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THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE - Part 1

Thus we have seen the place that the tiny sentient unit, employed by an individual human being, plays in relation to the Great Whole.  We have noted the various forms which astral evolution assumes.  We have also recorded some of the sources from which astral energy comes.  We have found that each of us is immersed in a sea of sentient forces which have their effect upon us because—under the Law—we have appropriated for our own use a portion of that universal energy, through the medium of which we are en rapport with the whole.  One of the types of astral energy upon which we did not touch emanates, we are told, from the "Heart of the Sun".  I cannot, however, touch upon it at length owing to the inability of the human brain to understand it or the human heart to appropriate it until such time as the heart centre is opened and functioning.  This stream of living energy can nevertheless be sensed in a large way, though not as yet appropriated in its pure essence.  We call it the "love of God".  It is indeed that free flowing, outgoing, magnetically attractive force which leads each pilgrim home to the Father's House.  It is that force which stirs in the heart of humanity and finds expression through the medium of world avatars, through the mystical yearning found in every human being, through all movements that have for their objective the welfare of humanity, through philanthropic and educational tendencies of every kind, and (in the natural world so-called) through the instinct of protective motherhood.  But it is essentially a group sentiency, and only in the coming Aquarian Age will its true nature find correct understanding and right appropriation.  I touch on it here as it is one of [322] the factors to be considered.  Only those, however, whose "hearts are opened and lifted up unto the Lord" will know whereof I speak.

It is needless for us to concern ourselves with that which lies far ahead of the race.  Immediate problems call for attention—problems which are personal or racial and which all concern the control of the astral vehicle. Opportunity is offered to demonstrate in chaos the potentialities of the ego or soul, and its capacity to control and dominate in its little sphere of influence.  Therein lies for all aspirants at this time the peculiar effort of the coming days, and I would—for your guidance—make certain suggestions to be followed by you or not as deemed wise.

We must remember that every aspirant is a focal point of energy and should be, in his place, a conscious focal point.  In the midst of the whirl and storm he should make his presence felt.  The Law of action and re-action works here, and often the Great Ones (foreseeing the need of just such points of inner contact in periods of world unrest, such as the present) gather into certain localities those who are aspirants to service.  They act as a balance and aid the general plan, and at the same time they themselves learn much needed lessons.

The effort on the part of all aspirants should not be to resist and repel the pressure or to fight and ward off.  Such a method centres the attention upon the not-self and leads to added chaos.  The effort should be along the lines of an endeavour to make contact with the higher self, and keep it stable and steady, and to be in such direct alignment that the force and power of the soul may be poured upon and through the lower threefold nature.  This pouring through will bring about a steady radiation which will affect the surroundings exactly in proportion to the extent of the inner contact, and in direct relation to the clarity of the channel linking the [323] physical brain to the causal body.  The aspirant should also strive after that self-forgetfulness which merges itself in the good of those contacted.  This self-forgetfulness refers to the lower self.  Self-recollectedness and self-forgetfulness should be companions.

The man who aims at providing a point of contact, between conditions of chaos and Those Who work for constructive ends and order, should likewise use that most necessary factor of common-sense in all that he does.  This involves always obedience to the law of economy of force, due to discrimination, and a true sense of values.  Where these are present, time will be economised, strength will be husbanded, energy will be wisely distributed, excessive zeal will be eliminated, and the Great Ones will be able to depend upon an aspirant's sagacity and thus find a helper.

All occult training has in view the development of the aspirant so that he may indeed be a focal point of spiritual energy.  It should be remembered, however, that under the law, this training will be cyclic, and will have its ebb and flow, as all else in nature.  Times of activity succeed times of pralaya, and periods of registered contact alternate with periods of apparent silence.  Note here the choice of words.  This alternation is due to the imposition of the Law of Periodicity and if the student develops as desired, each pralayic period is succeeded by one of greater activity, and of more potent achievement.  Rhythm, ebb and flow, and the measured beat of the pulsating life are ever the law of the universe, and in learning to respond to time vibration of the high Places this rhythmic periodicity must be borne in mind.  The same law governs a human being, a planet, a solar system—all centres or focal points of energy in some greater Life.  If such work as you are doing is to succeed (and it is largely the work of developing the ability to touch certain currents on mental levels—currents which [324] emanate from the higher self, from your egoic group, or from the Master) definite planned conditions must be provided.  Certain factors must be present.  If they do not exist, then the currents are (if I may so express it) deflected, and contact fails of accomplishment.  If occupation with mundane affairs is necessitated—and such periods come in every life cycle—then the attention should be concentrated on these details, and the higher contact may be then temporarily unrealised.  Such attention to affairs on the physical plane is not necessarily loss of time, for it may be as much a part of the plan at that particular time as any other kind of service.  Full expression and consciousness on each and every plane is the objective, remembering that each plane with its varying states of consciousness is equally a part of the divine Life.  What is lacking as yet with the majority of aspirants is a synthetic consciousness and the capacity to hold and register continuity.

