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What is a precipitation?  Many definitions could be given and most of them—being clothed in words—would lose much of their true significance, but some idea may be conveyed in the following terms:

"A precipitation is an aggregation of energies arranged in a certain form, in order to express the idea of some creative Thinker, and qualified or characterized by the nature of his thought and held in that peculiar form as long as his thought remains dynamic."

These words are an attempt to express a symbol found in the same ancient book, or rather compilation, referred [553] to earlier, in our consideration of Rule XIII.  Certainly these symbols emerging from the remote past constitute the working tools, if I might so express it, of the Thinkers Who guide our racial and planetary evolution.  This particular symbol might be described as follows:

A blazing sun forms the background and at the very center of that sun appears an eye; projecting downwards toward the right from this eye pours forth a stream of energy in the form of a beam of light.  It rays outward, widening towards the end, into a second circle and in that circle is a cross resembling what is called a Maltese cross.  At the center of the cross is another eye and within the eye the Sacred Word.  Between the arms of the cross forming, therefore, another cross, is the Swastika, the arms emerging from behind the Maltese cross.  At the bottom of the page whereon this symbol is found are four geometrical forms.  Some of these are referred to by H. P. B. and were taken by her from this ancient picture.  They are well known but seldom applied by esotericists to the creative work.  They are the cube, the five pointed star, the six pointed star and the eight sided diamond, superimposed one upon the other.  They constitute, therefore, the base of the symbol.  H. P. B. refers also to the point, the line and the circle, but these, with the triangle, have been exoterically applied to Deity and the manifested universe.  Later these other forms will also be applied to God and to man, in the exoteric sense.  But this will only be when the truths of the Ageless Wisdom are universally recognized.

The laws of thought are the laws of creation, and the entire creative work is carried forward on the etheric level.  This constitutes practically a second formula.  The Creator of the solar system confines his attention to the work performed on what we call the four higher planes of our system.  The lower three, constituting the cosmic dense physical plane, are in the nature of precipitation. [554] They are objective, because the matter of space responds to, or is attracted by the potency of the four higher etheric vibrations.  These, in their turn, are motivated or swept into activity by the dynamic impact of the divine thought.  There is a similar procedure where man is concerned.  Just as soon as man becomes a thinker and can formulate his thought, desire its manifestation and can energize "by recognition" the four ethers, a dense physical manifestation is inevitable.  He will attract by his pranic energy, colored by desire high or low, and animated by the potency of his thought, just as much of the responsive matter in space as is needed to give body to his form.

Much of this is dealt with in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and as these Instructions are intended to deal with the inner development of the aspirant, I shall not carry these ideas further beyond prophesying that within fifty years the true significance of precipitations will be engrossing the attention of the scientists.  Occult students would do well to give the subject careful thought.  It can be approached in two ways.  There is, first of all, the study of the objective world in which the individual aspirant finds himself.  He will need to consider the fact that his body of manifestation is a precipitation, that it is a result of his potent thought and desire and of his "recognition" of the four ethers.  He will need to understand that this form which he has created will persist just as long as the dynamic power of his thought holds it together, and that it will dissipate when he (occultly speaking) "takes his eye away".  He will need to consider also that his environment is the result of the work of an aggregate of group thinkers—group to which he belongs.  This concept can be traced back all the way from a family group to the group of egos who, closely interlinked, form a group on the higher level of the mental plane, and on again to the seven major thinkers of the universe, the Lords of the seven rays.  These seven, in their turn, are [555] swept into activity by the three supreme magical workers, the manifested Trinity.  These Three, in due course, will be recognized as responsive to the thought of the One Creator, the Unmanifested Logos.

The word "recognition" is one of the most important in the language of occultism and holds the clue to the mystery of Being.  It is related to karmic activity and on it the Lords of Time and Space depend.  It is hard to illustrate this in simple terms, but it might be said that the problem of God Himself consists in this, that He must manifest a threefold recognition:

1. Recognition of the past, which necessarily involves a recognition of that matter in space which is, through past association, already colored by thought and purpose.

2. Recognition of the four grades of lives which, again through past association, are capable of response to His new thought for the present and can, therefore, carry out His plans and work in collaboration with Him.  They subject their individual purposes to the one divine plan.

