(1) The law of karma is the most stupendous law of the system and one which it is impossible for the average man in any way to comprehend, for, if traced back along its central root and its many ramifications, one eventually reaches the position where causes antedating the solar system have to be dealt with, and this point of view can only be usefully grasped by a high initiate.
This law really concerns, or is based on causes which are inherent in the constitution of matter itself and on the interaction between atomic units, whether we use this expression in connection with an atom of substance, a human being, a planetary atom, or a solar atom.
. . . All atoms are always controlled by the following factors . . .:
The influence and quality of the organ or unit in which it finds a place . . .
The life influence of the entire physical body of which any atom is a corporate part . . .
The life influence of the desire or astral body, the strongest karmic agency which has to be considered.
The life influence of the mental body, or of that principle which imposes upon the atom the quality of activity in form, which governs the reaction of the atom to its group life, and which enables the quality of its life to be demonstrate. . .
The life impulse of the Thinker functioning in the causal body who . . . is nevertheless a potent and active factor in the imposition of rhythm upon the atom in every body . . .
In these thoughts, we have but approached the study of karma from a fresh angle, and endeavoured to show the sources of the "influences" which play upon all atomic lives.
. . . We are but seeking to emphasise the fact of the interdependence of all atoms and forms, to lay stress upon the reality of the variety of influences which play upon all that is manifesting, and to call attention to the fact of the karma of the past aeons, kalpas and that unknowable period in which the initiatory impulses were set up which are still persisting, and which God, man and the atoms are still working out and off . . .
The liberation from karma about which would-be occult students so [Page 231] glibly talk, is after all but the freeing of the atom from its own personal problem (the problem of response to unitary sensation), and its conscious acquiescence in group response and work. . . . Man is no longer the slave of the rhythm of matter per se, but controls it in the three worlds of his endeavour; he is still nevertheless controlled by the group karma of the planetary centre, by its influence, life and vibratory impulse . . .
It will be apparent that when man speaks of karma, he is dealing with something much wider than the interplay of effect and cause within the sphere of his own individual routine. . . . Finally he is governed by the will of the solar Logos as it demonstrates itself in initiatory activity. Beyond this we need hardly go, but enough has been said to show that every human atom is under the dominance of forces outside his own consciousness, which sweep him and others into situations from which there is no escape, and which are to him incomprehensible . . .
Nevertheless, within limits, man definitely does "control his destiny", and can initiate action which produces effects recognisable by him as being dependent upon his activity along a particular line. . . . Though he may be the meeting place of forces outside his control, yet he can utilise force, circumstance and environment and can turn them, if he so will, to his own ends.
The working out of karmic law in a man's own life might be broadly divided into three divisions, in each of which a different type of energy is demonstrating, producing effects upon the lower and higher bodies of a definite nature.
In the very early stages, when man is scarcely more than an animal, the vibratory activity of the atoms of his three sheaths (and of the lowest primarily) governs all actions on his part. . . . The centre of attention is the physical body and only faintly are the two subtler bodies responding . . .
During the second stage, the law of karma or karmic influence . . . turns its attention to the working out of desire, and its transmutation into the higher aspiration. Through experience, the pairs of opposites are recognised by the Thinker, and he becomes no longer the victim of the vibratory impulses of his physical body; the factor of intelligent choice becomes apparent . . .
In the third stage, the law of karma works through a man's mental nature, and awakens in him recognition of the law, and an intellectual apprehension of cause and effect. This is the shortest stage but is also the most powerful; it concerns the evolution of the three inner petals shielding the "jewel", and their ability to disclose at the right moment that [Page 232] which lies hidden. It covers the period of the evolution of advanced man, and of the man upon the Path . . . When the will and purpose of the Ego are realised by man in his waking consciousness in the physical brain, then the law of karma in the three worlds is becoming neutralised, and man is on the verge of liberation. (3 - 798/807).
