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CHAPTER II - Causes Emanating from Group Life - Part 1

In considering disease and its basic causes, we have dealt particularly with those which concern our Aryan race and modern humanity; these are largely astral in origin and might be described as Atlantean in nature.  We have briefly considered also the various diseases which originate upon the mental plane; these are more strictly Aryan and involve also the ills to which disciples are prone.  Infectious diseases and those which are fundamental in the planetary substance have a potent effect upon those races (still among us) which are the oldest on our planet, and which are related to the fast dying out Lemurian types; Negroes are specially prone to infectious epidemics.

I have not attempted in this treatise to deal pathologically with any of the diseases touched upon, nor have I paid attention to the physiology of the patient.  That is entirely out of my province.  I have, however, attempted to indicate the origins of some of the diseases, to call attention to the paramount importance of the glandular system, and to relate, as far as is just and wise, some of the oriental theories anent the centres and western wisdom.  Later I shall point out some basic human conditions which must be changed if the true healing work is to be correctly applied, and then I hope to give some of the methods whereby healers can accomplish work which will be in line [222] with the facts of the case and which will aid in the processes of restoration.

The problem of disease is today greatly enhanced, owing to the fact that in this race, the Aryan, which now dominates the planet, you have the first true appearance outwardly on the physical plane of the basic synthesis of humanity which will be—in its better form—so strikingly significant of the next major rootrace, the sixth.  Inter-marriage between nations and races, the fusion of bloods for hundreds of years—due to migration, travel, education and mental unity—has led to there being no really pure racial types today.  This is far more certainly the case than the most enlightened think, if the long, long history of mankind is considered.  Sexual intercourse knows no impenetrable barriers, and people today have in them all the strains and the blood of all the races, and this (as a result of the world war, 1914-1945) will be increasingly the case.  This development is definitely a part of the divine plan, no matter how undesirable it may appear to those who idealise purity of relationship, or how ruthless its application is at the present moment.  Something intended is being brought about and it cannot be avoided.  The urge to mate becomes peculiarly strong when men are removed from their familiar settings and experience the novelty of complete loneliness, when the normal inhibitions and customs imposed by family relationships and national standards are removed, when danger of death is constantly faced and the larger value submerges the lesser values and the usual conventional attitudes, and when the physical organism has been trained and brought by scientific treatment and heavy feeding to the height of physical efficiency.  I am speaking in terms of physical effectiveness and not of mental efficiency, which may or may not parallel the former.

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The animal instincts are therefore potent; the centres below the diaphragm become peculiarly energised; the emotional demands enormously vitalise the solar plexus centre, and the centre at the base of the spine increases the activity of the adrenal glands as the will of the man is called into play to surmount danger; the will-to-live, with its adjunct, the will-to-perpetuate and to live in one's children, is powerfully fostered.  To this must also be added, as a major adjunct of war, the will of Nature itself working (under certain divine laws) to offset the loss of life and the casualties of war by a fresh inflow of life into form, thus preserving the human race, providing the bodies for the next tide of egos and thus peopling the earth.

In saying this I seek only to explain the phenomena which can be noted at all times when war is present and which in the world war can be noted on a large scale.  The armies of the world are everywhere and are spread over every country; racial transmigration is a universal factor, both from the angle of military necessity and from the plight of the civilians who find themselves in the path of war.  This movement of millions of men everywhere is one of the paramount factors which will condition the new civilisation, and its importance is based upon the fact that in twenty-five years' time men and women will be a hybrid race whose fathers and mothers will be of every imaginable nation; white fathers will have had physical relation with women of every Asiatic or African origin, thus producing a fusion of blood which—if recognised and rightly handled and developed, from the educational angle and with understanding—will express in embryo the nature of the sixth rootrace, and which will be in fact HUMANITY without any racial or national barriers, with no so-called pure blood and exclusive castes, and with a new and virile sense of life because of the infusion of stronger stocks with the weaker [224] or worn-out types and of the newer racial strains with the older and more developed.  I hold no brief for the manner in which this is being brought about.  It could have happened without war and through a conviction that all men are equal and human, and that the mixture of races would solve many problems; war, however, has hastened the process and the soldiers of all the armies of the world are having physical relations with women of all races, all civilisations and all colours.  This must, whether regarded as right or wrong according to the code of ethics and standards of the observer, produce an entirely new situation with which the world of the future will have to cope; it must inevitably break down national prejudices and racial barriers—the first producing more effect than the latter during the initial stages.  Inevitably a more homogeneous humanity will appear during the changes of the next one hundred years.  Many attitudes and many customary reactions which today hold sway will vanish, and types and qualities and characteristics for which we have as yet no precedent will appear upon a large scale.