3. Recognition of the objective which exists in His Mind.  This, in its turn, necessitates a one pointed focussing upon the goal and the holding of the purpose intact throughout the vicissitudes of the creative work, and in spite of the potency of the many divine Thinkers who have been attracted to Him by similarity of idea.

It is hopeless to attempt to avoid the use of personal pronouns when talking pictorially and symbolically.  If the student will bear in mind that such an attempt to reduce cosmic principles and concepts to words is in itself ridiculous and that the only possible thing to do is to present a picture, then no harm can eventuate.  But the pictures change, as evolution proceeds upon its way, and [556] the picture of today will at a later date be deemed no better than a child's rough scrawl.  A new picture will then be presented, simpler and more harmonious, and more beautiful, until it, in its turn, is deemed inadequate.

The same recognitions, on a lesser scale, govern the activities of the solar Angel as he proceeds with the work of incarnation and of manifestation upon the physical plane.  He has in his turn to recognize the matter of the three planes of human expression which are already, through past association, colored by his vibration; he has to recognize the groups of lives with which he has had relation and with which he again must work.  Finally, he has, throughout the tiny cycle of an incarnation, to hold his purpose steady and to see that each life carries that purpose forward into fuller manifestation and completion.

The work of the human being also, as he endeavors to become a creative thinker, lies along analogous lines.  His creative work will be successful if he can recognize the tendency of his mind as that tendency emerges through the medium of his present interests, for these have their roots in the past.  It will be successful if he can recognize the vibration of the group of lives in line with whose thought his creative work must proceed, for unlike the Deity in the solar system, he cannot work sole and alone.  And who shall say whether in those greater spheres of existence in which our Deity plays His part, He is any more free from cosmic group influences than the human individual is free from impression by his environing impulses?  He has to recognize the purpose for which he has deemed it wise to build a thought-form and he must hold that purpose steady and unimpaired throughout the whole period of objectivity.  This we call one pointed attention, and this creative work is one of the, as yet unrecognized, goals of the meditation process.  Hitherto the emphasis has been laid on the achieving of [557] a focussed attention and on the necessity, when that has been attained, of coming in touch with the soul, the spiritual thinker.  But later decades will see the emerging of a technique of creation.  When soul, mind and brain are unified and facility in unification has been achieved, further instructions will be given in the creative art.  Meditation is the first basic lesson given when men have achieved the capacity to function on the mental plane.

Down the great cycle upon the wheel of rebirth "the idea of the solar Angel is attaining definite concretion".  A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 1024.  Each life sees the initial purpose clarified and time is literally the length of a thought.  This same basic truth underlies the creation of all forms on the physical plane, whether it is a thought-form embodying the urgent desire of a man for selfish acquisition or that thought-form which we call a group or an organization and which is animated by the unselfish purpose and embodies some disciple's mode of helping humanity.  It underlies group work, regarding a group as an entity.  If a group could appreciate the power of this fact, and "recognize" its opportunity, it could, by its one-pointed fixity of purpose and its focussed attention to the spiritual objective, perform miracles in salvaging the world.  I here appeal to all who read these words to reconsecrate themselves and to recognize the opportunity they have of an united effort towards world usefulness.

It might be of use here if I expressed quite simply the requirements needed to bring about the manifestation of individual spiritual purpose or of group spiritual purpose.  These can be summed up in three words:

1. Power.

2. Detachment.

3. Non-criticism.

So often simple words are used because of [558] their every day connotation their true significance and esoteric value are lost.

Let me give you a few thoughts anent each of these, with application only to the creative work of white magic.

Power is dependent for expression upon two factors:

a. Singleness of purpose.

b. Lack of impediments.

Students would be amazed if they could see their motives as we see them who guide on the subjective side of experience.  Mixed motive is universal.  Pure motive is rare and where it exists there is ever success and achievement.  Such pure motive can be entirely selfish and personal, or unselfish and spiritual, and in between, where aspirants are concerned, mixed in varying degree.  According, however, to the purity of intent and the singleness of purpose, so will be the potency.

