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SECTION ONE - THE NATURE OF GLAMOUR - Part 2

But the mind is still self-centred, the contact feeble and the alignment uncertain. The ideas are therefore only dimly sensed. But the uniqueness of the experience in the realised content of the mind of the disciple leads him deep into the realm of illusion. The idea, or ideas, which he has contacted are, if he could realise, only a fragment of a far greater Whole. That which he brings to their interpretation is inadequate. The idea which has emerged in his consciousness, through the partial awakening of his intuition, will be distorted in its descent to his brain consciousness in several ways. That which he brings to the materialising of the idea and to its transformation into a practical working scheme is as yet wholly unsuitable. The equipment does not suffice for accuracy. The ways in which this distortion and this stepping down of the idea take place might be outlined for you as follows:—The passage of an idea from the plane of the intuition to the brain.

I. The idea is seen by the mind, "held steady in the light of the soul."

II. It descends to the higher levels of the mental plane and there clothes itself with the substance of those levels. It remains still an abstraction, from the angle of the lower mind. This point should be carefully noted by the would-be intuitive.

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III. The soul throws its light upward and outward, and the idea, nebulous and faint, emerges into the consciousness of the man. It stands revealed, much as an object stands revealed when the bright beam of a powerful searchlight is thrown upon it. The mind, endeavouring to remain in constant steady conscious contact with the soul, seeing into the higher world through the medium of the "soul's wide-opened eye," registers the idea with increasing clarity.

IV. The idea, revealed, becomes then an ideal to the attentive mind and eventually something to be desired and materialised. The thoughtform-making faculty of the mind then comes into play; the "mind-stuff" becomes actuated by the energy of the idea, vitalised by the recognition of the soul, and the idea then takes its first real step towards embodiment. An ideal is only an embodied idea.

These are the first steps towards materialisation. Embodiment becomes possible. Thus illusion is produced.

V. Distortion now sets in. This is brought about by various causes. These might be enumerated as follows:

1. The ray type of the ego colours the man's interpretation of the idea. It colours the emerging thoughtform. Symbolically speaking, the pure light is changed into coloured light. The idea is then "clothed with colour, and thereby the first veil descends."

2. The point in evolution which the man has reached has also its effect, plus the quality of the [57] integration existing between the three aspects of the personality, and the alignment established between soul-mind-brain. This, being necessarily imperfect, produces indefiniteness of outline and consequently of the final form. Therefore we have:

a. Imperfect integration of the personality.

b. Indefiniteness of the proposed thoughtform.

c. The wrong material consequently attracted for the building of the thoughtform.

d. A shifting focus of attention, owing to the dimness of the seen ideal.

e. The rapport of the mind, with the sensed idea, is not stable.

3. The quality of the development of the mental body of the disciple produces the next "veiling" of the idea, as it is called. The idea has become changed through the ray colouring of the soul, and now a still more distorting change is brought about by the ray type of the mental body itself, which may be, and usually is, different to that of the soul ray.

These are the second steps towards materialisation. The form of the embodiment is qualified. Thus illusion is produced.

VI. This illusion demonstrates in seven ways usually:

1. Through wrong perception of an idea. The disciple cannot distinguish between an idea and an ideal, between an idea and a thoughtform, or between an intuitive and a mental concept. This is one of the ways of producing illusion found most commonly among aspirants. The mental atmosphere in which we all dwell is one of illusion. It [58] is also an atmosphere or area of conscious contact wherein thoughtforms of all kinds are to be found. Some of them are placed there by the Hierarchy for man's finding; some of them are men's thoughtforms, built around ideas; some of them are very ancient ideals and have been discarded, but still persist as thoughtforms; some of them are entirely new, and therefore are not yet potent, but most attractive. All of them have been created by man at some stage or another of his individual and racial development. Many of them are the shells of long exploded concepts; still others are embryonic; some of them are static and stable; many are in process of descent from intuitional levels; a few are still illumined by the clear light of the soul and are ready for embodiment. A large number of other thoughtforms are in process of disintegration. Some of these forms or embodied ideas are of a destructive nature, owing to the type of matter of which they are formed. Others are constructive. All of them are coloured by some ray energy. A large number of these forms are necessarily built through the activity of the world of personality; others are in process of construction through the agency of the soul, as well as through the joint activity of both these manifestations. Right perception is therefore essential for each mind, functioning correctly. Aspirants must learn to distinguish between:

a. An idea and an ideal.

b. Between that which is embodied, that which is in process of being embodied, and that which is awaiting disintegration.

