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3. Some Problems of Psychology - Part 3

a. As a medium for expressing ideas, through the construction of the needed embodying thought forms.

b. As a controlling factor in the life of the personality through the right use of the creative power of thought.

c. As a reflector of the higher worlds of perceptive and intuitive awareness.

Creative thought is not the same as creative feeling and this distinction is often not grasped.  All that can be created in the future will be based upon the expression of ideas.  This will be brought about, first of all, through thought perception, then through thought concretion and finally through thought vitalisation.  It is only later that the created thought form will descend into the world of feeling and there assume the needed sensuous quality which will add colour and beauty to the already constructed thought form.

It is at this point that danger eventuates for the student.  The thought form of an idea has been potently constructed.  It has taken to itself also colour and beauty.  It is, therefore, capable of holding a man both mentally and emotionally.  If [456] he has no sense of balance, no sense of proportion and no sense of humour, the thought form can become so potent that he finds he is an avowed devotee, unable to retreat from his position.  He can see nothing and believe nothing and work for nothing except that embodied idea which is so powerfully holding him a captive.  Such people are the violent partisans in any group, in any church, order or government.  They are frequently sadistic in temperament and are the adherents of cults and sciences; they are willing to sacrifice or to damage anyone who seems to them inimical to their fixed idea of what is right and true.  The men who engineered the Spanish Inquisition and those who were responsible for the outrages in the times of the Covenanters are samples of the worst forms of this line of thought and development.

People tainted with this psychological trouble of blind adherence to ideas and of personality devotions are found in every organisation, every church, religion, in political and scientific bodies and also in every esoteric and occult organisation.  They are psychologically unsound and the trouble from which they suffer is practically contagious.  They are a menace, just as smallpox is a menace.  This type of difficulty is not often regarded as constituting a psychological problem until the time comes when the man is so far afflicted that he becomes a group problem, or is regarded as peculiar or unbalanced.  It is, nevertheless, definitely a psychological disorder of a most definite kind, requiring careful handling.  It is also peculiarly difficult to handle, as the early stages are apparently wholesome and sound.  To work with some group or with some teacher is often regarded as a definite means of psychological salvation, for it tends to extrovert the mystic and thus give proper release for the recognised inflowing energy.  As long as it does this and nothing else, there is no [457] real danger, but the moment a man's vision of other and greater possibilities becomes dim or begins to fade out, the moment a body of doctrines or a school of thought or an exponent of any theory engrosses his complete attention to the exclusion of all other points of view or possibilities, that moment the seeds of psychological trouble can be duly noted and the man is in danger.

The moment also that the entire mental powers of which a man is capable are employed in only one direction, such as, for instance, the achievement of business success or of financial dominance, that moment the man becomes a psychological problem.

This is peculiarly one of the problems of integration, for it is due to the stimulation of the mind, as it endeavours to assume control of the personality.  A sense of power supervenes.  Success feeds the stimulation even if it is only the doubtful success of attracting the attention of some teacher who is idealised or adored, or the pursuit of some transaction in the money market which is successfully carried through.

The time is coming when the whole problem of personality will be much better understood and, when this happens, any undue emphasis upon profession, calling, ideology or thought will be regarded as an undesirable symptom, and an effort will then be made to produce two things: a rounded out unfoldment and a conscious fusion with the soul and with the group.

I have no intention of dealing with problems of insanity.  These exist and are of constant occurrence, and we esoterically divide them into three divisions:

1. Those which are due entirely to—

a. Disease of the brain matter.

b. The deterioration of the brain cells.

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c. Abnormal condition within the brain area, such as tumours, abscesses or growths.

d. Structural defects in the head.

2. Those which are due to the fact that the ego or soul is not present.

In these cases, there is to be found a situation wherein:

a. The true owner of the body is absent.  In this case the life thread will be anchored in the heart but the consciousness thread will not be anchored in the head.  It will be withdrawn, and, therefore, the soul remains unaware of the form.  In these cases you have idiocy, or simply a very lowgrade human animal.

b. Certain cases of possession or obsession will be found, wherein the life thread is attached to the original owner of the body but the consciousness thread is that of another person, or identity—discarnate and most anxious for physical plane expression.  In the average case, where the true owner of the body is not present, the situation is of no real moment, and sometimes serves a useful purpose, for it enables the obsessing entity to continue in possession.  I refer to those cases wherein there is a true withdrawal of the incarnating ego and, therefore, a perfectly empty house.  These are the rare cases, and present an unresented occupancy, whereas in the average case of possession or obsession there is a dual personality problem and even of several personalities.  Conflict then ensues and many distressing conditions result—distressing from the point of view of the true owner of the body.  The cases to which I am here referring permit of no cure as there is no ego to call into activity [459] by strengthening the will or the physical condition of the human being when ejecting intruders.  In many cases of possession cure is possible but in those to which I here refer, cure is not possible.