If emotional or mental chaos exists, then again the currents are deflected and the brain makes no record of that which may be inwardly seen and heard.  If fatigue is present and the physical body is in need of rest, then likewise the inner fails to be recorded.  It is the centres in the etheric vehicle which are vitalised and become active in this work of contact and consequent transmission of energy; if therefore the vitality is low and the pranic fluids are not assimilated, then the whole vibratory contact is lowered and the centre fails to register vibration and response.  When again the stimulation is adequate and the other conditions are resolved into the necessary quietude, then again the currents may be encountered, response follows and a fresh cycle of receptivity eventuates.  I have entered thus into explanation as I have seen many questioning, and am anxious that the process followed may be somewhat clarified.  It is wise that all who work should have a clear understanding [325] of that work and should—along lines so closely affecting their power to serve—be fully aware of each step taken.

As regards the problems occupying the attention of all of you who are living in this time of world unrest and upheaval, I have a word of cheer to give you.  Though, to you, the whole situation may have seemed clouded and the horizon darkened by storms, bear in mind that when the disturbance is general, as now, and the whole area involved, then the end is near.   In nature, a general electric storm serves to clear the atmosphere, and ushers in a period of sunshine and more grateful living conditions.   We have had the electrical storm of the world war, and the period of gradual dispersion of the clouds has been with us, with the thunder rumbling round, and sudden sharp storms of wind and rain upsetting the hopefulness of those desiring sunshine.  Those who with patience carry on the work, who keep the inner calm and surety, who lose sight of the foreground of personalities, and bear only in mind the formless forces that are at work through all forms and seasons, will see order brought out of chaos, construction out of past destruction and present adjustments; they will see the setting loose of fresh life forces, hitherto shut out by the crystallising shells built by man.  So hold the inner vision steadily and have that long patience which endures through the lesser cycle, because the key to the greater cycle has been held with firmness.

It might be of value to touch briefly upon certain main lines of thought which are emerging at the present time and which are the outgrowth of the past and the promise of the future.

The thoughts of men have ever been religious.  There has never been a time when religion or the thoughts of men about God, about the infinite, and about the Life which has brought all into being has not been present. [326] Even the most ignorant of savage races have recognized a Power and have attempted to define their relationship to that Power in terms of fear, of sacrifice or of propitiation.  From the rudiments of nature worship, from the fetichism and degraded idol worship of primitive man we have built up a structure of truth which though as yet imperfect and inadequate, does verily lay the foundation of the future Temple of Truth where the light of the Lord will be seen and which will prove adequate as an expression of Reality.

Out of the darkness of time there have emerged the great religions.  These religions though diverse in their theologies and forms of worship, though characterized by distinctions of organization and ceremonial, and though differing in their methods of application of truth, are united in three basic aspects:

1. In their teaching as to the nature of God and of man.

2. In their symbolism.

3. In certain fundamental doctrines.

When men recognize this and succeed in isolating that inner significant structure of truth which is the same in all climes and in all races, then there will emerge the universal religion, the One Church, and that unified though not uniform approach to God, which will demonstrate the truth of St. Paul's words "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all."  Theologies will disappear into the knowledge of God; doctrines and dogmas will no longer be regarded as necessary, for faith will be based on experience, and authority will give place to personal appreciation of Reality.  The power of the Church over the group will be supplanted by the power of the awakened soul in men; the age of miracles and the disputations as to the why and how of those miracles [327] with the consequent scepticism or agnosticism will give way to the understanding of the laws of nature which control the superhuman realm and the supernatural stage of the evolutionary process.  Man will enter into his divine heritage and know himself as the Son of the Father, with all the divine characteristics, powers and capacities which are his because of his divine endowment.  But in the meantime what have we?  A breaking away from old established tradition, a revolt from authority, whether of the Church, of dogma, doctrine or theology; a tendency towards self-determination and an overthrowing of the old standards, and of old barriers of thought and the divisions existing between races and faiths.

