/1).
(2) The mind of man is so little developed that fear of the unknown, terror of the unfamiliar, and attachment to form have brought about a situation where one of the most beneficent occurrences in the life cycle of an incarnating Son of God is looked upon as something to be avoided and postponed for as long a time as possible.
Death, if we could but realise it, is one of our most practised activities. We have died many times, and shall die again and again. Death is essentially a matter of consciousness. We are conscious one moment on the physical plane, and a moment later we have withdrawn onto another plane and are actively conscious there. Just as long as our consciousness is identified with the form aspect, death will hold for us its ancient terror. Just as soon as we know ourselves to be souls, and find that we are capable of focussing our consciousness or sense of awareness in any form or any plane at will, or in any direction within the form of God, we shall no longer know death.
. . . People are apt to forget that every night, in the hours of sleep, we die to the physical plane and are alive and functioning elsewhere. They forget that they have already achieved facility in leaving the physical body; because they cannot as yet bring back into the physical brain consciousness the recollection of that passing out, and of the subsequent interval of active living, they fail to relate death and sleep. Death, after all, is only a longer interval in the life of physical plane functioning; one has only "gone abroad" for a longer period. But the process of daily sleep, and the process of occasional dying are identical, with the one difference that in sleep the magnetic thread or current of energy along which the life force streams, is preserved intact, and constitutes the path of return to the body. In death, this life thread is broken or snapped. When this has happened, the conscious entity cannot return to the dense physical body, and that body, lacking the principle of coherence, then disintegrates. (4 – 494/5).
(3) The young forget, and rightly forget, the inevitability of that final symbolic detachment which we call Death. But when life has played its part, and age has taken its toll of interests and strength, the tired and world-weary man has no fear of the detaching process, and seeks not to hold on to that which earlier was desired. He welcomes death, and relinquishes willingly that which earlier engrossed his attention. (15 – 76).
(4) Death, as the human consciousness understands it, pain and sorrow, loss and disaster, joy and distress, are only such because man, as yet, identifies himself with the life of the form and not with the life and consciousness of the soul, the solar angel. . . . The moment a man identifies himself with his soul and not with his form, then he understands the meaning of the Law of Sacrifice; he is spontaneously governed by it; and he is one who will, with deliberate intent, choose to die. But there is no pain, no sorrow, and no real death involved. (15 – 94).
(5) The intent is for man to die, as every man has to die, at the demand of his own soul. When man has reached a higher stage in evolution, with [Page 66] deliberation and definite choice of time, he will consciously withdraw from his physical body. It will be left silent and empty of the soul; devoid of light, yet sound and whole; it will then disintegrate, under the natural process, and its constituent atoms will pass back into the "pool of waiting units", until they are again required for the use of incarnating souls. Again, on the subjective side of life, the process is repeated, but many have already learnt to withdraw from the astral body without being subject to that "impact in the fog", which is the symbolic way of describing the death of a man upon the astral plane. He then withdraws on to the mental level, and leaves his astral carcass to swell the fog, and increase its density. (17 – 29).
(6) Death has been present upon our planet from the very night of time itself; forms have come and gone; death has overtaken plants and trees, animals and the forms of human beings for untold aeons, and yet our planet is not a charnel house, as it well might be in the face of this fact, but is still a thing of beauty, unspoilt even by man. The processes of dying and of dissolution and the dissipation of forms, goes on every moment without producing contagious contamination, or the disfiguring of the surface of the earth. The results of dissolution are beneficent in effect. Ponder on this beneficent activity, and on the beauty of the divine plan of death and disappearance. (17 – 245).
(7) The cycle in which we now live, has seen the greatest destruction of human forms, in the entire history of our planet. There has been no destruction of human beings. I would have you note this statement. Because of this wholesale destruction, humanity has made a very rapid advance towards a more serene attitude in connection with death. This is not yet apparent but – in a few years time – the new attitude will begin to be marked, and the fear of death will begin to die out in the world. This will also be largely due to the increased sensitivity of the human response apparatus, leading to a turning inward, or to a new orientation of the human mind, with unpredictable results. (17 – 432).
(8) Could you but see a little further into the matter, you would learn that death releases the individualised life into a less cramped and confined existence, and eventually – when the death process has been applied to all the three vehicles in the three worlds – into the life of universality. This is a point of inexpressible bliss. (17 – 433).
(9) The sin of murder is in reality based upon the fact that it interferes with the soul purpose, and not really upon the killing of a particular human physical body . . .
Death appears frequently to be so purposeless; that is because the intention [Page 67] of the soul is not known; past development, through the process of incarnation, remains a hidden matter; ancient heredities and environments are ignored, and recognition of the voice of the soul is not generally developed. These are matters, however, which are on the very verge of recognition; revelation is on its way, and for that I am laying the foundation. (17 – 436).
(10) Death to the average thinking man is a point of catastrophic crisis. It is the cessation and ending of all that has been loved, all that is familiar and to be desired; it is a crashing entrance into the unknown, into uncertainty, and the abrupt conclusion of all plans and projects. No matter how much true faith in the spiritual values may be present, no matter how clear the rationalising of the mind may be anent immortality, no matter how conclusive the evidence of persistence and eternity, there still remains a questioning, a recognition of the possibility of complete finality and negation, and an end of all activity, of all heart reaction, of all thought, emotion, desire, aspiration, and the intentions which focus around the central core of man's being. The longing and the determination to persist, and the sense of continuity still rest, even to the most determined believer, upon probability, upon an unstable foundation, and upon the testimony of others – who have never in reality returned to tell the truth. (17 – 438), (18 – 102).
(11) Perhaps some lines from the Manual of Death which is to be found in the hierarchical archives would prove explanatory to you, and might aid you in gaining a new perspective upon death . . .
"This descending and ascension men call life, existence, and decease; this We Who tread the Lighted Way call death, experience and life.
"Light which descends anchors itself upon the plane of temporary appearance. Seven threads it outward puts, and seven rays of light pulsate along these threads. Twenty-one lesser threads are radiated thence, causing the forty-nine fires to glow and burn. Upon the plane of manifested life, the word goes forth: Behold! A man is born.
"As life proceeds, the quality of light appears; dim and murky it may be, or radiant, bright and shining. Thus do the points of light within the Flame pass and repass; they come and go. This men call life; they call it true existence. They thus delude themselves, yet serve the purpose of their souls and fit into the greater Plan.
"And then a Word sounds forth. The descended, radiating point of light ascends, responsive to the dimly heard recalling note, attracted to its emanating source. This man calls death and this the soul calls life." (17 – 468/9).
(12) Death is now the result of the will of the soul. Eventually it has to be the result of the united will of the soul and the personality, and when that happens, there will be no fear of death. (5 – 669).