(2) When I point out that the Law of Karma, rightly understood and rightly wielded, can bring that which produces happiness, good, and freedom from pain more easily than it brings pain, with its chain of consequences, do you feel able to grasp the significance of what I am saying?. . . The Law of Karma is not the Law of Retribution, as one would surmise as one reads the current books upon the subject; that is but one aspect of the working of the Law of Karma.
. . . Men interpret these dimly sensed laws in terms of finality, and from their little point of view. The idea of retribution runs through much of the teaching on karma, for instance, because men seek a plausible explanation of things as they appear to be, and are themselves fond of dealing out retribution. Yet there is far more general good karma than bad, little as you may think it when immersed in such a period as the present. (17 - 20/2).
(3) The Law of Karma is today a great and incontrovertible fact in the consciousness of humanity everywhere. They may not call it by that name, but they are well aware that in all today's events the nations are reaping what they sowed. This great law - at one time a theory - is now a proven fact, and a recognised factor in human thinking. The question "Why?", so frequently asked, brings in the factor of cause and effect with constant inevitability. The concepts of heredity and of environment, are efforts to explain existing human conditions; qualities, racial characteristics, national temperaments and ideals, prove the fact of some initiating world of causes. Historical conditions, the relationships between nations, social taboos, religious convictions and tendencies, can all be traced to originating causes - some of them most ancient. Everything that is happening in the world today, and which is so potently affecting humanity - things of beauty and of horror, modes of living and civilisation and culture, prejudices and likings, scientific attainment and artistic expression, and the many ways in which humanity throughout the planet colours existence - are aspects of effects, initiated somewhere, on some level, at some time, by human beings, both individually and en masse.
Karma is therefore that which Man . . . has instituted, carried forward, endorsed, omitted to do, or has done right, through the ages until the present moment. Today, the harvest is ripe and mankind is reaping what [Page 233] it has sown, preparatory to a fresh ploughing in the springtime of the New Age, with a fresh sowing of the seed which will (let us pray and hope) produce a better harvest. (17 - 262/3).
(1) This is knowledge: to rightly direct force currents, first in the three worlds of human endeavour, and then in the solar system. (3 - 881).
(2) Exoteric and Esoteric Knowledge:
"Why do we consider certain aspects of knowledge esoteric and other aspects as exoteric?"
The answer to this practically involves the realisation that some knowledge deals with the subjective side of life, and the other type of knowledge is concerned with energy and force (hence the danger of undue hasty revelation) and another with that which is energised. Therefore it will be apparent that until the faculty of ascertaining subjective information is achieved, whole ranges of facts will remain outside the scope of the consciousness of the majority.
As we have been told, the goal of evolution is the attainment of consciousness on all planes; owing to the small evolutionary attainment of the race, only the physical plane is as yet in any way brought under conscious control. The knowledge which deals with that plane, the information which is concerned with densest objectivity, the sumtotal of facts connected with the five lower subplanes of the physical plane, are (from the occult standpoint) considered exoteric . . .
Information and knowledge of the life evolving through the forms will for a considerably longer time be considered esoteric, as also will the apprehension and comprehension of the matter aspect, and the laws governing energy on the astral and the mental planes.
All that can be acquired by instinct and by the use of the concrete mind functioning through the physical brain can be considered as dealing with that which we call exoteric. It is thus evident how the range of fact will differ according to:
a. The age of the soul.
b. Experience developed and used.
c. Condition of the brain and the physical body.
d. Circumstances and environment.
As time progresses and man reaches a fair state of evolution, mind is [Page 234] more rapidly developed, and a new factor comes gradually into play. Little by little the intuition, or the transcendental mind, begins to function, and eventually supersedes the lower or concrete mind. It then utilises the physical brain as a receiving plate, but at the same time develops certain centres in the head, and thus transfers the zone of its activity from the physical brain to the higher head centres, existing in etheric matter. For the mass of humanity, this will be effected during the opening up of the etheric subplanes during the next two races. This is paralleled in the animal kingdom by the gradual transference of the zone of activity from the solar plexus to the rudimentary brain, and its gradual development by the aid of manas.