3. Those cases which are due to the fact that the astral body is of such a nature that it is uncontrollable and the man is the defeated victim of his own rampant desire of some kind or another and yet is such an intellectual potency that he can create a dominating thought form, embodying that desire.  These "astral maniacs" are the most difficult and quite the saddest types to handle because mentally there is little that is wrong with them.  The mind, however, cannot control and is definitely relegated to the background; it remains useless and inert whilst the man expresses (with violence or subtlety as the case may be) some basic desire.  It may be the desire to kill, or desire to have abnormal sexual experience, or even the desire to be ever on the move and thus constantly active.  These sound fairly simple and usual types but I am not here considering their normal expression but something which cannot be controlled and for which there is no remedy but the protection of the man from himself and his own actions.

These three forms of insanity, being incurable, will not permit of psychological help.  All that can be done is the amelioration of the condition, the providing of adequate care of the patient and the protection of society until death shall bring to an end this interlude in the life of the soul.  It is interesting to remember that these conditions are related far more to the karma of the parents or of those who have charge of the case than to the patient himself.  In many of these cases, there is [460] no person present within the form at all, but only an animated living body, informed by the animal soul but not by a human soul.

We are primarily engaged with those problems which arise in the mental nature of man and from his power to create in mental substance.  There is one aspect of this difficulty to which I have not yet referred, and that is the potency of thought of such a case, and the dynamic stimulation of the mind which we are considering, to evoke response from the desire body and thus swing the entire lower nature into unison with the recognised mental urge and the dominant mental demand.  This, when strong enough, may work out on the physical plane as powerful action and even violent action, and may lead a man into much trouble, into conflict with organised society, thus making him anti-social and at variance with the forces of law and order.

These people fall into three groups and it would be wise for students of psychology to study these types with care, for there is going to be an increasing number of them, because humanity is shifting its focus of attention more and more on to the mental plane:

1. Those who remain mentally introverted, and profoundly and deeply pre-occupied with their self-created thought forms and with their created world of thought, centered around the one dynamic thought form they have built.  These people work always towards a crisis and it is interesting to note that this crisis may be interpreted by the world—

a. As the revelation of a genius, such as emerges when some great scientist unfolds to us the conclusions of his focussed attention and period of thought.

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b. As the effort of a man to express himself along some creative line.

c. As the violent and often dangerous expressions of frustration in which the man attempts to release the result of his inner brooding along the chosen line.

These all vary in expression, because of the original equipment with which the man began his life of thought upon the mental plane.  In the first case, you have genius; in the other (if paralleled by a rich emotional nature) you will have some creative imaginative production, and in the third case, you will have what will be regarded by the world as insanity, curable in time and not permanent in its effects, provided some form of creative imaginative emotional release is provided.  This is often the struggle point of the 2nd, the 4th and the 6th ray personality.

2. Those who become amazingly self-conscious and aware of themselves as centres of thought.  They are obsessed with their own wisdom, their power and their creative capacity.  They pass rapidly into a state of complete isolation or separateness.  This can lead to acute megalomania, to an intense pre-occupation with and an admiring satisfaction with the self, the lower self, the personality.  The emotional, feeling, desire nature is utterly under the control of the dynamic self-centred point of thought which is all of which the man is aware at this time.  Consequently, the brain and all the physical plane activities are equally controlled and directed towards the planned aggrandisement of the man.  This condition is found in varying degrees, according to the point in evolution and the ray type, and—in the early stages—it is curable.  If it is persisted in, however, it makes the man eventually untouchable, for he becomes entrenched in a [462] rampart of his own thought forms concerning himself and his activities.  When curable, the effort should be made to decentralise the subject by the evocation of another and higher interest, by the development of the social consciousness and—if possible—by contact with the soul.  This condition is often the struggle point of the first and fifth ray personalities.

3. Those who become strongly extroverted by the desire to impose the conclusions they have reached (through their one-pointed mental focus) upon their fellow men.  This constitutes quite often the crux of the difficulty for the third and sixth ray people.  These people will be found ranging in consciousness all the way from the well-meaning theologian and dogmatic doctrinaire, found in practically all schools of thought, to the fanatic who makes life a burden to all around him as he seeks to impose his views upon them, and the maniac who becomes so obsessed with his vision that, for the protection of society, he must be locked away.