Whether the conservative and the so-called strictly "moral" people dislike this worldwide happening has no bearing on the case.  It has happened and is happening daily and will materially bring about far-reaching changes.  These inter-racial and mixed relationships have always happened upon a small and individual scale; they are now happening on a large scale.  For the results of this due preparation must be made.

As is well known to you, there are certain diseases which are numerically dominant in the world today.  They are:

1. Heart diseases of various kinds, particularly afflicting advanced humanity.

2. Insanities.

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3. Cancer, so widely prevalent among every type of man today.

4. The social diseases—syphilitic in nature.

5. Tuberculosis.

In a subtle and occult manner, these diseases are due to two basic causes:  One is the close interplay between people, living under modern conditions, and the massing of people into cities and towns; the other is the age of the soil upon which man lives (a fact little recognised or considered), for it is deeply impregnated with the germs and the residue incident to past ages.  The immunity of man is an amazing matter, could you but realise it; he resists and throws off constantly and continuously every kind of disease—those which are the result of contact with others, those which are prevalent in the very atmosphere at every time, those which are latent within his own bodily organism, and those which are inherited and to which he has a constant predisposition.  Man's fight for health is ceaseless and unending, ranging all the way from ordinary fatigue and tiredness (plus the universal tendency to take cold), to mortal disease, ending in death.

To the trained occult observer, it is as if humanity—as a whole—is walking partly in a dense shadow which engulfs the race, and some part of which involves an area of the body of every human being.  One of the aims of the New Age will be "to lighten this shadow and bring people out into the fitness of true health."  This same shadow penetrates also into the mineral kingdom, affects the vegetable kingdom, and involves also the animals; it is one of the major causes of all that can be considered under the name of "sin," which may surprise you.  It is also the fertile seed of crime.  This is a fact to be accepted, to be properly considered and dealt with rationally, sanely, intelligently and [226] spiritually; it will require all the factors mentioned to lift humanity out of the darkness of disease into established and radiant health.  Certain of the Masters are dealing with this problem in relation to the other kingdoms in nature, for there will be no true escape for man whilst his environment is still under the shadow of disease.

Much that I could tell you in this connection would sound fanciful and would call forth the scoffing amusement of the hardboiled scientist.  The theories held by mankind as to the origin of diseases, and the recognition of bacteria and germs and similar intruding organisms are largely correct, but this is so only if you bear in mind that they are in reality effects of causes upon which the investigator has not touched and which are hidden in the very history of the planet itself and also in the racial history of the past—of which little or practically nothing is known.  Surmise and conjecture rule here.

1. DISEASES OF HUMANITY, INHERITED FROM THE PAST

History, as studied today, goes back but a little way and although the enlightened historian and scientist may extend the story of humanity to millions of years, there is naught known about the races of men who lived those millions of years ago; naught is known of the civilisation which flourished in early Atlantean times twelve million years ago; naught is known at all of the still more ancient Lemurian civilisation which goes back more than fifteen million years; still less is known of that twilight period which existed twenty-one million years ago when men were scarcely human and when they were so closely related to the animal kingdom that we call them by the cumbersome name of "animal-man."

During the vast period between then and now, myriads of people have lived and loved and experienced; their bodies have been absorbed into the dust of the earth and [227] each has contributed something which they have gained during life experience—something different, however, to that which they contribute to the life of the soul on its own plane.  This something contributed has altered in some way the atoms and cells of the physical body, and that gained something has in due time been released again into the soil of the planet.  Each soul, withdrawn from the body, has come to the earth repeatedly, and many millions are here today, particularly those who were present in later Atlantean times and who are, therefore, the flower and the highest product of that highly emotional race.  They bring with them the predispositions and the innate tendencies with which their past history has endowed them.

It should therefore be borne in mind that the physical bodies in which humanity now dwells are constructed of very ancient matter and that the substance employed is tainted or conditioned by the history of the past.  To this concept must be added two others:  First, that incoming souls draw to themselves the type of material with which they must construct their outer sheaths, and that this will be responsive to some aspect of their subtler natures; if, for instance, physical desire conditions them, the material of their physical vehicle will be largely responsive to that particular urge.  Secondly, each physical body carries within itself the seeds of inevitable retribution, if its functions are misused.  The great original sin in Lemurian times was sexual in nature, and due largely not only to inherent tendencies, but to the extraordinarily dense population of its civilisation and to the close relation of the animal kingdom.  The origin of the syphilitic diseases traces back to these times.

There is a beautiful idea in the minds of the ignorant that primitive races are free from that type of contamination and that the many sexual diseases and their results are predominantly the diseases of civilisation.  This is not so [228] from the occult angle of vision.  True knowledge disproves it.  In the infancy of the race, a great mismating, promiscuity and series of perversions took place, and in the language of some of the most ancient books in the Masters' Archives we read:  "earth took its toll and earth to earth, polluted and impure, returned to earth; thus evil life entered the pristine cleanliness of the ancient mother.  Deep in the soil the evil lies, emerging into form from time to time, and only fire and suffering can cleanse the mother of the evil which her children have given unto her."