As we consider these points, it will become apparent that the esoteric aspects of knowledge are really those zones of consciousness which are not yet conquered, and brought within the radius of control of the indwelling Entity.
The point to be emphasised is that when this is realised, the true significance of the esoteric and the occult will be appreciated, and the endeavour of all KNOWERS will be to draw within the zone of their knowledge other units who are ready for a similar expansion of consciousness. In this thought lies the key to the work of the Brotherhood. They attract by Their force into certain fields of realisation and endeavour and by that attraction and the response of those human atoms who are ready, the group soul on the upward arc, or a particular centre of a Heavenly Man, is co-ordinated. (3 - 285/8).
(3) Beyond a certain point it is not safe nor wise to carry the communication of the facts of the solar system. Much must remain esoteric and veiled. The risks of too much knowledge are far greater than the menace of too little. With knowledge comes responsibility and power - two things for which the race is not yet ready. Therefore, all we can do is to study and correlate with what wisdom and discretion may be ours, using the knowledge that may come for the good of those we seek to help, and recognising that in the wise use of knowledge comes increased capacity to receive the hidden wisdom. Coupled also with the wise adaptation of knowledge to the surrounding need must grow the capacity for discreet reservation, and the use of the discriminating faculty. When we can wisely use, discreetly withhold, and soundly discriminate, we give the surest guarantee to the watching Teachers of the race that we are ready for a fresh revelation. (1 - 6).
(4) (A disciple) can nevertheless rest assured that, until the path of Knowledge has been added to the path of Love, he can never take the [Page 235] major initiations, for these are undergone on the higher levels of the mental plane. (4 - 120).
(5) Material gain in knowledge for the individual, causes stagnation, obstruction, indigestion and pain, if not passed on with wise discrimination. (2- 343)
(6) Knowledge when given must be used; it must be made of practical application in the daily life. Upon all of you who read these words . . . rests a duty of doing three things, which I give
1. The moulding of your daily lives upon the basis of the imparted truth, if it is to you indeed a truth. It is perhaps to you simply interesting, a fascinating sideline of study; perhaps it is something which it pleases you to get, because it is a novelty, and because it is a little different from the general run of teaching; perhaps it pleases you to get these instructions a little ahead of the rest of humanity. All these reactions are of small importance, being those of the personality. They are perhaps the most probable reactions for the majority. If there is nothing deeper in your reaction than those I have mentioned, then these teachings are not for you, for the responsibility upon your shoulders is thereby very great; but if you are attempting, no matter in how small a way, to apply the truth as you see it to your own life, then they are for you.
2. The building of that structure of thought, which will embody this newer teaching. You can - if you so desire - help construct the thought-form of the New Age teaching. You do this, above all, by your thought; by your practical application of any truth, which you may have understood, to your personal life at any cost; by your sacrifice and your service to your fellow men, and by the constant dissemination of any knowledge which you may possess.
3. Distribution of the teaching over a long period of time. Have you done anything along this line, thus shouldering your responsibility? (15 - 711/2).
See also: (6 - 279, 394).
What is law my brother? It is the imposition (upon both the lesser and the more important) of the will and purpose of that which is superlatively great. Therefore, it lies beyond man's ken. Man has some day to learn that all the laws of nature have their higher, spiritual counterparts, and of these we shall shortly be in search. Our laws today are but secondary laws. They [Page 236] are the laws of group life, and they govern the kingdoms of nature, and find their expression (for the human kingdom) through the medium of the mind, of the emotional nature, and through a physical plane agent. (17-30)
LAW OF LOVING UNDERSTANDING
(1) Advanced groups in every nation are beginning to respond to the Law of Understanding. This is a law which will eventually emphasise the eternal brotherhood of man and the identity of all souls with the Oversoul. This will be recognised in the racial consciousness, as well as the oneness of the Life which pours through, permeates, animates and integrates the entire solar system. This Life functions in and through all planetary schemes, in all their kingdoms of forms and with all that can be included under the phrase "form life" . . .