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c. Between that which is constructive and that which is destructive.

d. Between the old and the new forms and ideas.

e. Between the ray ideas and forms as they colour the higher presentations.

f. Between ideas and thoughtforms, and between those which are purposely created by the Hierarchy and those which are created by humanity.

g. Between racial thoughtforms and group ideas.

I could list many more differentiations, but the above will suffice to show the need for right perceptions, and to indicate the roots of the prevalence of the world illusion, brought about by wrong perception.

The cause is an untrained, unillumined mind.

The cure is training in the technique of Raja Yoga.

This results in the ability to hold the mind steady in the light, to perceive correctly, to achieve a right outlook, and to attain a right mental attitude. It was these right attitudes with which the Buddha was dealing when He outlined the Noble Eightfold Path. It involves the reaching of a right mental altitude. Yes, I said altitude, my brothers, and not attitude.

2. Through wrong interpretation. The idea, a vital entity or a germ of living potency, is seen through the medium of a partial view, distorted through the inadequacy of the mental equipment, and frequently stepped down into futility. The [60] mechanism for right understanding is lacking, and though the man may be giving his highest and his best, and though he may be able in some measure to hold his mind steady in the light, yet what he is offering to the idea is but a poor thing at the best. This leads to illusion through misinterpretation.

The cause is an over-estimation of one's mental powers. The sin, par excellence, of the mental type is pride, and that colours all activities in the early stages.

The cure is the development of a cautious spirit.

3. Through wrong appropriation of ideas. Misappropriation of an idea is based upon the drama-making faculty and tendency of the personality to the self-assertion of the little self. These lead a man to appropriate an idea as his own, to credit himself with its formulation, and to give therefore undue importance to it, because he regards it as his. He proceeds to build his life around his idea, and to make his aims and his objectives of major importance, expecting others to recognise his proprietorship of the idea. He forgets that no one idea belongs to anyone but, coming as ideas do, from the plane of the intuition, they are a universal gift and possession, and the property of no one mind. His life, as a personality also, becomes subordinated to his idea of an idea, and his ideal of an idea. The idea becomes the dramatic agent of his self-imposed life purpose, driving him from one extreme to another. This leads to illusion through misappropriation.

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The cause is over-estimation of personality and undue impress of personality reactions upon the sensed idea and upon all who attempt to contact the same idea.

The cure is a steady attempt to decentralise the life from the personality, and to centre it in the soul.

One point I would like to make clear at this point. Ideas very seldom come into the world consciousness and into the human mind direct from the intuitional levels. The stage of human development today does not yet permit this. They can come from the intuitional levels only when there is a very highly developed soul contact, a potent mind control, a trained intelligence, a purified emotional body, and a good glandular equipment, as the result of the above requirements. Ponder upon this thought.

Most ideas, when of a very high order, are stepped down into the consciousness of a disciple by his Master and are imparted to him through mental telepathy, and as a result of his sensitivity to the "psychic gift waves," as the Tibetan teaching calls them. Ideas are also sensed in the interplay between disciples. Frequently, when disciples meet together and thus stimulate each others' minds and centralise each others' focussed attention, they can unitedly make a contact with the world of ideas which would otherwise be impossible, and bring through the newer concepts into being. Again, certain great ideas are to be found existing as currents of energy upon the mental plane, and can there be contacted and forced into embodiment through the trained attention of disciples. These currents of mental energy, coloured by a basic idea, are placed there by the Hierarchy. When thus contacted and discovered, the neophyte is apt to regard his achievement in a personal way [62] and attribute the idea to his own wisdom and power. You will note therefore the great need for right understanding of that which is contacted as well as for right interpretation.

4. Through wrong direction of ideas. This is due to the fact that, as yet, the disciple does not see the picture as it is. His horizon is limited, his vision myopic. A fraction or a fragment of some basic idea impinges upon his consciousness and he interprets it as belonging to a range of activities with which it may have absolutely no relation at all. He therefore starts to work with the idea, distributing it in directions where it is entirely useless; he begins to clothe it in form from an utterly wrong angle, embodying it in such a way that its usefulness is negated. Thus, from the very first moment of contact, the disciple has been suffering from illusion and as long as this is persisted in, the general illusion is strengthened. This is one of the most ordinary forms of illusion, and is one of the first ways in which the mental pride of the disciple can be broken. It is illusion through an initial misapplication, leading to a wrong use or wrong direction of the idea.

Its cause is a small and non-inclusive mind.

Its cure is the training of the mind to be inclusive, well-stocked and well developed from the angle of modern intelligence.