The Lemurian race practically destroyed itself, owing to its misuse of the sacral centre, which was at that time the most active and the dominant centre.  In Atlantean days it was the solar plexus centre which was the prime objective of the "entering fire."  The work of the Hierarchy in Lemurian days was, as I have told you elsewhere, to teach infant humanity the nature, meaning and significance of the physical vehicle, just as in the next race, the emotional was fostered and the major object of attention, and in our race, it is the mind which is subjected to stimulation.  The initiate in Lemurian times was one who had completely mastered the control of the body, and hatha-yoga was then the outstanding spiritual practice.  This, in time, was superseded by laya-yoga, which brought all the centres in the etheric body (except the throat and head centres) into functioning activity.  This is not the type of activity which is now possible, because it must be remembered that the Master in those days had not the development or the understanding of the Masters of today, the only exceptions being Those Who had come from other schemes and spheres to aid animal-man and primitive humanity.

A. Venereal and Syphilitic Diseases.

Paralleling all the activity of the Great White Lodge [229] (as was always the case and is the case today) was the activity of the dark forces.  Their effects had to be brought about through the medium of the sacral centre, and thus a most vicious situation came about which weakened the stamina of the human body, which greatly increased the demands of the sex nature through the stimulation of the sacral centre, artificially brought about by the Black Lodge, and which produced many unholy alliances and widespread evil relations.

A great new law of nature was then imposed by the planetary Logos which has been expressed (very inadequately) by the words, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."  This law could be better expressed by saying, "He that misuses that which he hath built will see it fall from forces within itself."

As the centuries slipped away and the Lemurian race submitted to the evil impulses of the animal nature, gradually the earliest type of venereal disease made its appearance; eventually the entire race was riddled with it and died out, nature taking its toll and exacting its inexorable price.  You might here ask how these early inhabitants of our planet could be held responsible for there is no sin where there is no sense of responsibility and no consciousness of wrong doing.  The Hierarchy in those days had its own methods of teaching these infant peoples, just as the smallest child can be taught today to refrain from certain physical habits.  Humanity then knew well what was evil, because the evidences of that evil were physically apparent and quite easily perceived.  The penalty was obvious and the results immediate; the Teachers of the race saw to it that cause and effect were quickly to be noted.

At this time there also arose the first tendencies to marriage, as differentiated from promiscuity; the formation of family units became the subject of attention and [230] a goal for the most highly evolved.  This was one of the first tasks undertaken by the Hierarchy and the first effort toward any form of group activity, conveying the first lesson in responsibility.  The family unit was not stable as it can be now, but even its relatively brief tenure was a tremendous step forward; the segregation of the family unit and the growth of the sense of responsibility has gone steadily forward until it has culminated in our present system of marriage and our stress in the Occident upon monogamy; it has led to the western pride in family strains and pedigrees, our interest in genealogies and relationships, and the complete horror of the occidental thinker over the syphilitic diseases as they affect families and their offspring.

Two most interesting things are, however, happening today.  The family unit, on a worldwide scale, is being broken up, owing to the fortunes of war and—on a smaller scale—owing to the more modern views concerning marriage and divorce.  Secondly, definite and rapid cures for the sexual diseases are being discovered, and these may tend to make people more reckless.  When, however, they are perfected, they will in the long run safeguard the race and will return bodies to the soil after death freed from the plague which has contaminated the earth for endless ages.  There will thus be brought about a gradual purifying of the soil.  The growth of the practice of cremation will also aid this process of purification.  Destruction by fire and the intensity of the heat engendered by applied military methods are also helping, and during the next one million years we shall see syphilis (inherited from Lemuria) stamped out, both in the human family and in the soil of the planet.