Hence we are passing through an intermediate stage of change and of questioning, of rebellion and consequent apparent license.  The methods of science,—investigation and analysis, comparison and deduction,—are being applied to religious belief.  The history of religions, the foundations of doctrine, the origin of ideas and the growth of the God idea are being subjected to research and study.  This leads to much disputation; to the rejection of old established ideas as to God, the soul, man and his destiny.  Schools of thought have ever existed differing in their ideas and methods and the six Schools of Indian Philosophy have embodied in themselves practically all the basic speculations of man as to the why and wherefore of manifestation.  Little which is new has been added by the occident to these six speculative schools, though the western mind, with its genius for scientific techniques and method, has elaborated the ideas and differentiated the six theories into a multiplicity of lesser propositions.  Out of the medley of ideas, theories, speculations, religions, churches, cults, sects and organizations, two main lines of thought are emerging—one doomed eventually to die out, the other to strengthen and grow until it, in its turn, gives birth to that (for us) [328] ultimate formulation of truth which will suffice for the next age and carry man to a high pinnacle of the Temple to the Mount of Initiation.  These two lines are:

1. Those who look back to the past, who hang on to the old ways, the ancient theologies, and the reactionary rejection methods of finding truth.  These are the people who recognize authority, whether that of a prophet, a bible or a theology.  These are those who prefer obedience to imposed authority to the self-imposed guidance of an enlightened soul.  These are the followers of a Church and a government, who are distinguished by a pure devotion and love, but refuse recognition to the divine intelligence with which they are gifted.  Their devotion, their love of God, their strict but misguided conscience, their intolerance mark them out as devotees, but they are blinded by their own devotion and their growth is limited by their fanaticism.  They belong mostly to the older generation and the hope for them lies in their devotion and the fact that evolution itself will carry them forward into the second group.

To this first group is committed the work of crystallization which will result in the complete destruction of the old form; to them is given the task of defining the old truths so that the mind of the race will be clarified, that non-essentials and essentials will be recognized for what they are, and fundamental ideas so contrasted with the formulation of dogmas that that which is basic will be seen and the secondary and unimportant beliefs therefore rejected, for only the basic and causative will be of value in the coming age.

2.  The second group is as yet a very small minority, but a steadily growing one.  It is that inner group of lovers of God, the intellectual mystics, the knowers of reality who belong to no one religion or organization, but who regard themselves as members of the Church universal and as "members one of another".  They are [329] gathered out of every nation, race and people; they are of every color and school of thought, yet they speak the same language, learn by the same symbols, tread the same path, have rejected the same non-essentials, and have isolated the same body of essential beliefs.  They recognize each other; they accord equal devotion to the spiritual leaders of all races, and use each other's Bibles with equal freedom.  They form the subjective background of the new world; they constitute the spiritual nucleus of the coming world religion; they are the unifying principle which will eventually save the world.

In the past we have had world Saviours—Sons of God who have enunciated a world message and brought an increase of light to the peoples.  Now, in the fullness of time, and through the work of evolution there is emerging a group who perhaps will bring salvation to the world, and who—embodying the group ideas and demonstrating the group nature, manifesting in a small way the true significance of the body of Christ, and giving to the world a picture of the true nature of a spiritual organism—will so stimulate and energize the thoughts and souls of men that the new age will be ushered in by an outpouring of the love, knowledge and harmony of God Himself.

Religions in the past have been founded by a great soul, by an Avatar, by an outstanding spiritual personality, and the stamp of their lives and words and teaching has been set upon the race and has persisted for many centuries.  What will be the effect of the message of a group Avatar?  What will be the potency of the work of a group of knowers of God, enunciating truth and banded together subjectively in the great work of saving the world?  What will be the effect of the mission of a group of world Saviours, not as Christs, but all knowers of God in some degree, who supplement each other's efforts, reinforce each other's message, and constitute an organism [330] through which the spiritual energy and principle of spiritual life can make their presence felt in the world?

Such a body now exists with its members in every land.  Relatively they are few and far between, but steadily their numbers are increasing and increasingly their message will be felt.  In them is rested a spirit of construction; they are the builders of the new age; to them is given the work of preserving the spirit of truth, and the reorganizing of the thoughts of men so that the racial mind is controlled and brought into that meditative and reflective condition which will permit it to recognize the next unfoldment of divinity.

Connected with these two groups, the reactionary doctrinaires and the subjective band of mystics, is the majority of the new generation of young people who are part of neither band and whose ideas are largely disorganized by the recognition of both.  This majority do not belong to the past and refuse to accept the authority of that past.  They do not belong to the inner group of Knowers who are working at the task of swinging the thoughts of men into right channels, for they hare not reached as yet the point of knowledge.  They only recognize two things: their need for freedom, and an intense eagerness for knowledge.  They  despise the tradition of the past; they reject the old formulations of truth ; and because as yet they stand on no sure ground but are only in the position of seekers and enquirers, we have our present state of world upheaval, of apparent license and disruption.  It should not be forgotten that this world state is therefore the result of the clashing of the three types of force prevalent in the world of today.