It will be obvious to you, therefore, how promising the outlook can be if educators and psychologists (particularly those who specialise in the training of young people) would teach them the needed care in the balancing of values, in the vision of the whole, and in the nature of the contribution which the many aspects and attitudes make to the whole.  This is of profound usefulness at the time of adolescence when so many difficult adjustments require to be made.  It is too late to do this usually when a person is of adult years and has for a long period of time constructed his thought forms and brooded over them until he is so identified with them that he has really no independent existence.  The shattering of such a thought form or of a group of thought forms which are holding any [463] man in bondage can result in such serious conditions that suicide, prolonged illness or a life rendered futile through frustration can eventuate.

Only two things can really help:  First, the steady, loving presentation of a wider vision, which must be held before the man's eyes by some one who is so inclusive that understanding is the keynote of his life, or, secondly, by the action of a man's own soul.  The first method takes much time and patience.  The second method may be instantaneous in its effects, as in conversion, or it may be a gradual breaking down of the walls of thought by means of which a man has separated himself off from the rest of the world and from his fellowmen.  The trumpets of the Lord, the soul, can sound forth and cause the walls of Jericho to fall.  This task of evoking soul action of a dynamic character on behalf of an imprisoned personality, impregnably surrounded by a wall of mental matter, will constitute a part of the science of psychology which the future will see developed.

Problems arising from meditation, and its result:  Illumination.

I would like first of all to point out that when I use the word meditation in this place I am using it in only one of its connotations.  The intense mental focussing, producing undue mental emphasis, wrong attitudes and anti-social living, is also a form of meditation, but it is meditation carried forward entirely within the periphery of the small area of a particular man's mind.  This is a statement of fact and of importance.  This restricts him and leaves out all contact with other areas of mental perception and induces an intense one-pointed mental stimulation of a particularly powerful kind, and which has no outlet except towards the brain, via the desire nature.  The meditation to which we shall refer in this part of our study relates to a mental focussing and attitude which attempts to [464] relate itself to that which lies beyond the individual's mental world.  It is part of an effort to put him in touch with a world of being and phenomena which lie beyond.  I am phrasing this in this manner so as to convey the ideas of expansion, of inclusion, and of enlightenment.  Such expansions and attitude should not render a man anti-social or incarcerate him in a prison of his own making.  They should make him a citizen of the world; they should induce in him a desire to blend and fuse with his fellowmen; they should awaken him to the higher issues and realities; they should pour light into the dark places of his life and into that of humanity as a whole.  The problems which arise as a result of illumination are practically the reverse of those just considered.  Nevertheless, they in their turn constitute real problems and, because the intelligent people of the world are learning to meditate today on a large scale they must be faced.  Many things are inducing this turning towards meditation.  Sometimes it is the force of economic circumstances which forces a man to concentrate, and concentration is one of the first steps in the meditation process; sometimes it is brought about through the urge to creative work which leads a man in pursuit of some theme or subject for creative presentation.  Whether men are interested only academically in the power of thought, or whether, through a touch of vision, they become students of true meditation (either mystical or occult) the fact remains that serious problems arise, dangerous conditions appear, and the lower nature evidences in every case the need for adaptation to the higher impulses or demands, or suffers consequences of a difficult nature if it fails to do so.  The necessary adjustments must be made or psychological, psychopathic, and nervous difficulties will inevitably supervene.

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Again, let me remind you that the reason for this is that the man sees and knows and realises more than he is able to [465] do simply as a personality, functioning in the three worlds, and so oblivious in any true sense to the world of soul activity.  He has "let in" energies which are stronger than the forces of which he is usually aware.  They are intrinsically strong, though not yet apparently the stronger, owing to the well-established habits and the ancient rhythms of the personality forces with which the soul energy is brought into conflict.  This necessarily leads to strain and difficulty, and unless there is a proper understanding of this battle, dire results may be produced, and with these the trained psychologist must be prepared to deal.

With the type and nature of the concentration, with the theme of the meditation, I will not deal, for I am considering here only results and not the methods for producing them.  Suffice it to say, that the man's efforts in meditation have opened a door through which he can pass at will (and eventually with facility) into a new world of phenomena, of directed activity, and of different ideals.  He has unlatched a window through which light can pour in, revealing that which is, and always has been, existent within the consciousness of man, and throwing illumination into the dark places of his life; into other lives; and into the environment in which he moves.  He has released within himself a world of sound and of impressions which are at first so new and so different that he does not know what to make of them.  His situation becomes one requiring much care and balanced adjustment.