The functioning of the Law of Loving Understanding will be greatly facilitated and speeded during the Aquarian Age which we are considering; it will eventuate later in the development of a world-wide international spirit, in the recognition of one universal faith in God and in humanity also as the major expression of divinity upon the planet, and in the transfer of the human consciousness from the world of material things to that of the more purely psychic. This will lead in time and inevitably, to the world of spiritual realities. (9 - 47).
(2) Today there are many thousands coming under the influence of this Law of Loving Understanding. Many in every nation are responding to the broader synthetic brotherly note, but the masses as yet understand nothing of this. They must be led in right ways gradually by the steady development in right understanding of their own nationals. Bear this in mind, all of you who work for world peace and right human relations, for harmony and for synthesis. (9 - 48/9), (14 - 381).
Leaders have to learn to stand alone, and can ever do so if they love enough . . . What are the lessons that all true leaders have to learn? . . .
The first lesson is the lesson of vision. What are your goals? What is the spiritual incentive which will be and is strong enough to hold you [Page 237] steady to the purpose and true to the objective? No one can formulate the vision for you; it is your own personality problem, and upon the strength of the vision and the beauty of the picture which you paint with your imagination, will depend much that you do and become.
The second lesson is the development of a right sense of proportion. This, when truly developed and correctly applied, will enable you to walk humbly on the Way. No true leader can be anything but humble, for he realises the magnitude of his task; he appreciates the limitations of his contribution (in the light of the vision) and the need for constant self-development and the cultivation of the spirit of steady inner spiritual learning, if he is ever to make his proper contribution. Therefore, keep learning; keep dissatisfied with yourself and your attainment, not in any morbid sense, but so that the principle of growth and of pushing forward and onward, may be fostered in you. We help others through our own effort to attain; this means clear thinking, humility and constant adjustment.
The third lesson is the development of the spirit of synthesis. This enables you to include all within the range of your influence, and also to be included within the range of influence of those greater than yourself. Thus is the chain of Hierarchy established . . .
Another lesson which in reality grows out of the above, is the avoidance of the spirit of criticism, for criticism leads to barriers and loss of time. Learn to distinguish the spirit of criticism from the ability to analyse and make practical application of the analysis. Learn to analyse life, circumstances and people from the angle of the work, and not from the angle of your personality point of view; analyse also from the angle of the Ashram, and not from the angle of the executive or the schoolmaster upon the physical plane . . .
Can your imagination picture to you your reaction when - because you are the leader - you have to shoulder all the blame for any failure, even when not personally responsible; you have to accept without retaliation the attacks of those you are trying to help, who expect too much from you and who force you to live in the blaze of public opinion; what will you do when your chosen workers fail to understand, or prove disloyal, or criticise without warrant, or pit their ambition against you, and wilfully refuse to see your point of view, and talk about you among other people and whip up resentments against you - resentments which are probably without foundation? These are not the kind of things that your personality easily accepts, and your creative imagination had better begin dealing with these problems, so that the emerging principles of conduct may stand clear [Page 238] before you. Have you the inner grace of heart to admit error and weakness, or to say that you made a mistake in technique or method of approach, in judgement or speech, should need arise to heal a breach and in the interests of the work? (6 - 704/7).
(1) Each of us is recognized by the brilliance of his light. This is an occult fact. The finer the grade of matter built into our bodies, the more brilliantly will shine forth the indwelling light. Light is vibration, and through the measurement of vibration is fixed the grading of the scholars. Hence nothing can prevent a man's progress forward if he but attends to the purification of his vehicles. The light within will shine forth with ever greater clarity, as the refining process goes on, until - when atomic matter predominates - great will be the glory of that inner man. We are all graded, therefore, if it may be so expressed, according to the magnitude of the light, according to the rate of vibration, according to the purity of the tone and the clarity of the colour. (1 - 68).
(2) Through his meditation, discipline and service, man fans into radiant light, illuminating the three worlds, that point of light which flickered into being at the time of his individualisation in past ages. (4 - 98).
(3) Humanity is the planetary light bearer, transmitting the light of knowledge, of wisdom, and of understanding, and this in the esoteric sense. (4 - 100).