1. That emanating from the holders with the old tradition, who, emphasizing the forms and the past produce the destruction of those forms.

2. That emanating from the inner group of mystics, [331] who, under the guidance of the planetary Hierarchy are building the new form.

3. That emanating from the masses who belong to neither group and who are wielding force as yet blindly and often unwisely until such time comes when they recognize those constructive channels into which it can wisely be poured.

Hence the problem of this transition period and hence the necessity for the giving out of teaching which will enable the seeking aspirant and enquirer to find himself.  Hence the need for the laws of the soul and for the truth as to individual unfoldment to be made clear to those who, rejecting the old tradition, and refusing recognition to the mystic, yet seek to know themselves as liberated souls.  With that knowledge will come the steady growth of the Building Mystics, for when a man has found his soul and recognizes its relationship to its mechanism of expression, the threefold lower man, he automatically passes into the consciousness of the subjective life, begins to work with cause and is no longer lost in the world of effects.  Then he finds himself standing shoulder to shoulder with the mystics and knowers of all time.  This is the trend of the religious impulse at this time and this is the glory of the coming age.

If it is true that there is being gathered together in the background of our present world-state a group of mystics who are distinguished by knowledge, vision, and a power to work on mental levels, unseen and unrecognized by men, it could also be noted that this band is not confined to the strictly religious types.  Men and women in every branch of human thought are found among this group including scientists and philosophers.

Like all else at this time, science itself is in process of transformation, and little as it is realized by many, their work with what they call matter, and their investigations of the atom are entering into a new field.  In this [332] field the older techniques and mechanisms will gradually be discarded and a new approach and a different fundamental concept as to the nature of matter will mark the new age.  Within the next twenty-five years, emerging out of the two seemingly different ideas as to the nature of the atom, a recognition of certain energy impulses will be seen and this will be based on the discovery of those energies which (playing on the atom and on atomic forms) produce the tangible concrete shapes to which we give names in the various kingdoms of nature.  The truth of certain basic premises of the Ageless Wisdom will be demonstrated, such as:

1. The soul is the form-building principle, producing attraction and cohesion.

2. This soul is an aspect or type of energy, distinguished from that of matter itself.

3. The atom has been recognized as an energy unit, but as yet the energy which sweeps atoms into aggregates which we call organisms and forms has not been isolated.  This the mystics in the scientific world will sense and work to demonstrate during the next generation.  It is this type of energy, the energy of the form building aspect of manifestation which is the source of all magical work; and it is this energy in the various kingdoms of nature that produces form, shape, species, kind, type and the differentiations which mark and distinguish the myriad forms through which life itself manifests.  It is the quality of the energy which produces the quantity of forms; it is the light which causes the emergence into consciousness of the race of heterogeneous shapes which aggregates of atoms can assume.

4. This type of energy which produces the shapes and forms and coherent organisms in all the kingdoms of nature is not the life principle.  The life principle will remain undiscovered and unrecognized until such time as [333] the soul or qualifying principle, the builder of the forms is studied, recognized and in its turn investigated.

5. This is only possible as man steps forth into a fuller conscious possession of his divine heritage, and working as a soul and in control of his mechanism (physical, emotional, and mental) can work consciously en rapport with the soul in all forms.

This will be possible only as the race grasps the above hypothesis, and recognizes it as a possibility and seeks to demonstrate the fact of the soul-factor lying back of its structure or body of manifestation, or equally, seeks to disprove it.  All great scientists and workers in the realm of objective nature have worked as souls, and all the most amazing of the developments in the realm of physics and chemistry, as in other departments of human knowledge, have been made when the worker in any particular field has launched forth with faith in some hypothesis he has formed, and has investigated and progressed his work forward stage by stage until he has contacted an aspect of the truth hitherto unformulated by man.  Then, having through the use of his intuition entered into a new realm of thought, he takes the knowledge there discovered and formulates it in such way by theory, principle, experiment and mechanical contrivance that it becomes the possession of the group, and in due time is understood and utilized by the world.  But in its genesis it has been mystical work and based on a mystical intuition.

It might be noted here that three great discoveries are imminent and during the next two generations will revolutionize modern thought and life.

One is already sensed and is the subject of experiment and investigation, the releasing of the energy of the atom.  This will completely change the economic and political situation in the world, for the latter is largely dependent upon the former.  Our mechanical civilization will be simplified, and an era ushered in which will be [334] free from the incubus of money (its possession and its non-possession), and the human family will recognize universally its status as a bridging kingdom between the three lower kingdoms of nature and the fifth or spiritual kingdom.  There will be time and freedom for a soul culture which will supersede our modern methods of education, and the significance of soul powers and the development of the superhuman consciousness will engross the attention of educators and students everywhere.