It will be obvious to you that if there is a good mental equipment and a sound educational training, that there will be a balancing sense of proportion, an interpretative capacity, patience to wait till right understanding can be developed, and a happy sense of humour.  Where, however, these are not present, there will be (according to the type and the [466] sense of vision) bewilderment, a failure to comprehend what is happening, undue emphasis upon personality reactions and phenomena, pride in achievement, a tremendous sense of inferiority, too much speech, a running hither and thither for explanation, comfort, assurance, and a sense of comradeship, or perhaps a complete breakdown of the mental forces, or the disruption of the brain cells through the strain to which they have been subjected.

Exhilaration is also sometimes found as a result of the contact with a new world, and strong mental stimulation.  Depression is as frequently a result, based upon a sensed incapacity to measure up to the realised opportunity.  The man sees and knows too much.  He can no longer be satisfied with the old measure of living, with the old satisfactions, and with the old idealisms.  He has touched and now longs for the larger measures, for the new and vibrant ideas, and for the broader vision.  The way of life of the soul has gripped and attracts him.  But his nature, his environment, his equipment and his opportunities appear somehow to frustrate him consistently, and he feels he cannot march forward into this new and wonderful world.  He feels the need to temporise and to live in the same state of mind as heretofore, or so he thinks, and so he decides.

These expansions which he has undergone as the result of successful meditation need not be along the line of recognised religious effort, or produced by so-called occult revelation.  They may come to him along the line of a man's chosen life activity, for there is no life activity, no vocational calling, no mental occupation and no condition which cannot provide the key to the unlocking of the door into the desired wider world, or serve to lead a man to the mountain top from which the wider horizon can be seen, and the larger vision grasped.  A man must learn to recognise that his chosen [467] school of thought, his peculiar vocation, his particular calling in life and his personal trend are only part of a greater whole, and his problem is to integrate consciously his small life activity into the world activity.

It is this we call illumination for lack of a better word.  All knowledge is a form of light, for it throws light into areas of awareness of which we have hitherto been unconscious.  All wisdom is a form of light, for it reveals to us the world of meaning which lies behind the outer form.  All understanding is an evocation of light, for it causes us to become aware of, or conscious of, the causes which are producing the outer forms which surround us (including our own) and which condition the world of meaning of which they are the expression.  But when this fact is first seen, grasped, and when the initial revelation has come, when the place of the part in relation to the whole is sensed, and when the world which includes our little world is first contacted, there is always a moment of crisis and a period of danger.  Then, as familiarity grows and our feet have wandered in and out of the door we have opened, and we have accustomed ourselves to the light which the unshuttered window has released into our little world of daily living, other psychological dangers eventuate.  We are in danger of thinking that what we have seen is all there is to see, and thus—on a higher turn of the spiral and in a larger sense—we repeat the dangers (earlier considered) of undue emphasis, of wrong focus, of narrow minded belief, and idee fixe.  We become obsessed with the idea of the soul; we forget its need of a vehicle of expression; we begin to live in an abstracted detached world of being and of feeling, and we fail to keep in contact with the factual life of physical plane expression.  We thus repeat—again on a higher turn of the spiral—the condition we considered in which the soul or ego was not present, [468] reversing the condition so that there is no form life really present in the focussed consciousness of the man.  There is only the world of souls and a desire for creative activity.  The handling of daily living on the physical plane drops below the threshold of consciousness, and the man becomes a vague, impractical, visionary mystic.  These states of mind are dangerous, if they are permitted to exist.

There are, however, certain phases of this mental trouble which are induced by the illumination of the mind through meditation with which it might be profitable to deal.  I can do so only cursorily, as the time is brief and I seek to indicate and not to elucidate in detail.  I can only point out to you the general lines of difficulty and the methods whereby a specific difficulty or problem can be met or solved.  In the handling of many of these cases, ordinary common sense is of value, and the effort to impress upon the patient that his troubles, though small in the beginning, can open the door to serious situations.  There are three of these upon which I will touch.

The first of these is the over-activity of the mind in quite a number of cases, which—sometimes with suddenness and sometimes—slowly grasps and sees too much.  It becomes aware of too much knowledge.  This produces irregularities in the organisation of the man's life, and interjects so much variation, so much fluidity and so much restlessness that he is forever in a seething turmoil.  Throughout it all, he is conscious of himself as the one at the centre, and interprets all the mental activity and contacts, all the fluidity, the constant analysis to which he is prone, and the ceaseless making of plans as indicative not only of mental ability but of real spiritual insight and wisdom.  This produces difficult situations for all associated with him, and continues frequently over a long period of time.  For as long as this condition lasts, there [469] is little that anyone can do.  The constant "permutations of the chitta or mind stuff" and the perpetual "thought form making activity of the mental body" engrosses the man so constantly that nothing else registers in his consciousness.  Vast plans, widespread schemes, correlations and correspondences, plus the attempt to impose them on others and to invoke their aid (with consequent criticism if this aid is withheld) for the carrying out of the mass of unrelated ideas occupy him.  There is no real effort made to carry these plans and ideas through to completion, for them all remain tentative on the mental plane, in their original vague state.  The effort to see more and grasp more and apprehend more of the detail and the inter-relation engrosses all the attention, and there is no energy left to carry even one of them down on to the plane of desire, and thus take the first steps towards the physical materialisation of the visioned plan.  If this state of mind continues for too long a period, it produces mental strain, nervous breakdown and sometimes permanent difficulty.  The cure, however, is simple.

