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CHAPTER I - The Objective of the New Education - Part 2

The consciousness thread (antahkarana) is the result of the union of life and substance or of the basic energies which constitute the first differentiation in time and space; this produces something different, which only emerges as a third divine manifestation, after the union of the basic dualities has taken place.  It is the thread which is woven as a result of the appearance of life in form upon the physical plane.  Speaking again symbolically, it might be said that the sutratma works from above downward and is the precipitation of life into the outer manifestation.  The antahkarana is woven, evolved, and created as the result of this primary creation, and works from below upwards, from the without to the within, from the world of exoteric phenomena into the world of subjective realities and of meaning.

This "Path of Return," by means of which the race is withdrawn from outer emphasis and begins to recognise and register those inner conscious knowledges of that which is not phenomenal, has already (through the evolutionary process) reached a point of development wherein some human beings can follow along this path from the physical consciousness to the emotional, and from the emotional to the mental.  That part of the work is already accomplished in many thousands of cases and what is now required is facility and right use of this power.  This thread of energy, coloured by conscious sentient response, is later [28] coloured by the discriminating consciousness of the mind, and this produces that inner integration which makes man eventually an efficient thinking being.  At first, this thread is used purely for lower selfish interests; it steadily gets stronger and more potent as time goes on, until it is a definite, clear, strong thread reaching from the outer physical life, from a point within the brain, straight through to the inner mechanism.  This thread, however, is not identified with the mechanism, but with the consciousness in man.  Through the means of this thread a man becomes aware of his emotional life in its many forms (note this phraseology), and through it he becomes aware of the world of thought; he learns to think and begins to function consciously on the mental plane, in which the thinkers of the race—a steadily increasing number—live and move and have their being.  Increasingly he learns to tread this path of consciousness, and thereby ceases to be identified with the animal outer form and learns to identify himself with the inner qualities and attributes.  He lives first the life of dreams, and then the life of thought.  Then the time comes when this lower aspect of the antahkarana is completed, and the first great conscious unity is consummated.  The man is an integrated, conscious, living personality.  The thread of continuity between the three lower aspects of the man is established and can be used.  It stretches, if such a term can be used (my intent being entirely pictorial), from the centre of the head to the mind, which is in its turn a centre of energy in the world of thought.  At the same time, this antahkarana is interwoven with the thread of life or the sutratma which emerges from the heart centre.  The objective of evolution in form is now relatively complete.

When this stage has been reached, the sensitive feeling-out into the environing universe still continues.  Man weaves a thread which is like the thread the spider weaves so amazingly.  He reaches out still further into his possible [29] environment and then discovers an aspect of himself of which he had little dreamt in the early stages of his development.  He discovers the soul and then passes through the illusion of duality.  This is a necessary but not a permanent stage.  It is one which characterises the aspirant of this world cycle, perhaps I should say this manvantara or world period.  He seeks to merge himself with the soul, to identify himself, the conscious personality, with that overshadowing soul.  It is at this point, technically speaking, that the true building of the antahkarana must be begun.  It is the bridge between the personality and the soul.

The recognition of this constitutes the problem with which the modern educator is faced.  It is a problem that has always existed but it has concerned the individual hitherto more than the group.  Now it concerns the group, for so many of the sons of men are ready for this building.  Down the ages individuals have built their individual bridges between the higher and the lower, but so successful has been the evolutionary process that today the time has come for a group understanding of this emerging technique, for a group bridging, leading to a consequent or subsequent group revelation.  This provides the modern opportunity in the field of education.  It indicates the responsibility of the educator and points out the necessity for a new unfoldment in educational methods.  The "group aspirant" must be met and the group antahkarana must be built.  This, however, when rightly understood, will not negate individual effort.  That always must be met; but the group understanding will increasingly aid the individual.

COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION

Thus far we have been occupied with generalisations as to the educational processes later to be applied, with the mental apparatus which comes under definite and planned training, and which is subjectively and superconsciously [30] influenced during the process.  I am presuming that you already grasp the necessity for the building of the antahkarana and for this bridging work.  It is wise also to accept the fact that we are in a position to begin the definite process of constructing the link or bridge between the various aspects of man's nature, so that instead of differentiation there will be unity, and instead of a fluid, moving attention, directed here and there into the field of material living and emotional relationships, we shall learn to control the mind and to bridge the divisions, and so can direct at will the lower attention in any desired manner.  Thus all aspects of man, spiritual and natural, can be focussed where needed.

This bridging work has in part already been done.  Humanity has as a whole already bridged the gap between the emotional astral nature and the physical man.  As I said elsewhere:

We might generalise in the following manner as to the stages of growth and consequent ability to become the agent of ever increasing powers, tapping the resources of dynamic energy in the three worlds:

Lower types of humanity use the sutratma as it passes through the etheric body.

Average men utilise almost entirely that part of the sutratma which passes through the astral plane.  Their reactions are largely based on desire, and are emotional.

Intellectual men utilise the sutratma as it passes through the lower levels of the mental plane, down through the astral to the physical in its two sections.  Their activities are energised by mind and not by desire, as in the earlier cases.

Aspirants of the physical plane use the sutratma as it passes through the two lower subplanes of the [31] abstract levels of the mental plane, and are beginning gradually to build the antahkarana, or the bridge between the Triad and the Personality.  The power of the Ego can begin to make itself felt.

Applicants for initiation and initiates up to the third initiation use both the sutratma and the antahkarana, employing them as a unit.  The power of the Triad begins to pour through, thus energising all human activities upon the physical plane, and vitalising in ever increasing degree the man's thought forms.  The key to the formation of the Mayavirupa is found in the right comprehension of the process.

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, pp. 959-960.

It should be noted here that the bridging has to be done in the consciousness aspect, and concerns the continuity of man's awareness of life in all his various aspects.  The energy which is used in connecting, in consciousness, the physical man and the astral body is focussed in the solar plexus.  Speaking in symbolical terms, many today are carrying that bridge forward and linking the mind with the two aspects already linked.  This thread of energy emanates from, or is anchored in, the head.  A few people are steadily linking the soul and the mind, which in its turn is linked with the other two aspects.  The soul energy, when linked with the other threads, has its anchor in the heart.  A very few people (the initiates of the world) having effected all the lower syntheses, are now occupied with bringing about a still higher union with that triple Reality which uses the soul as its medium of expression, just as the soul in its turn is endeavouring to use its shadow, the threefold lower man.

These distinctions and unifications are matters of form, [32] symbols in speech, and are used to express events and happenings in the world of energies and forces in connection with which man is definitely implicated.  It is to these unifications that we refer when the subject of initiation is under consideration.

The life thread, the silver cord or the sutratma, is, as far as man is concerned, dual in nature.  The life thread proper, which is one of the two threads which constitute the antahkarana, is anchored in the heart, whilst the other thread which embodies the principle of consciousness, is anchored in the head.  This you already know, but this I feel the need constantly to reiterate.  In the work of the evolutionary cycle, however, man has to repeat what God has already done.  He must himself create, in both the world of consciousness and of life.  Like a spider, man spins connecting threads, and thus bridges and makes contact with his environment, thereby gaining experience and sustenance.  The spider symbol is often used in the ancient occult books and the scriptures of India in connection with this activity of the human being.  The threads which man creates are triple and with the two basic threads which have been created by the soul, constitute the five types of energy which make man a conscious human being.  The triple threads created by man are anchored in the solar plexus, the head and the heart.  When the astral body and the mind nature are beginning to function as a unit, and the soul also is consciously connected (do not forget that it is always unconsciously linked), an extension of this fivefold thread—the basic two and the human three—is carried to the throat centre; when that occurs man can become a conscious creator on the physical plane.  From these major lines of energy lesser lines can radiate at will.  It is upon this knowledge that all future intelligent psychic unfoldment must be based.