A second discovery will grow out of the present investigations as to light and color.  The effect of color on people, animals and units in the vegetable kingdom will be studied and the result of those studies will be the development of etheric vision or the power to see the next grade of matter with the strictly physical eye.  Increasingly will people think and talk in terms of light, and the effect of the coming developments in this department of human thought will be triple.

a. People will possess etheric vision.

b. The vital or etheric body, lying as the inner structure of the outer forms, will be seen and noted and studied in all kingdoms of nature.

c. This will break down all barriers of race and all distinctions of color; the essential brotherhood of man will be established.  We shall see each other and all forms of divine manifestation as light units of varying degrees of brightness and shall talk and think increasingly in terms of electricity, of voltage, of intensity and of power.  The age and status of men, in regard to the ladder of evolution, will be noted and become objectively apparent, the relative capacities of old souls, and young souls will be recognized, thereby re-establishing on earth the rule of the enlightened.

Note here, that these developments will be the work of the scientists of the next two generations and the result [335] of their efforts.  Their work with the atom of substance, and their investigations in the realm of electricity, of light and of power, must inevitably demonstrate the relation between forms, which is another term for brotherhood, and the fact of the soul, the inner light and radiance of all forms.

The third development, which will be the last probably to take place, will be more strictly in the realm of what the occultists call magic.  It will grow out of the study of sound and the effect of sound and will put into man's hands a tremendous instrument in the world of creation.  Through the use of sound the scientist of the future will bring about his results; through sound, a new field of discovery will open up; the sound which every form in all kingdoms of nature gives forth will be studied and known and changes will be brought about and new forms developed through its medium.  One hint only may I give here and that is, that the release of energy in the atom is linked to this new coming science of sound.

The significance of what has happened in the world during the last century in the realm of sound is not appreciated yet nor understood.  Terrific effects are however being produced by the unbelievably increased noise and sound emanating from the planet at this time.  The roar of machines, the rumble of the transportation mechanisms in all parts of the world—trains, vessels and airplanes—the focussing of the sounds of men in such congested areas as the great cities, and, at this time, the universal use of the radio bringing musical sounds into every home and into street life are producing effects upon the bodies of men and upon all forms of life everywhere which will become apparent only as time elapses.  Some forms of life in the animal kingdom, but primarily in the vegetable kingdom, will disappear and the response of the human mechanism to this world of sound, uproar and [336] music in which it will increasingly find itself will be most interesting.

These three developments will usher in the new age, will produce in this transition period the needed changes, and will inaugurate a new era wherein brotherhood will be the keynote, for it will be a demonstrated fact in nature.  It will be an age wherein men will walk in the light, for it will be a world of recognized inner radiance, wherein the work of the world will be carried forward through the medium of sound, and eventually through the use of words of power and the work of the trained magician.  These trained workers in substance, understanding the nature of matter, seeing always in terms of light and comprehending the purpose of sound will bring about those structural changes and those material transformations which will establish a civilization adequate for the work of the coming race.  This work will be that of the conscious unification of the soul and its vehicle of manifestation.  Those cultural methods also which will take the undeveloped of the race and carry them forward to a better manifestation, and a truer expression of themselves will be established and this it is the privilege of the coming generation of scientific investigators to bring about.

The outstanding characteristic, however, of the coming cycle will be an outgrowth of psychology.  It will be the emergence of a new factor from the standpoint of the modern psychologist of the materialistic school and will involve the recognition of the soul.

The mechanistic school of psychologists has served and is serving an invaluable purpose, and the findings of the behaviorists are sound in fact, though erroneous in conclusion.  They serve as a needed brake upon the more speculative and mystical school, which is dignified by the name of introspectionist.  Like much else in the world at this time, from two great lines of thought, such [337] as the mechanistic and the introspective or subjective mentioned above, a third will manifest which will embody the truth in both positions and duly adjust them to each other.  On a larger scale this is working out in the fusing of occident and orient, of mysticism and occultism.  We have no quarrel with either, but in the evolution of thought the main trends of ideas at this time are rapidly approaching each other and from them a synthesis will emerge which will prove an adequate platform upon which the coming cycle may make its stand.

It might be of value here if we noted the tendency of three lines of thought, roughly speaking in the field of psychology.

1. The mechanistic, laying the emphasis upon structure, ascribing the reactions of the human organism, mental, emotional, and physical—entirely to the material aspect, and regarding the structure as responsible for and giving rise to all the lines of conduct and characteristics which man displays, both abnormal and normal.