Let the man thus afflicted realise the futility of his mental life as he is living it.  Then, choosing one of the many possible methods of work and one of the many channels of service whereby the sensed plan can be developed, let him force himself to bring it through into physical manifestation, letting all other possibilities drop.  In this way, he can begin again to regulate and control his mind and to take his place among those who are accomplishing something—no matter how small the contribution may be.  He becomes then constructive.

I have illustrated this type of difficulty in terms of the aspirant who, in meditation, comes into touch with the influences of the Hierarchy, and thus is in a position to tap the stream of thought forms created by Them and by Their [470] disciples.  But the same type of difficulty will be found among all those who (through discovery of the mental plane and the use of focussed attention) penetrate into that larger world of ideas which are just ready to precipitate on to the concrete levels of mental substance.  This accounts for the futility and the apparent arid fruitlessness of many quite intelligent people.  They are occupied with so many possibilities that they end by achieving nothing.  One plan carried through, one line of thought developed to its concrete conclusion, one mental process unfolded and presented in consciousness will save the situation, and bring creative usefulness into otherwise negative and futile lives.  I use the word "negative" in this place to indicate a negativity in the achievement of results.  Such a man is, it is needless to say, exceedingly positive in the implications which he attaches to his so-called mental conceptions and ideas as to how it all should be worked out, and is a constant source of dismay to those around him.  His friends or co-workers are the butt of his ceaseless criticism, because they do not work out the plan as he believes it should be worked out, or fail to appreciate the flood of ideas with which he is overwhelmed.  It should be realised that the man is suffering from a sort of mental fever, with its accompaniments of hallucination, over-activity, and mental irritability.  The cure, as I said above, lies in the patient's own hands.  It involves earnest application to one chosen plan to prove its effectiveness, using common sense and ordinary good judgment.  The light that can be contacted in meditation has revealed a level of mental phenomena and of thought forms with which the man is unaccustomed to deal.  Its manifestation and implications and possibilities impress him as so vast that he argues they must be divine and, therefore, essential.  Because he is still in the dramatic centre of his own consciousness and still—even if unconsciously—full of [471] mental pride and spiritual ambition, he feels he has great things to do, and that everybody he knows must aid him in doing it, or else reckon themselves as failures.

The second is the revelation of the maya of the senses.  This maya is a generic term covering three aspects of the phenomenal life, of the three worlds or the three major results of force activity.  These serve to bewilder the man and make difficult the lot of the earnest aspirant.  It might be of value if I here defined for you the three terms which are applied to these three phenomenal effects:  Illusion, Glamour and Maya.

These three phrases have for long been bandied about among so-called occultists and esotericists.  They stand for the same general concept or the differentiation of that concept.  Speaking generally, the interpretations have been as follows and they are only partial interpretations, being almost in the nature of distortions of the real truth, owing to the limitations of the human consciousness.

Glamour has oft been regarded as a curious attempt of what are called the "black forces" to deceive and hoodwink well-meaning aspirants.  Many fine people are almost flattered when they are "up against" some aspect of glamour, feeling that their demonstration of discipline has been so good that the black forces are interested sufficiently to attempt to hinder their fine work by submerging them in clouds of glamour.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  That idea is itself a part of the glamour of the present time, and has its root in human pride and satisfaction.

Maya is oft regarded as being of the same nature as the concept promulgated by the Christian Scientist that there is no such thing as matter.  We are asked to regard the entire world phenomena as maya and to believe that its existence is simply an error of mortal mind, and a form of auto-suggestion [472] or self-hypnotism.  Through this induced belief, we force ourselves into a state of mind which recognises that the tangible and the objective are only figments of mans imaginative mind.  This, in its turn, is likewise a travesty of reality.

lllusion is regarded in rather the same way, only (as we define it) we lay the emphasis upon the finiteness of man's mind.  The world of phenomena is not denied, but we regard the mind as misinterpreting it and as refusing to see it as it is in reality.  We consider this misinterpretation as constituting the Great Illusion.