As the ages passed away, humanity entered into the Atlantean stage of development.  The conscious control of the physical body dropped below the threshold of consciousness; the etheric body became consequently more potent (a [231] fact not oft considered), and the physical body reacted increasingly like an automaton to the impression and the direction of a steadily developing desire nature.  Desire became something more than simply response to animal physical urges and to the primitive instincts, but was directed to objects and objectives extraneous to the body, towards material possessions and towards that which (when seen and coveted) could be appropriated.  Just as the major sins of Lemurian times (if they could be called sins in any true sense, because of the low intelligence of the race) were through the misuse of sex, so the major sin of the Atlantean people was theft—widespread and general.  The seeds of aggression and of personal acquisitiveness began to show themselves, culminating in the great war (as related in The Secret Doctrine) between the Lords of the Shining Countenance and the Lords of the Dark Face.  To procure what they coveted and felt they needed, the most highly evolved of that race began to practice magic.  It is not possible for me to outline to you the nature and practices of Atlantean magic with its control of elementals and of forms of life which have now been driven back into retreat and are inaccessible to humanity; neither can I indicate to you the particular methods used to acquire what was desired, the Words of Power employed and the carefully planned rituals which were followed by those who sought to enrich themselves and to take what they wanted, no matter what the cost to others.  This magical work was the misdirected travesty of the White Magic so openly used in those days, prior to the great war between the Forces of Light and the Forces of Evil.  Magic of the right kind was very familiar to the Atlantean people, and was used by those Members of the Hierarchy Who were entrusted with the guidance of the race and Who were combating rampant evil in high places.  That same evil is again upon the warpath and is being [232] fought by the men of goodwill, under the direction of the Great White Lodge.  Heights of luxury were reached in Atlantis of which we, with all our boasted civilisation, know nothing and have never achieved.  Some faint traces of it have come to us from legends and from ancient Egypt, from archeological discovery and old fairy tales.  There was a recurrence of pure Atlantean mischief and wickedness in the decadent days of the Roman Empire.  Life became tainted by the miasma of unadulterated selfishness and the very springs of life itself became polluted.  Men only lived and breathed in order to be in possession of the utmost luxury and of a very plethora of things and of material goods.  They were smothered by desire and plagued by the dream of never dying but of living on and on, acquiring more and more of all that they desired.

B. Tuberculosis.

It is in this situation that we find the origin of tuberculosis.  It originated in the organs whereby men breathe and live, and was imposed—as a penalty—by the Great White Lodge; the Masters promulgated a new law for the Atlantean people when Lemurian vice and Atlantean cupidity were at their most ruthless height.  This law can be translated into the following terms:  "He who lives only for material goods, who sacrifices all virtue in order to gain that which cannot last, will die in life, will find breath failing him, and yet will refuse to think of death until the summons comes."

It is difficult for us in these days to appreciate or to comprehend the Atlantean state of consciousness.  There was no mental process whatsoever except among the leaders of the race; there was only rampant, ruthless, insatiable desire.  This action of the Great White Lodge forced two issues and confronted the race with two hitherto unrealised [233] problems.  The first was that psychological attitudes and states of consciousness can and do bring about physiological conditions, these being both good and bad.  Secondly, for the first time the people faced with recognition the phenomenon of death—death which they themselves brought about in a new way and not just by physical means.  This had to be dramatised for them in some definitely objective manner, for as yet the masses did not respond to verbal teaching but only to visual events.  When, therefore, they saw a particularly predatory and rapacious person begin to suffer from a dire disease which seemed to arise from within himself and—whilst suffering—hold on to his love of life (as tubercular people do today), they were faced with another aspect or form of the original law (imposed in Lemurian times) which said:  "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."  Death had hitherto been accepted without questioning as the fate of all living things, but now, for the first time, mental relationship between individual action and death was recognised—as yet in a dim and feeble way—and a great step forward was made in the human consciousness.  Instinct failed to handle this situation.

Death, brother of mine, is a great and universal heritage; all forms die, for such is the law of life, to speak in paradoxes.  The time had arrived when the race could be taught the lesson that death can either be the ending of a cycle and an automatic response to the great Law of Cycles which continually institutes the new and ends the old, or it can be brought about by the misuse of the physical body, by misapplied energy and by the deliberate action of the man himself.  The man who deliberately sins, and who is psychologically wrong in his attitudes and consequent actions, commits suicide just as truly as the man who deliberately blows out his brains.  This is seldom realised, but the truth will become increasingly apparent.

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The Biblical injunction to remember that the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children is a literal statement anent the human heritage of disease from Lemuria and Atlantis.  Syphilis and tuberculosis have been extensively prevalent in the first half of the Aryan race, in which we now find ourselves, and today they not only affect the organs of generation or the lungs (as they did in the early stages of their appearance), but now have involved the blood stream and consequently the entire organism of the human body.

Much has been done in the last fifty years to bring the great Atlantean disease of tuberculosis under control by simplicity of living, pure and ample food and good air.  Much is being done to control, finally, the syphilitic diseases, and both will eventually be stamped out, not only by sound treatment and the discoveries of medical science, but because the race—as it becomes more mentally polarised—will itself deal with the problem from the angle of commonsense, will decide that the physical sins exact too heavy a penalty and that the possession of that which you have not earned or needed, and which consequently is not rightfully yours, is not worth while.