The Master of all the Masters has said, "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light".  These words which He enunciated give us a principle underlying all the creative work and we can link up the idea which He clothed in words with the symbol I have earlier described in this Treatise.  Power, light, vitality, and manifestation!  Such is the true procedure.

It will be obvious, therefore, why the manifested unit, man, is urged to be vital in his search and to cultivate his aspiration.  When that aspiration is strong enough, he is then urged to achieve the capacity to "hold his mind steady in the light".  When he can do this, he will achieve power and possess that single eye which will redound to the glory of the indwelling divinity.  Before, however, he has mastered this process of development, he may not be trusted with power.  The procedure is as follows:  The individual aspirant begins to manifest somewhat soul purpose in his life on the physical plane.  He is transmuting desire into aspiration and that aspiration [559] is vital and real.  He is learning the meaning of light.  When he has mastered the technique of meditation (and with this certain schools in existence at present are concerned) he can proceed to handle power, because he will have learned to function as a divine Thinker.  He is now cooperative and is in touch with the divine Purpose.

As all true students know, however, the number of impediments is legion.  Hindrances and obstacles abound.  Singleness of purpose may occasionally be realized in high moments, but it does not abide with us always.  There are the hindrances of physical nature, of heredity and environment, of character, of time and conditions, of world karma, as well as individual karma.  What shall then be done?  I have only one word to say and that is, persist.  Failure never prevents success.  Difficulties develop the strength of the soul.  The secret of success is ever to stand steady and to be impersonal.

The second requirement is detachment.  The worker in white magic must hold himself free as much as he can from identifying himself with that which he has created or has attempted to create.  The secret for all aspirants is to cultivate the attitude of the onlooker and of the silent watcher, and, may I emphasize the word silent.  Much true magical work comes to naught because of the failure of the worker and builder in matter to keep silent.  By premature speech and too much talk, he slays that which he has attempted to create, the child of his thought is still-born.  All workers in the field of the world should recognize the need for silent detachment and the work before every student who reads these Instructions must consist in cultivating a detached attitude.  It is a mental detachment which enables the thinker to dwell ever in the high and secret place and from that center of peace calmly and powerfully to carry out the work he has set before himself.  He works in the world of men; he loves and comforts and serves; he pays no attention to his personality [560] likes and dislikes, or to his prejudices and attachments; he stands as a rock of strength and as a strong hand in the dark to all whom he contacts.  The cultivation of a detached attitude personally, with the attached attitude spiritually, will cut at the very roots of a man's life; but it will render back a thousandfold for all that it cuts away.

Much has been written anent attachment and the need to develop detachment.  May I beg all students in the urgency of the present situation to leave off reading and thinking about it aspirationally and to begin to practise it and to demonstrate it.

Non-criticism is the third requirement.  What shall I say about that?  Why is it regarded as so essential a requirement?  Because criticism (analysis and, consequently, separativeness) is the outstanding characteristic of mental types and also of all coordinated personalities.  Because criticism is a potent factor in swinging mental and emotional substance into activity and so making strong impress upon the brain cells and working out into words.  Because in a sudden burst of critical thought, the entire personality can be galvanized into a potent coordination, but of a wrong kind and with disastrous results.  Because criticism being a faculty of the lower mind can hurt and wound and no man can proceed upon the Way as long as wounds are made and pain is knowingly given.  Because the work of white magic and the carrying out of hierarchical purpose meets with basic hindrances in the relations existing between its workers and disciples.  In the pressure of the present opportunity there is no time for criticism to exist between workers.  They hinder each other and they hinder the work.

I have upon me at this time a sense of urgency.  I urge upon all those who read these Instructions to forget their likes and their dislikes and to overlook the personality [561] hindrances which inevitably exist in themselves and in all who work upon the physical plane, handicapped by the personality.  I urge upon all workers the remembrance that the day of opportunity is with us and that it has its term.  This present type of opportunity will not last forever.  The pettiness of the human frictions, the failures to understand each other, the little faults which have their roots in personality and which are, after all, ephemeral, the ambitions and illusions must all go.  If the workers would practise detachment, knowing that the Law works and that God's purposes must come to an ultimate conclusion and if they would learn never to criticize in thought or word, the salvaging of the world would proceed apace and the new age of love and illumination would be ushered in.