5. Through wrong integration of an idea. Every disciple has a life plan, and some chosen field of service. If he has not such a field, he is not a disciple. It may be the home or the school or a [63] larger field, but it is a definite place wherein he expresses that which is in him. In his meditation life and through his contact with his fellow disciples, he touches some idea of importance, perhaps, to the world. Immediately he seizes upon it and seeks to integrate it into his life purpose and life plan. It may have for him no definite use, and is not an idea with which he should be working. The over-activity of his mind is probably responsible for his so seizing upon this idea. All ideas sensed and contacted need not necessarily be ideas with which every disciple should work. This the disciple does not always realise. He therefore seizes upon the idea and attempts to integrate it into his plans, and tries to work with energies for which he is not temperamentally suited. He imposes an energy current upon his mental body with which he cannot cope and disaster follows. Many good disciples demonstrate this over-fertile, over-active mind, and arrive at no good constructive objectives, or life activity. They seize upon every idea that comes their way, and use no discrimination of any kind. This is illusion, through acquisitiveness.

Its cause is selfish grasping for the little self, even if this is unrealised and the disciple is glamoured by the idea of his own selfless interests.

Its cure is a humble spirit.

6. Through wrong embodiment of ideas. This refers primarily to the difficulties encountered by those developed souls who do touch the world of the intuition, who do intuit the great spiritual ideas, [64] and whose responsibility it is to embody them in some form, automatically and spontaneously, through a trained and rhythmic activity of the soul and mind, working always in the closest collaboration. The idea is contacted, but is wrongly clothed in mental matter and therefore wrongly started on its way to materialisation. It finds itself, for instance, integrated into a group thoughtform of a colouring, keynote and substance which is entirely unsuited to its right expression. This happens far more often than you might think. It concerns the higher interpretations of the Hindu aphorism: Better one's own dharma than the dharma of another.

This is illusion through wrong discrimination where substance is concerned.

Its cause is lack of esoteric training in creative activity.

Its cure is the application of fifth ray methods, which are the methods of the mental plane.

This form of error seldom applies to the average aspirant and concerns an illusion which is the testing applied to many initiates of fairly high degree. The ordinary disciple, such as you and others in this group, seldom touch a pure idea, and hence seldom need to embody it.

7. Through wrong application of ideas. How often does this form of illusion descend upon a disciple! He contacts an idea intuitively and also intelligently (note the distinction here expressed) and misapplies it. This is perhaps an aspect of the synthetic illusion or the illusion of the whole of [65] the mental plane, as modern man contacts it. Illusion varies from age to age, according to what the Hierarchy is attempting to do, or according to the general trend of men's thoughts. The disciple can therefore be swept into a wrong activity and a wrong application of ideas because the general illusion (growing out of the six types of illusion to which I have referred above) is over-dominant in his mind.

I could continue enlarging on the ways whereby illusion traps the unwary disciple but this will suffice to awaken in you that constructive analysis which leads from knowledge to wisdom. We have noted that the seven major ways of illusion are as follows:

1. The way of wrong perception.

2. The way of wrong interpretation.

3. The way of wrong appropriation.

4. The way of wrong direction.

5. The way of wrong integration.

6. The way of wrong embodiment.

7. The way of wrong application.

These are the third steps towards expression. The form of the expression is also qualified. Thus the seven ways of illusion are produced.

I have here outlined for you the causes and the various types of illusion to which the disciple is prone. In its pure form, this illusion has to be met and some day surmounted; it has to be isolated and dispelled by the initiate. It was the final successful effort to do this that led Jesus upon the Cross to cry out in words of apparent distress. He then finally dissipated the illusion of the personal, objective [66] Deity. At that moment, He entered fully into the consciousness that He was Himself God, and naught else; that the theory of unity outlined by Him in the Gospel of St. John, chapter XVII, was indeed and in truth a fact in His Own consciousness, established unalterably. Yet, nevertheless, in this infinite and supreme realisation, there entered for a moment a sense of loss and of negation, forcing from His dying Personality that tremendous utterance which has bewildered, and at the same time comforted, so many. This signified the surmounting of the final synthetic illusion. When that has been dispelled, illusion, as it can be understood in the human family, disappears. The man stands free. The illusion of the mental plane can no longer deceive him. His mind is a pure instrument for the reflection of light and of truth. The glamours of the astral plane have no further hold over him, and the astral body itself fades out.

You will remember that I hinted to you in A Treatise on White Magic that the astral body itself was an illusion. It is the definition of the illusory mind upon the mental plane of that which we call the sum total of the desires of the man in incarnation. When illusion and glamour have both been overcome, the astral body fades out in the human consciousness. There is no desire left for the separated self. Kama-manas disappears, and man is then regarded as consisting essentially of soul-mind-brain, within the body nature. This is a great mystery, and its significance can only be understood when a man has controlled his personality and eliminated all aspects of glamour and of illusion. This is accomplished by accomplishing. This mastery is achieved by mastering. This elimination of desire is brought about by conscious eliminating. Get therefore to work, my brothers, and clarification of the problem must inevitably ensue.