It is around these basic ideas that the world war (1914-1945) was fought.  We call the unlawful possession of other people's land, territories, goods and chattels, aggression; but this is the same thing in principle as stealing, theft and rape.  Today these evils are not only individual sins and faults, but can be national characteristics; the world war has brought the whole problem to the surface of the human consciousness and the ancient Atlantean struggle is being bitterly waged, with the probability that this time the Great White Lodge will triumph.  That was not the case in the earlier conflict.  Then the war was ended by the intervention of the planetary Logos Himself, and that [235] ancient civilisation went down into the deeps and was engulfed in water—the symbol of purity, sanitation and universality, and therefore appropriate as an ending for what one of the Masters has called "a tubercularly oriented race."  Death by drowning and death by obscure physical means which I am not at liberty to describe have both been tried in the effort to salvage humanity.  Today, death by fire is the applied technique, and it promises to be successful.  In contradistinction to the great Lemurian and Atlantean crises, humanity is now far more mentally alert, the causes of the trouble are recognised, motives are seen more clearly, and the will-to-good and to change past evil conditions is stronger than ever before.  What is beginning to manifest now in the public consciousness is something utterly good and new.

The subjective reasons given to account for the appearance of these two most ancient racial diseases may well appear to the non-esotericist as possible but not probable and as fanciful and too general in nature.  This cannot be helped.  These two groups of diseases are of such exceedingly ancient origin that I have called them inherent in the planetary life itself and the heritage of all humanity, for in all, the breaking of certain laws will bring about these diseases.  If I cared to do so, I could take you still further back into the realm of cosmic evil as it prevails in our solar system and affects the planetary Logos, Who is still numbered among "the imperfect Gods."  The outer form of the planet through which He expresses Himself is impregnated to a certain depth with the seeds and germs of these two diseases; as immunity is built up, however, as methods of cure are developed, as preventive medicine comes into its own, and as man himself arrives at increasing mental and soul control of the animal and desire natures, these forms of human suffering will disappear, and (no matter what statistics [236] may say) they are disappearing among the more controlled areas of the human family.  As the life of God (expressing itself as individual divinity and universal divinity) pulsates more powerfully through the kingdoms of nature, these two penalties of evil-doing will inevitably no longer be required and will disappear for three reasons:

1. The orientation of humanity towards the light is steadily changing and "light dispels all evil."  The light of knowledge and the recognition of causes will bring about those carefully planned conditions which will make the syphilitic diseases and tuberculosis things of the past.

2. The centres below the diaphragm will be subjected to a cleansing, lifting process; the life of the sacral centre will be controlled and the energy usually focussed there will be expended in creative living, through the medium of the throat centre; the solar plexus centre will have its energy lifted to the heart, and the trend of human selfishness will then die out.

3. Complete cures, implemented by science, will bring about a gradual fading out of contagion.

Another reason which will bring about the cessation of those practises and modes of living and desiring which account for these diseases is one little recognised as yet; it was referred to by the Christ when He spoke of the time when nothing secret would remain hidden and when all secrets would be shouted aloud from the housetops.  The growth of telepathic registration and of the psychic powers such as clairvoyance and clairaudience will eventually tend to strip humanity of the privacy in which to sin.  The powers whereby the Masters and the higher initiates can ascertain the psychic state and physical condition of humanity, its quality and consciousness, are already beginning to show [237] themselves in advanced humanity.  People will sin, commit evil deeds and satisfy inordinate desire, but they will be known to their fellowmen and nothing that they do will be carried out in secret.  Some one or some group will be aware of the tendencies in the life of a man, and even of the incidents in which he satisfies some demand of his lower nature, and the fact of this possibility will act as a great deterrent—a far greater deterrent than you can imagine.  Man is indeed his brother's keeper, and the keeping will take the form of knowledge and of "boycott and sanctions"—as it is called today in reference to the penalising of nations.  I would have you ponder on these two modes of treating wrong doing.  They will be practically automatically applied as a matter of good taste, right feeling and helpful intention by individuals and groups to other individuals and groups, and in this way crime and the tendency to evil doing will gradually be stamped out.  It will be realised that all crime is founded upon some form of disease, or upon a glandular lack or overstimulation, based in turn upon the development or the underdevelopment of some one or other of the centres.  An enlightened public opinion—informed as to man's constitution and aware of the great Law of Cause and Effect—will deal with the criminal through medical means, right environmental conditions, and the penalties of boycott and sanctions.  I have no time to enlarge upon these matters, but these suggestions will give you food for thought.

C. Cancer.

We come now to a consideration of the rapidly increasing and typical Atlantean disease which we call cancer.  We have spoken of one basic widespread disease related to the physical body; we have dealt superficially with another which is a product of the desire nature.  Cancer, in our [238] present cycle, the Aryan, is definitely a result of the activity of the lower concrete mind and of the stimulation of the etheric body which the mind can bring about.  It is a major disease incident to stimulation, as far as the Aryan masses are concerned, just as heart disease is also a disease of stimulation, affecting very largely the advanced types of humanity who—through interest in business and leadership—often sacrifice their lives and pay the penalty of misused and over-concentrated energy by developing various forms of acute heart trouble.