2. The introspective school, positing a self or a conscious something which is responsible for conditions and which, as has sometimes been said, is "aware of awareness".  This school of psychologists recognizes the structure but goes further and regards certain aspects of conduct, and certain reactions and problems as insoluble under the pure mechanistic process.  They approach more nearly the occult position, but do not go so far.

3. Then there are what I might call the vitalists, or that group of psychologists who, admitting the fact of the structure, yet regard it as subjected to the influences of energies and forces emanating from an outer environment.  These are the energies of a wider nature than those arising entirely within a man's own self, and number among them the great basic urges for which nature itself is responsible and which can be seen and felt in units of organic life, other than the human.

[338]

The truth which is safeguarded in all these schools is one truth and each aspect of it is correlated.

There is a mechanism through which the real man functions, and there is a structure which he has built up in conformity to the laws of nature and which he can learn to use and control.  But, in accordance with the more subjective and speculative school he must learn to differentiate between himself, as the conscious centre of awareness, the "I" upon the throne of intelligence, and the apparatus through which he can contact the outer world.  When the "I", the user of the mechanism, can do this he becomes aware of another fact and that is that not only is he a generator and user of energy, and the director of a quota of vitality which is his own, but that there are energies and forces in nature and the planet, and also extra-planetary or cosmic, to which he can also respond and which he can learn to use and adapt.  The three present schools are therefore, in embryo, custodians of these three factors.  Under the present system of quarrel and separation, these three schools are occupied largely with disproving each other's theories.  But they are all three of them correct in their facts though wrong in their deductions.  They all three need each other and from a blending of the three presentations there will emerge the fourth, which will be nearer the truth than any of the separated three.

When we come to the consideration of other basic trends in the world of current thought it becomes apparent that one of the most dominant is the increasing emphasis laid upon group consciousness, or environal awareness.  This has been recognized by the man in the street as a sense of responsibility and indicates in the individual an egoic vibration.  It is one of the first signs that the soul is beginning to use its mechanism.  No longer does the man live in the interests of the separated self but he begins to realize the need for adjustment to [339] and in the condition of his neighbor.  He assumes the duty of being in a very real sense his brother's keeper, and realizes that in reality progress, contentment, peace of mind and prosperity do not exist for him apart from that of his brother.  This realization is steadily expanding from the individual to the state and nation, from the family unit to the world, and hence the big organizations, fraternities, clubs, leagues and movements which have for their objective the uplift and welfare of men everywhere.  The necessity of giving instead of getting is growing in the racial consciousness and the recognition of certain of the basic concepts connected with brotherhood is steadily growing.  Brotherhood as a fact in nature is as yet largely a theory, but brotherhood as an ideal is now fashioned in the racial consciousness.

One of the great schools of thought or trend of ideas which is destined to pass away is that of the current philosophies as we now know them.  Philosophy in its technical sense as the love of wisdom will increase as men understand increasingly the meaning of wisdom and become epochally wiser, but the present schools of philosophy have nearly served their purpose.  This has been the formulation of ideas concerning God and His relation to man, concerning divinity, eschatology and spiritual relationships.

The last great gestures of the philosophical schools remain yet to be made.  Their place will be taken in later centuries by those who will in deed and in truth be cosmologists, for once the Word of Mankind is understood and grasped and the significance of the individual appreciated, the Word of the Cosmos will receive due and more correct attention, and the laws and nature of that great Being in Whom we live and move and have our being will be studied.  The cosmic Christ can never be known by any except the individual Christ.

Man, as we shall see as we proceed, is on the verge of [340] establishing his divinity.  Evolution has carried forward the perfecting of the mechanism to such an extent that it is now a coordinated integrated organism, a usable structure and ready for the divine user.  In the course of the next few decades the fact of the soul will be established, and the work of the introspective thinkers, the mystics and occult students will be carried forward to the point where soul force will be established as a racial concept, and the laws of the soul will be recognized as superseding, though not abrogating (for the lesser is ever included in the greater) the laws of man.  This in the sense that the law is ever kept by a manifesting soul, for, since there is no inclination to break it, there is no tendency on his part to infringe it.

This growing conviction as to the soul as the self is evidenced by the opposition to the theory called forth by the schools of thought which emphasize the dominance of matter and trace all phenomena, objective and subjective, to the activity of matter.  Through the wrestling of those holding differing points of view truth emerges into the light, just as in a larger case, spirit "mounts on the shoulders of matter" back to its original position, plus the gain in quality which is the result of the experience.  This being so, knowledge will take the place of theory, and direct evidence that of speculation.  The theorising of men as to their divine nature must shortly give place to conviction and their philosophising to direct investigation of the soul.  That which is recognized and admitted, even if not understood, is the object of attention and investigation and the day will dawn before so very long when an experimental science of the soul will have its place in the universities and public endowments and not the proving of the soul, but an analysis of its nature, purposes, and life will receive an attention equal to that now gives by modern scientists in their varying branches to the mechanism the soul seeks and eventually will use, [341] for naught can arrest that great evolutionary development.