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That which is the opposite pole of illusion is, as you well know, the intuition. The intuition is that recognition of reality which becomes possible as glamour and illusion disappear. An intuitive reaction to truth will take place when—along a particular line of approach to truth—the disciple has succeeded in quieting the thoughtform-making propensities of the mind, so that light can flow directly, and without any deviation, from the higher spiritual worlds. The intuition can begin to make its presence felt when glamour no longer grips the lower man, and a man's low or high desires, interpreted emotionally or self- centredly, can no longer come between his brain consciousness and the soul. Fleeting moments of this high freedom come to all true aspirants at times, during their life struggle. They have then an intuitive flash of understanding. The outline of the future and the nature of truth sweeps momentarily through their consciousness, and life is never again exactly the same thing. They have had their guarantee that all struggle is warranted and will evoke its adequate reward.

As pointed out in the tabulation (See page 41), that which dispels illusion and substitutes for it a true spiritual and infallible perception is contemplation,—a contemplation necessarily carried on by the soul. Perhaps some grasp of the sequence of development can be arrived at, if you realise that the entire meditation process (in its three major divisions) can be divided as follows:

1. The Aspirant.......... Probationary Path...... Concentration...... Maya.

2. The Disciple........... Path of Discipleship... Meditation........... Glamour.

3. The Initiate............. Path of Initiation........ Contemplation..... Illusion.

The above tabulation will suffice to show the connection between the meditation process as outlined and taught in the Arcane School, and the problem which all of you have to face.

 

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The technique of the dispelling of illusion, as used by the initiate, is that of contemplation. But of what use is it for me to discuss this with you, if you are not initiate? Would it profit you at all, or would it only satisfy your curiosity, if I outlined for you the peculiar processes, employed by a soul in contemplation for penetrating and (through an act of the trained will and through some first ray formulas) for dispelling it? Naught that I can imagine.

I shall therefore conclude my remarks on this point concerning illusion from the angle of your evolutionary status. Glamour is your problem, as it is the problem of the world, at this time. Some of you, whose mental bodies are in process of organising, may suffer somewhat from illusion, but your major problem—as a group and as individuals—is one of glamour. Your field of living experience is on the higher levels of the astral plane. Your task is to overcome glamour, each in your individual lives, and, as a group, later to approach the arduous task of aiding in the dispelling of the world glamour. This you may later be able to do, if you submit to training and, as individuals, understand and master your personal glamours. Just as soon as you have begun to do this, I can begin to use you, as a group. But before you can work as a group, and before you can assist in the dissipation of the world glamour, you have to understand better and master more definitely the glamours and illusions of your personality. The time has now come for me to help you deal more drastically with this problem of glamour, with the view to your destined group service and not with a view of your personal release....

I ask you to set to work, therefore, with fresh courage and determination and with fresh understanding, and to carry on for another year. Will you bend your effort to the task? For task it is.

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2. Glamour on the Astral Plane . . . . . . Glamour

I have dealt with the problem of illusion or glamour on the mental plane. I dealt with it succinctly and briefly, pointing out that it is not primarily the major problem of this group of aspirants but that they—along with the world aspirant, humanity—are primarily occupied with glamour. Those aspirants who stand in the forefront of humanity and whose task it is to confront the world glamour and forge a way through it, have the task of releasing soul energy and mind potency. Among these pioneering souls you should take your stand, realising the magnitude of the opportunity and the imminence of the hour of release.

You stand on the verge of accepted discipleship. This means that you will shortly have to add to your battle with glamour that of the battle with illusion. Are you strong enough for this? Forget not, that a disciple who is dealing with the aspiration of his nature and who is also wrestling with the problems that result from mental polarisation and awareness, and with the energies which become active through soul contact, is rapidly becoming an integrated personality. His task is not therefore easy and calls for the focussed activity of his best self. By that phrase, I mean the soul and the aspirational personality.

Already you are battling somewhat with the illusion of ideas with which I dealt in my last instruction. You are thus beginning to develop that discrimination which will lead to right choice of life themes. In this instruction I seek to cast some light upon the glamour which confronts the disciple as an individual and also consider the aspect of glamour with which he must deal as a world server in training.