(4) Frequently students speak of a diffused light or glow, this is the light of the physical plane atoms of which the brain is composed; later they may speak of seeing what appears to be like a sun in the head. This is the contacting of the etheric light, plus the physical atomic light. Later they become aware of an intensely bright electric light; this is the soul light, plus the etheric and atomic. When that is seen, they frequently become aware of a dark centre within the radiant sun. This is the entrance to the Path disclosed by the "shining of the light upon the door".
Students must remember that it is possible to have reached a high stage of spiritual consciousness, without seeing any of this brain radiance. This is altogether in the nature of phenomena, and is largely determined by the calibre of the physical body, by past karma and achievement, and by the ability of the aspirant to bring down "power from on high" . . . (4 - 107).
(5) "In that Light shall we see LIGHT". A simple paraphrase of these [Page 239] apparently abstract and symbolic words, could be given as follows: When the disciple has found that lighted centre within himself, and can walk in its radiating light, he is then in a position (or in a state of consciousness, if you prefer), wherein he becomes aware of the light within all forms and atoms. The inner world of reality stands visible to him as light-substance (a different thing to the Reality, revealed by the intuition). He can then become an efficient co-operator with the Plan, because the world of psychic meaning becomes real to him, and he knows what should be done to dispel glamour. It might be stated, that this process of bringing light into dark places falls naturally into three stages:
1. The stage wherein the beginner and the aspirant endeavour to eradicate glamour out of their own life, by the use of the light of the mind. The light of knowledge is a major dispelling agent in the earlier phases of the task, and effectively eliminates the various glamours which veil the truth from the aspirant.
2. The stage wherein the aspirant and disciple work with the light of the soul. This is the light of wisdom, which is the interpreted result of long experience, and this streams forth, blending with the light of knowledge.
3. The stage wherein the disciple and the initiate work with the light of the intuition. It is through the blended medium of the light of knowledge (personality light), and the light of wisdom (soul light), that the Light is seen, known, and appropriated. This light puts out the lesser lights through the pure radiance of its power.
You have, therefore, the light of knowledge, the light of wisdom, and the light of the intuition, and these are three definite stages or aspects of the One Light. They correspond to the physical Sun, the heart of the Sun, and the Central Spiritual Sun. In this last sentence you have the clue and the key to the relation of man to the Logos.
These stages and their corresponding techniques, are apt to be misunderstood if the student fails to remember that between them lie no real lines of demarcation, but only a constant overlapping, a cyclic development, and a process of fusion, which is most confusing to beginners. (10 - 191/2).
(6) Disciples will reach a point in their development, where they will know whether they are reacting to the light of the soul, or to the intuitional perception of the Triad. (10 - 195).
(7) What does concern us here, is how this light is recognised, appropriated and used, in order to dispel glamour, and render a deeply esoteric service to the world. It might be said that the inner light is like a searchlight, swinging out into the world of glamour and of human struggle, [Page 240] from what one Master has called "the pedestal of the soul and the spiritual tower or beacon". These terms convey the idea of altitude and of distance, which are so characteristic of the mystical approach. Power to use this light as a dissipating agent, only comes when these symbols are dropped, and the server begins to regard himself as the light and as the irradiating centre. Herein lies the reason for some of the technicalities of the occult science. The esotericist knows that in every atom of his body is to be found a point of light. For aeons, he walks by means of the light engendered within his vehicles, by the light within the atomic substance of his body and is, therefore, guided by the light of matter. Later, he discovers the light of the soul. Later still, he learns to fuse and blend soul light and material light. Then he shines forth as a Light bearer, the purified light of matter, and the light of the soul, being blended and focussed. The use of this focussed light, as it dispels individual glamour, teaches the disciples the early stages of the techniques which will dispel group glamour, and eventually world glamour. (10 - 196).
(8) "Lead us, O Lord, from darkness to light; from the unreal to the real; from death to immortality". (10 - 198).