I would point out here that (generally speaking) these three expressions are three aspects of a universal condition that is the result of the activity—in time and space—of the human mind.

The Problem of Illusion lies in the fact that it is a soul activity, and is the result of the mind aspect of all the souls in manifestation.  It is the soul which is submerged in the illusion, and the soul that fails to see with clarity until such time as it has learnt to pour the light of the soul through into the mind and the brain.

The Problem of Glamour is found when the mental illusion is intensified by desire.  What the theosophist calls "Kamamanas" produces glamour.  It is illusion on the astral plane.

The Problem of Maya is really the same as above, plus the intense activity produced when both glamour and illusion are realised on etheric levels.  It is that vital, unthinking, emotional mess (yes, that is the word I seek to use) in which the majority of human beings seem always to live.  Therefore:

1. Illusion is primarily of a mental quality and is characteristic of the attitude of mind of those people who are more intellectual than emotional.  They have outgrown glamour as usually understood.  It is the misunderstanding [473] of ideas and thought forms of which they are guilty, and of misinterpretations.

2. Glamour is astral in character, and is far more potent at this time than illusion, owing to the enormous majority of people who function astrally always.

3. Maya is vital in character and is a quality of force.  It is essentially the energy of the human being as it swings into activity through the subjective influence of mental illusion or astral glamour or of both in combination.

The vastness of the subject is overwhelming, and it takes time for the aspirant to learn the rules whereby he can find his way out of the worlds of glamour.  I seek here only to deal with the theme as it produces effects in the life of the man who has evoked a measure of light within himself.  This has served to reveal the three worlds of lower force to him.  This revelation, in the early stages, oft deceives him and he becomes the victim of that which has been revealed.  It might justly be remarked that all human beings are the victims of the Great Illusion and of its various correlations and aspects.  In the cases which we are here considering, the difference lies in the fact that—

1. The man is definitely and consciously aware of himself.

2. He knows also that he has released a measure of the higher light.

3. That which is revealed to him is interpreted by him in terms of spiritual phenomena instead of in terms of psychical phenomena.  He regards it all as wonderful, revealing, true and desirable.

Because he has achieved integration and is able to function in the mind nature; because his orientation is good and right; because he is on the Path of Probation; and because he knows himself to be an aspirant and even a disciple, that which the [474] lights reveals upon the astral plane, for instance, is naturally of a very high order.  It is, consequently, most deceptive in its effects.  Vast cosmic schemes which have emerged from the minds of thinkers in the past and which have succeeded in reaching the astral plane; the ancient forms embodying the "wish life" and the imaginary conceptions of the race and which are of such potency that they have persisted in the desire life of many; the symbolic forms employed down the ages in the attempt to materialise certain realities; the tentative and experimental forms of great and good endeavours which have been or are at this time being worked out, plus the life activity of the astral plane itself, the dream world of the planet—all this tends to preoccupy him and to lead him into danger and error.  It retards his progress on the way and sidetracks his energies and attention.

It should be remembered that this constitutes the line of least resistance for the man because of the potency of the astral body in this world period.  The result of all this is that the powers and faculties of the mind become over developed and what are called the "lower siddhis" (the lower psychic powers) begin to assert control.  The man is, in reality, reverting to states of awareness and to conditions of functioning which were normal and right in Atlantean times, but undesirable and unnecessary in our day.  He is recovering—through stimulation—ancient habits of psychic awareness which should lie normally below the threshold of consciousness.

The light has revealed this world of phenomena to him; he deems it desirable and interprets its activities as a wonderful spiritual development within himself.  This stimulation by the mind (itself stimulated in meditation) as it turns downward on to the astral plane, evokes the renewed and the reawakened active reaction from the lower powers.  It is as [475] definitely a recovery and as definitely undesirable as are some of the Hatha-yoga practices in India which enable the yogin to recover the conscious control of his bodily functions.  This conscious control was a distinguishing mark of the early Lemurian races but for ages the activity of the body-organs has lain, most desirably and safely, below the threshold of consciousness, and the body performs its functions automatically and unconsciously, except in the case of disease or maladjustment of some kind.  It is not intended that the race (when the work of this present cycle is accomplished) should function consciously in forgotten areas of awareness, as did the Lemurian or the Atlantean races.  It is intended that men should function as Caucasians, though no really satisfactory term has yet been coined to distinguish the race which is developing under the impact of our occidental civilization.  I am referring to states of consciousness and realms of awareness which are the prerogative of all races and peoples at certain stages of development, and I only use the three, scientific, racial nomenclatures as symbols of these stages:

 

The Lemurian consciousness

physical.