Speaking symbolically, I would say that the planetary astral body (viewing it from soul levels) is lost in the [70] depths of a surrounding fog. When at night you look out at some clear sky, you see the stars and suns and planets shining with a clear cold brilliancy and with a twinkling blazing light which penetrates for many millions of miles (or light years as they are called) until the human eye registers them and records the existence of these shining stars. Looking, however, at the astral body of the planet, could you but do so, you would see no such clear shining but simply a murky ball of seeming steam and mist and fog. This fog is of a density and thickness which would indicate not only impenetrability but also those conditions which are unfavourable to life. Yet we pass and come and go, we the Teachers on the inner side; and in that fog—seeing all things misshapen and distorted—labour the sons of men. Some are so habituated to the fog and the density that they remain oblivious of its existence, regarding it as right and good and the unchangeable place of their daily life. Others have caught faint glimpses of a clearer world wherein more perfect forms and shapes can be seen and where the fog hides not a dimly sensed reality—though what that reality may be they know not. Still others, such as yourselves, see before you an open path leading to the clear light of day. You know not yet, however, that as you tread the path you must, on the Path itself, work actively and intelligently with the surrounding glamour, following a trail blazed by those who have liberated themselves from the environing mists and passed on into a world of clear horizons. So much of the time spent by disciples on the Path is a process of almost cyclic immersion in glamour and fog, alternating with hours of clarity and vision.

There are four things which you who seek to work with glamour need to grasp; four basic recognitions which, [71] when understood, will serve to clear and lighten, and therefore straighten your way:

1. Each human being stands in an environing world of glamour which is the result of:

a. His own past, with its wrong thinking, selfish desires, and misinterpretation of the purposes of life. There is, or has been, no comprehension of the intended life purpose as visioned by the soul and there cannot be until there is some definite organisation of the mental body.

b. His family "desire life," both past and present. This becomes increasingly potent as evolution proceeds and the desire life of the family unit becomes comes marked and emphasised, constituting then inherited and demonstrated psychological tendencies and characteristics.

c. National glamour, which is the sum total of the desire life, plus the illusions, of any nation. These we term national characteristics and they are so persistent and marked that they are usually recognised as embodying national psychological traits. These are, of course, based on ray tendencies, past history, and world inter-relations but constitute in themselves a glamorous condition out of which every nation must work as it marches on towards the realisation of (and identification with) reality.

d. An extension of the above idea into what we call racial glamour, using the word race to mean the human race. This constitutes a very ancient glamour or almost a series of glamours, of entrenched desires, potent aspirations of some kind and definitely human-made forms which—fluidic, enveloping and pulsating with dynamic life—seek to [72] hold the consciousness of humanity upon the astral plane. Such a glamorous concept is that of money and its materialistic value. This glamorous desire is like a dense widely distributed fog, cutting off the vision of truth, and distorting a very large number of human values.

2. This fog, this glamour which envelops humanity at this time must be realised as a definite substantial thing, and must be dealt with as such. The disciple or aspirant who is seeking to dispel glamour, either in his own life or as a service rendered to the world, must recognise that he is working with substance, with the breaking up of the forms which it has assumed, and with the dissipation of a material all-enveloping substance—material in the same sense as thoughtforms are substantial things but (and here is a point of importance) of a less substantial nature than the forms of glamour found upon the astral plane. We are quite willing to remember that "thoughts are things" and that they have a form life and a purpose of their own. But they have a more unique and separative existence, and more clearly defined and more definite outlines. The forms of glamour on the astral plane are even more substantial but are less clearly defined. Thoughtforms are dynamic, penetrating, clear cut and outlined. Glamours are smothering, vague, and enveloping. In them, a person is immersed as in the ocean or in a "sea of fog." With thoughtforms, he is confronted or faced, but not immersed. It might almost be said that the astral body of a person comes into being as a part of the general world glamour; it is difficult for him to differentiate between his own astral body and the glamours which affect and sway and submerge him. His problem upon the mental plane is more clearly defined, even if it is equally difficult.

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3. Astral glamour is a form of energy and an energy of great potency, owing to three factors:

a. It is of such an ancient rhythm, being inherent in astral substance itself, that it is most difficult for a human being to become aware of it or to understand it; it is the result of the age-long activity of human desire.

b. It is a corporate part of a man's own energy nature, and therefore constitutes for him the line of least resistance; it is part of a great world process and therefore a part of the individual life process also, and is, in itself, not wrong but an aspect of reality. This realisation necessarily complicates man's thought about it.

c. It is likewise definitely Atlantean in nature, being brought to a very high point of development in that race. It can therefore only be finally dissipated by the Aryan race using the right technique. The individual who is learning to dissipate glamour has to do two things:

1. Stand in spiritual being.

2. Keep the mind steady in the light.

From this it will be apparent that the energy of the astral plane as it expresses itself in the sentient desire life of the race, produces the major glamours of humanity, and can only be dissipated, dispersed and dispelled by the bringing in of the higher energy of the mind, motivated by the soul.