Disciples and initiates are prone also to suffer from this disease, owing to the awakening into violent activity of the heart centre.  In the one case, the life energy flowing through the heart is employed past all human tolerance in handling human affairs; in the other, the heart centre opens up and the strain put upon the organ of the heart is too great, and heart disease supervenes.  A third cause of heart disease is due to the premature or deliberately planned lifting of the energy of the solar plexus to the heart, thus putting an unexpected strain upon it.

I am dealing naturally in broad generalisations; later evidence will go to show the types of activity which will evoke corresponding difficulty within the heart.  Heart disease will increase greatly as we enter into the new rootrace, particularly during the interim wherein the fact of the centres, their nature and qualities, is admitted and they consequently become the objective of trained attention.  Energy follows thought, and this mental focussing upon the centres will inevitably produce overstimulation of all the centres, and this in spite of care and a carefully developed Science of the Centres.  It is something which cannot be avoided, owing to the nervous and uneven unfoldment of man.  Later, this stimulation will be regulated and controlled, [239] and the heart will be subjected only to a general strain, along with all the other centres.

Cancer is a disease most definitely related to the centres, and it will be found that the centre in the area wherein the cancer exists is overactive, with a consequent increase of energy pouring through the related bodily substance.  This energy and the overstimulation of a centre can be due not only to the activity of the centre and its consequent radiation, but also the suppression imposed by the mind upon any activity of a particular centre.  This brings about a damming up of energy, and again we have the creation of too much concentrated energy in any particular area.  One of the main sources of cancer as related to the sacral centre, and therefore to the sex organs, has been the well-intentioned suppression of the sex life, and of all thought connected with the sex life, by misguided aspirants; they are those who find the teaching—monastic and celibate—of the Middle Ages the line of least resistance.  In that period of time, good people taught that sex was evil and wicked, something not to be mentioned, and a potent source of trouble.  Normal reactions, instead of being controlled and transmuted into creative activity, were violently suppressed and all thoughts anent the sex life were refused expression.  Nevertheless, energy follows the direction of thought, with the result that that particularly magnetic type of energy attracted an increasing number of cells and atoms to itself; therein is found the source of the tumours, growths and cancers so prevalent today.  The same thing can be said about the violent inhibition imposed by an aspirant upon all emotional reactions and feelings.  In their effort to control the astral body, these people resort to a process of direct inhibition and suppression.  That suppression makes of the solar plexus centre a great reservoir of drastically retained energy.  Transmutation of the emotions into aspiration and love and directed [240] control is not present, and the existence of this vibrant reservoir of power brings about cancer of the stomach, of the liver, and sometimes of the entire area of the abdomen.  I simply mention these causes (overactivity of a centre and the retention of energy, unexpressed and inhibited) as fruitful sources of cancer.

We come back in every case, as you can see, to the fact of the existence of the centres and their physiological effects.  So much emphasis has been laid upon the qualities and characteristics which man will develop when the centres are all properly organised and directed, that the effects of the energy which they receive and distribute into the physical organism have been largely overlooked.  Two factors in connection with the centres and the blood stream therefore warrant repetition and attention:

1. The blood stream is the agent of the glandular system as it, in its turn, is an effect of the centres; the blood stream carries to every part of the body those essential elements of which we know so little and which are responsible for making man psychologically what he is, and thus physically control his equipment.

2. The blood stream is also the life, and carries throughout the organism an aspect of the energy stored up by the centres which is not directly related to the endocrine system; it penetrates, by its radiation, into the blood stream and into all the veins, arteries and capillaries within the area controlled by the centre under consideration.  This permeating energy of life itself, localised and qualified, can be either life-giving or death bestowing.

All diseases—except those due to accidents, wounds resulting in infections, and epidemics—can in the last analysis be [241] traced to some condition of the centres, and therefore to energy running wild, to energy overactive and misdirected or insufficient and lacking altogether, or retained instead of used and transmuted into a higher corresponding centre of energy.  The mystery of the blood still remains to be solved, and will receive increasing attention as time goes on.  The anemias, so prevalent today, are also due to excess of energy.

I can only lay down general indications, state causes, and then leave to the intelligent investigators the task of studying effects, after accepting as a possible hypothesis the suggestions I have made.  A proper study of the ductless glands (and later of the entire glandular structure of the body) and of the blood stream will establish them as the paramount source of physical difficulty; inevitably, though slowly and patiently, the investigators will be forced back upon the centres and will come to include in their calculations a subjective nervous system (the entire subjective system of nadis which underlie the nerves throughout the body), and will demonstrate that these factors are responsible for the major diseases and the many subsidiary diseases and obscure complaints which plague humanity.  The open-minded investigator, however, who starts with an acceptance of the fact of the centres, regarding them as possibly present and eventually capable of demonstration, will make far more rapid progress; diseases will then be brought under control by a system of laya-yoga (the science of the centres) which will be the sublimated form of the laya-yoga of Atlantean days.  Then the advanced student will control the centres by the power of thought.  In the yoga of the future, through meditation and alignment and right practices, the centres will be brought under the direct control of the soul—a very different thing to the control of the centres by the mind and one for which the masses of men are not yet ready.  To this the [242] Science of the Breath will be added—not breathing exercises as now taught, with often such dangerous results, but a breathing rhythm imposed by the mind through which the soul can work, and which will not require anything more than the simple rhythmic physical breath but which will reorganise the subtler bodies and bring the centres into ordered activity, according to ray and point in evolution.