The Atlantean consciousness

astral, emotional, sensuous.

The Caucasian or Aryan

mental or intellectual.

 

This must never be forgotten.

The man who is suffering from the revelations of light in the three worlds (particularly in the astral world) is, therefore, really doing two things:

1. He is remaining in a relatively static condition as far as his higher progress is concerned; he is looking on at the bewildering kaleidoscope of the astral plane with interest and attention.  He may not be active on the plane himself or consciously identify himself with it, but, mentally and emotionally, it is satisfying temporarily his [476] interest, holding his attention and arousing his curiosity, even if he remains, at the same time, critical.  He is, therefore, wasting time and surrounding himself continuously with new layers of thought forms—the result of his thought about what he is seeing or hearing.  This is dangerous and should be brought to an end.  Intelligent interest in the world of glamour and illusion is required of all wise aspirants and disciples so that they may release themselves from its thralldom, for otherwise it will never be understood and controlled.  But a prolonged application to its life and complete engrossment in its phenomena is dangerous and imprisoning.

2. The interest evoked in these undesirable cases is such that the man—

a. Becomes completely glamoured by it.

b. Descends (speaking symbolically) to its level.

c. Reacts sensitively to its phenomena, and often with pleasure and delight.

d. Invokes the ancient faculties of clairvoyance and clairaudience.

e. Becomes a lower psychic and accepts all that the lower psychic powers reveal.

I would like to pause here and point out two things which should be borne in mind:

First, that many people are today living in the Atlantean state of awareness, in the Atlantean consciousness and for them the expression of these lower psychic powers is normal, though undesirable.  For the man who is a mental type or who is overcoming gradually the psychic nature, these powers are abnormal (or should I say subnormal?) and most undesirable. In this discussion with which we are now engaged, I am not dealing with the man with the Atlantean consciousness but [477] with the modern aspirant.  For him to develop the previous racial consciousness and to revert to the lower type of development (which should have been left far behind) is dangerous and retarding.  It is a form of atavistic expression.

Secondly:  that when a man is firmly polarised upon the mental plane, when he has achieved some measure of contact with the soul, and when his entire orientation is towards the world of spiritual realities and his life is one of discipline and service, then, at times, and when necessary, he can at will call into use these lower psychic powers in the service of the Plan and in order to do some special work upon the astral plane.  But this is a case where the greater consciousness includes normally the lesser consciousness.  This is however seldom done even by the adepts, for the powers of the soul—spiritual perception, telepathic sensitivity and psychometrical facility—are usually adequate to the demand and the need to be met.  I interject these remarks, as there are some enlightened men who use these powers, but it is always along the line of some specific service to the Hierarchy and humanity, and not along any line connected with the individual.

When a man has wandered into the bypaths of the astral plane, and has left the secure place of mental poise and intellectual altitude (again I am speaking symbolically) when he has succumbed to glamour and illusion (usually being quite sincerely deceived and well-intentioned) and when he has unfolded in himself—through misapplied stimulation and experiment—old habits of contact, such as clairvoyance and clairaudience, what can he do, or what shall be done to him to bring about right conditions?

Many of these people find their way into the hands of psychologists and psychiatrists; many are to be found today in our sanitariums and asylums, placed there because they "saw things" or heard voices, or dreamed dreams, and because [478] they had unfitted themselves for normal living.  They appear to be a danger, both to themselves and to others.  They constitute a problem and a difficulty.  The ancient habits must be dropped, but because of their antiquity they are very powerful, and to drop them is easier said than done.  The practices whereby the lower psychic powers have been developed must be given up.  If these faculties of response to an environing astral world appear to have been developed with no difficulty and to be natural to the man, they should nevertheless be discontinued and the avenues of approach to this lower world of phenomena should be closed.  If human beings make so poor a success of living consciously on the physical plane and in handling the phenomena there contacted, and if the life of mental attention and mental living is still so difficult to the vast majority, why complicate the problem by trying to live in a world of phenomena which is admittedly the most powerful at this time?

The task of release from the thralldom of astral sensitivity is unique and stupendous.  The details of the method whereby it can be done are too numerous for us to consider them here.  But certain words hold the keynotes of release and three basic suggestions will aid the psychologist in dealing with these types of difficulty.  The words which hold the secret are:

1. Instruction.

2. Focus of attention.

3. Occupation.

The nature of the human response apparatus in the three worlds should be carefully explained to the man who is in difficulty and the distinction between the Lemurian, the Atlantean and the Caucasian consciousness should be made clear to him, if possible.  His pride of place upon the ladder of evolution [479] should be evoked at this point again if possible, and it will prove a constructive evocation.  The effort to focus his attention should be progressively and sympathetically attempted.  According to his type so will the effort be directed to focussing his attention and directing his interest upon the physical plane or the mental plane, thus directing it away from the intermediate plane.  Definite physical or mental occupation (again arranged according to type) should be arranged and the man forced to occupy himself in some chosen manner.