4. The glamours which hold humanity in thrall are:

a. The glamour of materiality.

b. The glamour of sentiment.

c. The glamour of devotion.

d. The glamour of the pairs of opposites.

e. The glamours of the Path.

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Let me now elucidate these glamours for you a little more in detail.

The glamour of materiality is the cause of all the present world distress, for what we call the economic problem is simply the result of this particular glamour. Down the ages, this glamour has held the race increasingly interested, until today the entire world has been swept into the rhythm of money interest. A rhythm emanating from soul levels has always existed, being established by Those Who have freed Themselves from the control of material requirements, from the thraldom of money and the love of possessions. Today that higher rhythm is commensurate with the lower rhythmic glamour, and hence the whole world is thinking in terms of the way out from this present material impasse. Those souls who stand in the light to be found upon the mountain top of liberation and those who are advancing upward out of the fogs of materiality are now sufficient in numbers to do some definite work in connection with the dissipation of this glamour. The influence of their thoughts and words and lives can and will bring about a readjustment of values, and a new standard of living for the race, based upon clear vision, a correct sense of proportion and a realisation of the true nature of the relationship existing between soul and form, between spirit and matter. That which will meet a need that is vital and real ever exists within the divine plan. That which is unnecessary to the right expression of divinity and to a full and rich life can be gained and can be possessed, but only through the loss of the more real and the negation of the essential.

Students, however, need to remember that that which is necessary varies according to the stage of evolution which [75] has been reached by an individual. For some people, for instance, the possession of that which is material may be as great a spiritual experience and as potent a teacher in life expression as the more elevated and less material requirements of the mystic or hermit. We are rated as regards action and point of view by our place upon the ladder of evolution. We are rated really by our point of view and not by our demand upon life. The spiritually minded man and the man who has set his feet upon the Path of Probation and who fails to attempt the expression of that which he believes, will be judged as caustically and pay as high a price as does the pure materialist—the man whose desires centre around substantial effects. Bear this in mind and sit not in the seat of the judge or the scornful.

Today the glamour of materiality is lessening perceptibly. The peoples of the world are entering the wilderness experience, and will find in the wilderness how little is required for full living, true experience and real happiness. The gluttonous desire for possessions is not regarded as so reputable a desire as formerly, and a desire for riches is not producing the clutching hands as earlier in racial history. Things and possessions are slipping out of the hands which have hitherto tightly held them, and only when men stand with empty hands and a realised new standard of values do they again acquire the right to own and to possess. When desire is absent and the man seeks nothing for the separated self, the responsibility of material wealth can again be handed back to man, but his point of view will then be free from that particular glamour, and the fogs of astral desire will be lessened. Illusion in many forms may still hold sway but the glamour of materiality will be gone. It is the first destined to disappear. Students would do well to remember that all forms of possessions and all material objects, whether it is money, or a house, a picture or an automobile, [76] have an intrinsic life of their own, an emanation of their own, and an activity which is essentially that of their own inherent atomic structures (for an atom is a unit of active energy). This produces counterparts in the world of etheric and astral life, though not in the mental world. These subtler forms and distinctive emanations swell the potency of the world desire; they contribute to the world glamour and form part of a great and powerful miasmic world, which is on the involutionary arc but in which humanity, upon the upward arc, is nevertheless immersed. Therefore the Guides of the Race have felt the necessity of standing by whilst the forces set up by man himself proceed to strip him and thus release him to walk in the wilderness. There, in what is called straightened circumstances, he can readjust his life and change his way of living, thus discovering that freedom from material things carries with it its own beauty and reward, its own joy and glory. Thus he is liberated to live the life of the mind.

The glamour of sentiment holds the good people of the world in thrall, and in a dense fog of emotional reactions. The race has reached a point wherein the men of good intention, of some real understanding and owning a measure of freedom from the love of gold (symbolic way of speaking of the glamour of materiality) are turning their desire to their duty, their responsibilities, their effects upon others, and to their sentimental understanding of the nature of love. Love, for many people, for the majority indeed, is not really love but a mixture of the desire to love and the desire to be loved, plus a willingness to do anything to show and evoke this sentiment, and consequently to be more comfortable in one's own interior life. The selfishness of the people who are desirous of being unselfish is great. So many contributing sentiments gather around the sentiment or desire to show those amiable and pleasant characteristics which will evoke a corresponding reciprocation towards the would-be lover [77] or server who is still completely surrounded by the glamour of sentiment.