(9) The fact of the soul will eventually be proved through the study of light and of radiation, and through a coming evolution in particles of light. Through this imminent development, we shall find ourselves seeing more and penetrating deeper into that which we see today . . . The quality of the light which promotes and nurtures growth, vitality and fertility in the kingdoms of nature, has changed several times during the ages, and as it has changed, it has produced corresponding mutations in the phenomenal world. From the standpoint of the esotericist, all forms of life on our planet are affected by three types of light substance, and at the present time a fourth type is gradually making its presence felt. These types of light are:
1. The light of the sun.
2. The light of the planet itself - not the reflected light of the sun, but its own inherent radiance.
3. A light seeping in (if I may use such a phrase) from the astral plane, a steady and gradual penetration of the "astral light", and its fusion with the other two types of radiance.
4. A light which is beginning to merge itself with the other three types, and which comes from that state of matter which we call the mental plane - a light in its turn reflected from the realm of the soul.
An intensification of the light is going on all the time, and this increase in intensity began on the earth at about the time when man discovered the [Page 241] uses of electricity, which discovery was a direct result of this intensification. The electrification of the planet through the widespread use of electricity, is one of the things which is inaugurating the new age, and which will aid in bringing about the revelation of the presence of the soul. Before long this intensification will become so great, that it will materially assist in the rending of the veil which separates the astral plane from the physical plane; the dividing etheric web will shortly be dissipated, and this will permit a more rapid inflow of the third aspect of light. The light from the astral plane (a starry radiance), and the light of the planet itself, will be more closely blended, and the result upon humanity, and upon the three other kingdoms in nature, cannot be over-emphasised. It will, for one thing, profoundly affect the human eye, and make the present sporadic etheric vision a universal asset. It will bring within the radius of our range of contact the infra-red and ultra-violet gamut of colours and we shall see what at present is hidden. All this will tend to destroy the platform upon which the materialists stand, and to pave the way, first, for the admission of the soul as a sound hypothesis, and secondly, for the demonstration of its existence. We only need more light, in the esoteric sense, in order to see the soul, and that light will shortly be available, and we shall understand the meaning of the words, "And in Thy light shall we see light".
This intensification of the light will continue until A.D. 2025, when there will come a cycle of relative stability and of steady shining, without much augmentation. (14 - 101/3).
(10) The registering of this inner light often causes serious concern and difficulty to the inexperienced person, and the intensity of their concern and fear, leads them to think so much of the problem that they become what we occultly call "obsessed with the light, and so fail to see the Lord of Light and that which the Light reveals". I would point out here that all aspirants and occult students do not see this light. Seeing it is dependent upon several factors - temperament, the quality of the physical cells of the brain, the nature of the work which has been done, or of the particular task, and the extent of the magnetic field. There never need be any difficulty if the aspirant will use the light which is in him, for the helping of his fellowmen. It is the self-centred mystic who gets into difficulty, as does the occultist who uses the light which he discovers within himself, for selfish purposes, and personal ends. (15- 609).
(11) Many of the hallucinations, the glamours, the ambitions and the errors of the modern mystic, can all be traced to the early stages, and the embryonic beginnings of these developments. They are indicative, there-[Page 242] fore, of unfoldment. But unfortunately they are not understood for what they are, and the available light and energy are misapplied or turned to selfish and personal ends. This cannot as yet be avoided by any but the more advanced and experienced disciples and occultists; and many aspirants must continue for some time destroying themselves (from the personality angle, and in this life) in what has been called the "fiery light of their misunderstanding, and the burning fire of their personality ambition", until they learn that humility and scientific technique, which will make them wise directors of the light and power which is pouring into and through them all the time. (15 - 613).
(12) In all the teaching given to the aspirant and to the disciple, in the early stages of their training, the emphasis has been upon the "point of light" which must be discovered, brought into full illumination, and then so used that the one in whom the light shines, becomes a light-bearer in a dark world. This, the aspirant is taught, becomes possible when contact with the soul has been made, and the light is found. This is familiar teaching to many, and is the essence of the progress to be made by aspirants and disciples in the first part of their training. (18 - 49).