Certain words of warning I would like to give and also a summarisation of much earlier said:

First, hold not on to the form no matter what it be.  All forms are but experiments, and reach the point where they are in balance—to be either discarded or vivified.

Secondly, remember that all personalities (your own included) have their periods of ebb and flow, under the law.  The periods of ebb in the case of those holding prominent position cause at times consternation to all those who follow their personalities, and not the inner God within their own heart.

Thirdly, bear in mind, also, that just as in the individual life there come the periods wherein the vision is obscured, the valley is traversed, and the stars shut out by the fog, so in connection with groups will the same be seen.  But bear equally in mind that after the valley is crossed (for all aspirants and for all truly spiritual groups) the Mount of Initiation is seen and ascended; after obscuration succeeds the vision, and after night comes the day.  In the great cycles affecting cosmic groups this also can be seen; in the lesser cycles, controlling the races, the same eventuates and the same law persists in all the lesser groups down to the groups of tiny lives that hold sway in the vehicles of man.  This needs emphasis.

Fourthly, do not permit yourselves to be discouraged.  Discouragement is due to three causes.  Paramountly it is due to the lowering of the vitality of the bodily organism.  When such is the case, the astral body makes too strong a demand upon the physical, and in the endeavour to respond and in the sensed incapacity to do so adequately, lies one cause of the sense of discouragement.  This often attacks those of you who are finely organised in the physical vehicle.  The cure for this type of discouragement [342] is obvious, is it not?  Rest and relaxation build anew, and give time for nature to adjust the trouble.  The sun too revitalises with prana and this should be considered.  After all, sound common sense is the special requirement, and also the realisation that one's work is adjusted to one's capacity, and not to the overwhelming need.  Meditate on this.

Another basis for discouragement is the over-development of the concrete mind, which in its turn makes too great a demand upon the emotional nature, and consequently again upon the physical.  Too great a capacity to see all around a subject, too disproportionate a comprehension of the world's need, and too quick an apprehension of the many issues involved in connection with some particular matter produce a violent vibration in the astral body.  This leads to a shattering of the physical vehicle, and the result sensed we term discouragement.  It is here that a sense of proportion must be cultivated, that the faculty of wise balancing enters, and that mental equilibrium must be achieved.  The cure lies in the realisation that time, eternity, evolution (call it what you will) brings all things to pass, and that everything does not depend upon individual effort.  It is possible for wise souls to hasten the good work, but the end, nevertheless, is sure.  If the wise souls are not forthcoming yet the force of evolution brings all things to pass, even if more slowly.  Do not forget this, but when discouragement from mental sources settles down upon you, in quietness adjust yourself, and in contemplation sense the ultimate achievement of that great factor, Time.

A third cause lies in more occult realms, and is due to the balancing of the pairs of opposites.  When the pendulum swings—as it must and does—towards that which we call dark, evil, and undesirable, it produces in those of you who are oriented towards the light a tension which results in discomfort in all the bodies, and is specially [343] sensed as depression by the physical body.  The more sensitive your body, the greater your responsiveness to this form of temptation.  It is one of the things which specially hinders the aspirant.  It renders him negative and receptive from the form side, and slows down his vibration.  It prevents achievement and his service to the world suffers in consequence.  The cure for discouragement does not lie in cultivating a violent counter vibration.  It lies in the wise use of the mental body, and in a capacity to reason logically and to see the cause of the conditions, which lies either in your own personality or in your environment.  Thus poise will be attained.  It lies also in the appreciation of Time as a solvent as aforesaid.  It lies also in the stilling of the concrete mind and a subsequent linking up with the soul and, via the soul, with the egoic group and consequently with the Master.  It must never be forgotten that contact with the Master is made in this order, and that he who comes more and more under the guidance of the soul is he who more and more enters into the consciousness of his Master.

Then having with unselfish intent linked up with the Master, there comes next the deliberate and concentrated effort to work with pure dispassion, and with no desire to see the fruit of action.  This process, long continued and pursued with patience, will result eventually in the attaining of an equilibrium which nothing can disturb.