I deal not with the pathology of these diseases.  That has been well considered and dealt with by ordinary medicine.  I seek only in this part of our discussions to emphasise the subjective causes and the objective effects.  The two must be related.  The activity—excessive or inadequate—of the centres is the subjective cause, but remains yet unrecognised except by esotericists.  The causes (the apparent causes which are themselves the result of a true subjective cause) are initiated by the physical man himself, either in this life or an earlier one—a point which we will discuss later.

I have given you in the above much to consider, and as you ponder and think, as you study cases and types, as you watch the characteristics and qualities of those you know and which work out in some form of eventual disease, light will come.

It is only the necessity of indicating the major sources of diseases and not overlooking them, even if the subject is too esoteric for the average intelligence to grasp, that has led me to include our second point:

2. DISEASES ARISING FROM OBSCURE PLANETARY CONDITIONS

It is obviously impossible for me to enlarge upon this subject, for it is not possible to give even a slight indication which could lead, at present, to any process of verification.  What I say will have to be taken on trust and is dependent upon what I believe is recognised as my proved veracity and [243] integrity.  I shall, and can, say but little—only enough to indicate one fruitful cause of disease and one of such great age that it is inherent in the life of the planet itself.  These diseases have no subjective or subtle origin; they are not the result of emotional conditions or of undesirable mental processes.  They are not psychological in nature and therefore cannot be traced to any activity of the centres.  They originate from within the planetary life itself and from its life aspect, having a direct emanatory effect upon the individual atoms of which the dense physical body is composed.  This is a point of importance to remember.  The source of any disease of this nature induced by the planet itself, is due primarily, therefore, to an external impact of certain vibratory emanations coming from the surface of the planet, engendered deep within the planet, and impinging upon the dense physical body.  These radiations play upon the units of energy which, in their totality, constitute the atomic substance of the body; they are unconnected in any way with the blood stream or with the nervous system.  They are consequently impossible to trace or isolate, because man is today so highly organised and integrated that these external impacts immediately evoke a response from the nervous system; the modern physician is at present unable to distinguish between the diseases arising from within the patient's own interior mechanism—tangible or intangible—and those which are in the nature of extraneous irritants, producing immediate effects upon the sensitive organism of man's body.  I am not here referring to infectious or contagious difficulties.

Perhaps one point which I might helpfully emphasise is that it is this obscure planetary effect (obscure to us, at this time) upon the physical body which is the major cause of death where the purely animal form nature is concerned, or the forms of life present in the animal and vegetable [244] kingdoms, and to a lesser and slower degree in the mineral kingdom likewise.  Death, as far as the human being is concerned, is increasingly due to the planned intent and planned withdrawal of the soul, under the pressure of its own formulated intent.  This is true to some degree of all who die, except those who are of so low a grade of intelligence that the soul is practically little more than an overshadowing agency.  Of all who die, highly developed or not, the later stages of dissolution, effective after the conscious withdrawal of the soul (conscious on the part of the soul and becoming increasingly conscious on the part of the dying person), are taken over by this death-bestowing power of the planetary life itself.

In the case of the subhuman kingdoms in nature, death is the direct result of this obscure activity of the planet.  The only idea as to its functioning which I can give you is that the soul of all non-human forms of life is an inherent aspect of the substance of which the planet is itself constructed; this soul can be withdrawn according to cycles, undetermined yet by science but fixed and certain in their working—apart from great planetary accidents or the direct action of the fourth kingdom in nature.  This innate planetary power leads to the death of an animal and—in the larger sweep of evolution—to the extinction of a species; it leads also in time to the death of the forms of the vegetable kingdom and is also one of the causes which leads to the autumnal cycle in the year, producing the "sere, the yellow leaf," the loss of verdure in the grass, and those cyclic manifestations which indicate not alone death, upon a temporary and passing scale, but the complete cessation of vitality within a form.  "Times of perishing" are cyclic manifestations of the "destroyer aspect" within the planet itself.  These are necessarily difficult matters for you to grasp.

[245]

This radiatory activity of the planetary life, cyclic in nature and eternally present, is closely related to the influence of the first ray.  It is that aspect of the Ray of Will or Power which produces the dissolution of the form, and the corruption and dissipation of the bodily vehicle until it has been again completely reabsorbed into the substance of the planet.  A focussed use of the imagination will aid you in discovering how vitally constructive this agency of divinity can be.  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.