It is this pseudo-love, based primarily on a theory of love and service, which characterises so many human relationships such as those existing, for instance, between husband and wife, parents and their children. Glamoured by their sentiment for them and knowing little of the love of the soul which is free itself and leaves others free also, they wander in a dense fog, often dragging with them the ones they desire to serve in order to draw forth a responsive affection. Study the word "affection," my brother, and see its true meaning. Affection is not love. It is that desire which we express through an exertion of the astral body and this activity affects our contacts; it is not the spontaneous desirelessness of the soul which asks nothing for the separated self. This glamour of sentiment imprisons and bewilders all the nice people in the world, imposing upon them obligations which do not exist, and producing a glamour which must eventually be dissipated by the pouring in of true and selfless love.

I am but touching with brevity upon these glamours for each of you can elaborate them for yourselves, and in so doing will discover where you stand in the world of fog and glamour. Thus, with knowledge, you can begin to free yourselves from the glamour of the world.

The glamour of devotion causes many probationary disciples to wander circuitously around in the world of desire. This is primarily a glamour which affects sixth ray persons and is particularly potent at this time owing to the age-long activity of the sixth Ray of Devotion during the rapidly passing Piscean Age. It is today one of the potent glamours of the really devoted aspirant. They are devoted to a cause, to a teacher, to a creed, to a person, to a duty, or to a responsibility. Ponder on this. This harmless desire along some line of idealism which confronts them becomes definitely [78] harmful both to themselves and to others, because through this glamour of devotion they swing into the rhythm of the world glamour which is essentially the fog of desire. Potent desire along any line, when it obliterates the wider vision and shuts a man within a tiny circle of his own desire to satisfy his sentiment of devotion, is just as hampering as any of the other glamours, and is even more dangerous because of the beautiful colouring which the resultant fog takes on. A man gets lost in a rapturous mist of his own making, which emanates from his astral body and which is composed of the sentimentalising of his own nature about his own desire and devotion to the object of his attracted attention.

With all true aspirants, owing to the increased potency of their vibrations, this devotional sentiment can be particularly difficult and bring about a lengthy imprisonment. One illustration of this is the sentiment of devotion poured out in a glamorous ecstasy by probationary disciples upon the Masters of the Wisdom. Around the names of the Members of the Hierarchy and around Their work, and the work of the initiates and the disciplined disciples (mark that phrase) a rich glamour is created which prevents Them ever reaching the disciple or his reaching Them. It is not possible to penetrate the dense glamour of devotion, vibrating with dynamic ecstatic life, which emanates from the concentrated energy of the disciple, working still through the solar plexus centre.

For this glamour there are some age-old rules: Contact the greater Self through the medium of the higher Self and thus lose sight of the little self, its reactions, its desires, and intentions. Or: The pure love of the soul which is not personalised in any way and which seeks no recognition can then pour into the world of glamour which surrounds the [79] devotee, and the mists of his devotion (upon which he prides himself) will melt away.

Upon the Probationary Path there comes the swing, consciously registered, between the pairs of opposites until the middle way is sighted and emerges. This activity produces the glamour of the pairs of opposites, which is of a dense and foggy nature, sometimes coloured with joy and bliss and sometimes coloured with gloom and depression as the disciple swings back and forth between the dualities. This condition persists just as long as the emphasis is laid upon feeling—which feeling will run the gamut between a potent joyfulness as the man seeks to identify himself with the object of his devotion or aspiration, or fails to do so and therefore succumbs to the blackest despair and sense of failure. All this is, however, astral in nature and sensuous in quality and is not of the soul at all. Aspirants remain for many years and sometimes for many lives imprisoned by this glamour. Release from the world of feeling and the polarising of the disciple in the world of the illumined mind will dissipate this glamour which is part of the great heresy of separateness. The moment a man differentiates his life into triplicities (as he inevitably must as he deals with the pairs of opposites and identifies himself with one of them) he succumbs to the glamour of separation. Perhaps this point of view may aid or perhaps it will remain a mystery, for the secret of world glamour lies hid in the thought that this triple differentiation veils the secret of creation. God Himself produced the pairs of opposites—spirit and matter—and also produced the middle way which is that of the consciousness aspect or the soul aspect. Ponder deeply on this thought.

The triplicity of the pairs of opposites and of the narrow way of balance between them, the noble middle path, is the reflection on the astral plane of the activity of spirit, soul [80] and body; of life, consciousness and form, the three aspects of divinity—all of them equally divine.