I would like to state that there are five things which those who choose the path of occultism need to cultivate, and that the group should specially seek to attain.  They are as follows:

1. Consecration of motive.

2. Utter fearlessness.

3. The cultivation of the imagination, balanced wisely by the reasoning faculty.

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4. A capacity to weigh the evidence wisely, and to accept only that which is compatible with the highest instinct and intuition.

5. A willingness to experiment.

These five tendencies, coupled with purity of life and regulation of thought will lead to the sphere of achievement.  Remember too that it is not purposed that you should find out all the knowable, but only just as much of it as may be employed wisely for the illumination of the race and of those whom you can each, in your own place, influence.

A real problem, as you all realise, lies in the achieving of utter fearlessness.  All fear, doubt, and worry have to be eliminated.  If this can be done the development of the inner point of contact and the knowledge of how to tap the sources of inspiration will increase in a wonderful manner.  So many close the sources of information through an uncontrolled emotional nature.  The astral body can be controlled.  How?

1. By direct inhibition.  This method can be used to advantage by beginners, but it is not the best method to follow.  It reacts on the physical body, leads to congestion in the astral body, and to a similar condition in the etheric vehicle.  It often produces headache, congestion of the liver and other disorders.

2. By a direct realisation of the issues at stake and the consciousness that, for a pupil of the Master, nothing comes to pass but what can lead to increased knowledge and development, and greater usefulness in service.  Fear with many is not based on timidity (a paradoxical statement!) but is often based on a mental condition, such as pride.  Those who are becoming polarised in the mental body, find their fears allied to the intellect.  They are therefore harder to overcome than the fears of a person polarised in the astral body.  The latter can bring the [345] intellect to bear on the elimination of fear in the astral body.  The mental types have to call directly on the Ego, for always the higher must be called in to deal with the lower.  Hence the necessity for always keeping the channel clear.  Do not crush out fear.  Force it out by the dynamic power of substitution.  This leads to my third suggestion that students in the group should cure the fear habit by—

3. A direct method of relaxation, concentration, stillness and flushing the entire personality with pure white light.  Proceed in the following manner:

You are, we will say, in a state of panic; suggestions of great unpleasantness are crowding in; your imagination is running riot, and your mind enforces the riot.  Forget not that the fears of an emotional person are not so potent as yours.  Having a strong mental body, you clothe your fear reactions with mental matter, highly vitalised, which causes a powerful thoughtform to be created.  This circulates between you and the feared event.  Realising this you will proceed to seek quietness.  You will relax your physical body, endeavour to quiet your astral body as far as may be, and to steady the mind.  Then visualizing yourself (the personality), the soul and the Master—He, as the apex of the triangle,—you will with deliberation call down a stream of pure white light, and, pouring it through your lower vehicles, you will cleanse away all that hinders.  Continue this process until you realise that the needed work is accomplished.  At first you may have to do it many times.  Later just once will suffice, and later still the whole process may be needless, for you will have achieved conquest.

This applies to the fears connected with the personality.  You use the love aspect, flooding yourself with love and light.  The legitimate fears which arise [346] from things connected with the circumstances of the work to be done, and from the knowledge of materialised obstructions to the work must be treated somewhat differently.  Here again a definite method must be followed:

Still the physical body.

Quiet by temporary inhibition the astral body.

Link up with the Ego, and definitely reason out the proper method of procedure in meeting the difficulty.  Having exhausted all the higher rational methods and having clearly seen your course of action, you then—

Raise your vibration as high as may be and call down, from intuitional levels, added light on the difficulty.  If your intuition and reasoning faculty produce harmony and thus show the way out, then proceed.  As an occult fact past all controversy, you know that naught can now happen but what is for the best.  You are sure of guidance, and he who sees thus the end from the beginning makes no error.

A third class of fears—which aspirants contact more and more as they grow in strength and usefulness in service—is based on the realisation of the forces that are working against the Plan and hindering the work to be done.  Occult attacks and occult powers, warring militantly against the aspirant will occur; they may make their power felt in one or other of the vehicles and—in rare cases—where the aspirant is important enough, on all at once.  Sometimes they will be attacks directed against the individual worker, sometimes against groups of workers.  To counter them you employ the first method with the following additions and changes.  You link yourself up either as an individual or forming one of a group with your own soul and with the Lodge of Masters, [347] not simply with your own Master, but with the Brotherhood for which you are working.  Then when stillness has been achieved, you visualise those Masters of whom you know, and raising your vibration higher still, you connect up, if possible, with the Chohans, with the Christ and the Manu, according to the line, religious or political, with which you may be working, and along which the attack will come.  You then pour through the linking chain, and through all the vehicles, a stream of violet light.  This method is only for use when the need is dire and the necessity great.  The reason for caution lies in the etheric vehicle, which responds most violently to the colour violet.