The three suggestions I would make to the psychologist or the mental healer are:

1. Study with care the nature of the rays which presumably constitute the man's nature and provide the forces and energies which make him what he is.  I have worded this with care.

2. Determine which of the vehicles of contact is the most powerful, best organised and well developed.  It will indicate through which forms the life expression in this particular incarnation is flowing.

3. Investigate the physical condition with care, and where it needs attention see that due care is given.  At the same time, take note of the glandular equipment, studying it from the standpoint of its relation to the seven major centres in the body.  In many cases, the glands indicate the condition of the centres.  Thus an understanding of the force system of the patient will take place.

The Science of the Centres is yet in its infancy, as is the Science of the Rays and the Science of Astrology.  But much is being learned and developed along these three lines and when the present barriers are down and true scientific investigation is instituted along these lines, a new era will begin for the human being.  These three sciences will constitute the [480] three major departments of the Science of Psychology in the New Age, plus the contributions of modern psychology and the insight into the nature of man (particularly the physical nature) which it has so wonderfully developed.

Problems of guidance, dreams, and depression.

I am dealing with these problems because of their exceeding prevalence at this time, due to the activities of various religiously or psychologically motivated groups, to the trend of certain schools, dedicated to the spread of religion or of psychology, and to the present world situation which has plunged so many sensitive people into a state of lowered spiritual vitality, accompanied usually by lowered physical vitality.  This condition is widespread and based on wrong economic conditions.  I am dealing with these before we take up our fourth point, The Diseases and Problems of Mystics, as they form an intermediate group, including many intelligent and well-intentioned citizens.

The Problem of Guidance is a peculiarly difficult one to handle, for it is based on an innate instinctive recognition of the fact of God and of God's Plan.  This inherent, instinctual, spiritual reaction is being exploited today by many well meaning reformers who have, however, given no real attention to the subject, or to the phenomena of the outer response to a subjective urge.  They are, in the majority of cases, blind leaders of the blind.  We might define the problem of guidance as the problem of the method whereby a man, through processes of auto-suggestion, throws himself into a state of negativity and (whilst in that state) becomes aware of inclinations, urges, voices, clearly impressed commands, revelations of courses of conduct which should be pursued or of careers which should be followed, plus a general indication [481] of lines of activity which "God" is proposing to the attentive, negative, receptive subject.  In this state of almost sublimated awareness to the insistent demands of the subjective realms of being or of thought, the man is swept into a current of activity which may succeed in permanently orienting his life (often quite harmlessly and sometimes most desirably) or which may have only a temporary effect, once the urge of response has exhausted itself.  But in any case, the source of the direction and the origin of the guidance is vaguely called "God", is regarded as divine, is spoken of as the voice of the "Christ within", or as spiritual direction.  Many analogous terms are used, according to the school of thought to which the man may belong, or which has succeeded in attracting his attention.

We shall see this tendency towards subjective guidance of some kind or another developing increasingly as humanity becomes more subjectively oriented, more definitely aware of the realms of inner being, and more inclined towards the world of meaning.  It is for this reason that I desire to make a relatively careful analysis of the possible sources of guidance so that at least men may know that the whole subject is vaster and more complicated than they had thought, and that it would be the part of wisdom to ascertain the origin of the guidance vouchsafed, and so know, with greater definiteness, the direction in which they were headed.  Forget not that the blind, unreasoning subjecting of oneself to guidance (as at present practiced) renders a man eventually a negative impressionable automaton.  Should this become universally prevalent and the present methods become established habits, the race would forfeit its most divine possession, i.e., free will.  There is no immediate fear of this, however, if the intelligent men and women of the world think this problem out.  Also there are too many egos of advanced nature coming into incarnation [482] at this time to permit the danger to grow out of all bounds, and there are too many disciples in the world today whose voices are ringing loudly and clearly along the lines of free choice, and the intelligent comprehension of God's plan.

It might be of profit if I indicated anew the various schools of thought who feature "guidance" or whose methods and doctrines tend to the development of an inner attentive ear, and yet who fail to teach the distinctiveness of the sources of guidance, or to differentiate between the various sounds, voices and so-called inspired indications which that attentive ear may be trained to register.