As the aspirant learns to free himself from the glamours upon which we have touched, he discovers another world of fog and mist through which the Path seems to run and through which he must penetrate and thus free himself from the glamours of the Path. What are these glamours, my brothers? Study the three temptations of Jesus, if you would know clearly what they are. Study the effect that the affirmation schools which emphasise divinity (materially employed) have upon the thought of the world; study the failures of disciples through pride, the world saviour complex, the service complex, and all the various distortions of reality which a man encounters upon the Path, which hinder his progress and which spoils the service to others which he should be rendering. Emphasise in your own minds the spontaneity of the life of the soul and spoil it not with the glamour of high aspiration selfishly interpreted, self-centredness, self-immolation, self-aggressiveness, self-assertiveness in spiritual work—such are some of the glamours of the Path.

Next, we will consider glamour on the etheric plane and the theme of the Dweller upon the Threshold, and thus complete the brief outline of our problem which the first part of this teaching was intended to convey.

Before taking up this subject in some detail, I would like to add something to our previous consideration of the problem of glamour. In your last instruction, I elaborated somewhat upon the subject of the various types of glamour and left with you the concept of their great importance in your individual lives. The battlefield (for the man who is nearing accepted discipleship or who is upon the path of discipleship, in the academic sense) is primarily that of [81] glamour. That is the major problem and its solution is imminent and urgent for all disciples and senior aspirants. It will be apparent, therefore, to you why the emphasis has been put, during the Aryan age, upon the necessity for the study of Raja Yoga, and the cultivation of submission to its discipline. Only through Raja Yoga can a man stand steady in the light, and only through illumination and the achievement of clear vision can the fogs and miasmas of glamour be finally dissipated. Only as the disciple learns to hold his mind "steady in the light," and as the rays of pure light stream forth from the soul, can the glamour be discovered, discerned, recognised for what it essentially is and thus be made to disappear, as the mists of earth dissolve in the rays of the rising sun. Therefore I would counsel you to pay more adequate attention to your meditation, cultivating ever the ability to reflect and to assume the attitude of reflection—held steady throughout the day.

You would find it of real value to ponder deeply upon the purposes for which the intuition must be cultivated and the illumined mind developed, asking yourselves if those purposes are identical in objective and synchronous in time. You would then discover that their objectives differ, and the effects of their pronounced unfoldment upon the personality life are likewise different. Glamour is not dispelled through the means of the intuition nor is illusion overcome by the use of the illumined mind.

The intuition is a higher power than is the mind, and is a faculty latent in the Spiritual Triad; it is the power of pure reason, an expression of the buddhic principle, and lies beyond the world of the ego and of form. Only when a man is an initiate can the exercise of the true intuition become normally possible. By that I mean that the intuition will then be as easily operative as is the mind principle in the case of an actively intelligent person. The intuition, however, will [82] make its presence felt much earlier in extremity or on urgent demand.

It is illumination that the majority of aspirants, such as are found in this group, must seek; and they must cultivate the power to use the mind as a reflector of soul light, turning it upon the levels of glamour, and therefore dissipating it. The difficulty, my brothers, is to do so when in the midst of the agonies and deceptions of glamour. It requires a quiet withdrawing in mind and thought and desire from the world in which the personality habitually works, and the centering of the consciousness in the world of the soul, there silently and patiently to await developments, knowing that the light will shine forth, and illumination eventually take place.

A deep distrust of one's reactions to life and circumstance, when such reactions awaken and call forth criticism, separativeness or pride, is of value. The qualities enumerated above are definitely breeders of glamour. They are occultly "the glamorous characteristics." Ponder on this. If a man can free himself from these three characteristics, he is well on the way to the relinquishing and the dissipation of all glamour. I am choosing my words with care in an effort to arrest your attention.

Illusion is dispelled, rejected, and thrust away through the conscious use of the intuition. The initiate insulates himself from the world of illusion and of illusory forms and from the attractive urges of a personality nature and thereby—through the medium of isolation—comes into touch with the reality in all forms, hidden hitherto by the veil of illusion. This is one of the paradoxes of the Path. Insulation and isolation of the right kind lead to the right relationships and the correct contacts with the real. They produce eventual identification with reality, through insulation of oneself against the unreal. It is this idea which lies [83] behind the teaching given in the last book in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These have often been misinterpreted and their meaning twisted into a plea for the wrong kind of isolation by those with separative tendencies and for selfish ends.

It is the soul itself which dispels illusion, through the use of the faculty of the intuition. It is the illumined mind which dissipates glamour.

I would like here to point out that many well-meaning aspirants fail at this point, due to two errors.

1. They omit to discriminate between illusion and glamour.

2. They endeavour to dispel glamour through what they believe to be right method,—by calling in the soul, whereas they really need to use the mind correctly.