With man, death takes on two aspects of activity; the human soul differs from the soul in the non-human forms in that it is itself a full and—on its own plane—an effective expression of the three divine aspects; it determines within certain limits—based on time conditions and spatial necessity—its entrance into human form and its exit therefrom.  Once this exit has been made and the soul has withdrawn the thread of consciousness from the brain and its life thread from the heart, certain life processes still persist; they are now under the influence of the planetary life, however, and to these the physical elemental (the sumtotal of the living atoms of the body nature) is responsive.  I would have you note the occult paradox that death is the result of living processes.  Death, or the death-producing energy emanating [246] from the planet, brings about the complete disruption of the bodily organism and its reduction to its essential elements—chemical and mineral, plus certain inorganic substances which are susceptible of absorption into the soil of the planet itself.  Death, as the result of soul activity produces, therefore, the withdrawing from the body of the "light body and of the subtle bodies," leaving the dense form and its component parts to the benign processes of planetary control.  This dual activity produces death—as we know it from the human angle.

It is necessary here to point out that this ability of the planetary Logos to extract the life essence innate in each atom, produces what might be called deterioration in the structure of the form at any point from whence this life essence is emitted.  This brings about conditions which eventually become apparent visually; thus disease and the "tendency to die" become recognisable.  Therefore, the withering of a flower, death from old age in an animal or a tree, and the many diseases of the human being are all brought about by the pull of the powerful life of the planet, speaking esoterically; this is an aspect of what is called, erroneously, the Law of Gravitation.  This law is—again speaking esoterically—an aspect of the Law of Return, which governs the relation of a unit of life in form to its emanating source.  "Dust thou art; unto dust thou shalt return" is a statement of occult law.  In the curious evolution of words—as any good dictionary will show—the word "dust" comes from two roots, one meaning "wind" and the other "falling to pieces."  The significance of both these meanings will be apparent and the sequence of ideas is arresting.  With the withdrawing of the wind or breath, a falling to pieces eventuates, and this is a true and significant statement.  As the greater life absorbs the lesser life, the disappearance of that which the life has informed takes place; this is true of all forms in the [247] subhuman kingdoms as they respond to the drag or pull of the planetary life; it is true also of the human form as it reacts to the call of the soul to return its life principle to the soul, via the sutratma, and to return as consciousness to its registering source.

In this process and interaction, the form shows the results of being either the receiver of the tide of life from the planet or as the releaser of that life, under cyclic law, to its general reservoir of living energy.  Upon these two reactions depends the health or the disease of the form in various stages and states of response and under the action of other contributing and conditioning factors.  There are three major stages in the life cycle of all subhuman forms, and in the human form likewise when the soul is simply an overshadowing force and not an integrated energy:

1. The stage of inflowing, of vitalisation and of growth.

2. The stage of resistance, wherein the form preserves its own integrity for a temporary cycle, determined by its species and environment, thus resisting successfully any "pull" of the all-enveloping life and any reabsorption of its vitality.

3. The stage of emission, wherein the pull of the greater life of the planet draws out and absorbs the weakening lesser life.  This weakening process is a part of a cyclic law, as the old adage "the days of a man are three score years and ten" hints.  When the average of a general cyclic period is normally run, a point of weakening in the bodily tissue will surely and gradually arise.  Disease or deterioration of some part of the form usually eventuates and death supervenes.  The length of the cycles and their determining cause are a deep mystery and are specifically related to the various kingdoms in nature, and to the species and types and forms within those [248] aggregates of living processes.  These cycles are known as yet only to the Masters and to those initiates to whom is given the task of promoting the evolutionary process within the subhuman kingdoms, and to the devas whose task it is to control the process.

As you well know, the great distinction between the human kingdom in the three worlds and the other kingdoms in nature is the factor of freewill.  In the matter of death, this freewill has, in the last analysis, a definite relation to the soul; the will of the soul is either consciously or unconsciously followed, where the decision of death is concerned, and this idea carries with it many implications which students would do well to ponder.

We have arrived now at another major generalisation as to disease and death in relation to humanity:

LAW VIII

Disease and death are the result of two active forces.  One is the will of the soul which says to its instrument:  I draw the essence back.  Tire other is the magnetic power of the planetary Life which says to the life within the atomic structure:  The hour of reabsorption has arrived.  Return to me.  Thus, under cyclic law, do all forms act.

The reference here is to the normal dissolution of the form at the close of a cycle of reincarnation.  As we well know. this cycle is determined in the case of man by major psychological factors which can hasten or prolong the "hour of the end," but only up to a certain point.  The dictum of the soul and the fiat of the planetary Life are the final determining factors, except in the cases of war, accident, suicide or epidemics.