In the above paragraph and its implications you have a brief and inadequate statement as to the Science of the [33] Antahkarana.  I have endeavoured to express this in terms, symbolic if you will, which will convey some general idea of the process to your minds.  We can learn much through the use of the pictorial and visual imagination.  Many aspirants have already established the following links of the bridging antahkarana:

1. From the physical to the vital or etheric body.  This is really an extension of the life thread between the heart and the spleen.

2. From the physical and the vital, regarding them as a unity, to the astral or emotional vehicle.  This thread emanates from, or is anchored in, the solar plexus, and is carried upward by means of the aspiration till it anchors itself in the love petals of the egoic lotus.

3. From the physical and astral vehicles to the mental body.  One terminal is anchored in the head, and the other in the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus, being carried forward by an act of the will.

Many, too, are in process of linking the three lower aspects, which we call the personality, with the soul itself, through meditation, discipline, service and directed attention.  When this has been accomplished, a definite relation is established between the sacrifice or will petals of the egoic lotus and the head and heart centres, thus producing a synthesis between consciousness, the soul and the life principle.  The process of establishing this interlinking and interrelation, and the strengthening of the bridge thus constructed, goes on until the third initiation.  The lines of force are then so interrelated that the soul and its mechanism of expression are a unity.  A higher blending and fusing can then go on.

It is necessary for me to stop at this point and indicate that all the above are simply word pictures of a process of [34] energy interrelations, and have a definite value if they can introduce and make real to you the fact of the indicated processes.  Some aspirants and students have the mystical consciousness highly developed, and are therefore apt to resent and regard as unnecessary the more technical and intellectual presentation of a truth which they sense and know, but which remains a truth yet undefined.  It is my purpose to assist you towards a greater definiteness of realisation and expression; this should in no way detract from the wonder and the beauty of what you sense, but should increase your power to know and also to make available to others the knowledge which you have gained.  In the past the mystic expressed his realisation through love and practical kindness, expressing it on the physical plane through charitable deeds and self-sacrifice, and on emotional levels by his aspiration, his vision, and his ability to express the love of God to the world.  The mystic today continues with the same process, but under the evolutionary urge becomes capable of more than this.  He should be able to formulate his knowledge intelligently and to express his awareness clearly, in order that he may share it with the public which is steadily growing in intelligence, but greatly needs the vision.  I therefore beg of you not to resent the technical formulation of truth, for if education means anything at all, and if we are to consider the ways in which education is to be applied to bring about this bridging and synthesis, it is essential that we avoid that mental laziness and mystical inertia which are characteristic of so many mystics and the line of least resistance for many would-be disciples.

It is necessary therefore that we grasp the facts that:

1. The new education will primarily be concerned with the scientific and conscious bridging between the various aspects of the human being, thus producing coordination and synthesis and an increased [35] expansion of consciousness through the establishing of right lines of energy.

2. The task of the new education is therefore the coordination of the personality, eventually bringing about its at-one-ment with the soul.

3. The new education will deal with, analyse and interpret the laws of thought, because the mind will be regarded as the link between the soul and the brain.  These laws are the means whereby:

a. Ideas are intuited.

b. Ideals are promulgated.

c. Mental concepts or thoughtforms are constructed which in due time will make their impact telepathically upon the minds of men.

4. The new education will organise and develop the lower concrete mind.

5. It will teach the human being to think from universals to particulars, as well as to undertake the analysis of particulars.  There will consequently be less emphasis in future schools upon the training of the memory.  Interest will greatly aid the will to recall.

6. The new education will make a man a good citizen by developing the rational aspects of his consciousness and life, teaching him to use his inherited, acquired and endowed equipment for the evidencing of the social consciousness and attitudes.

7. Above all else, the educators in the new age will endeavour to teach man the science of unifying the three aspects of himself which are covered by the general title of mental aspects:

a. The lower concrete mind.

b. The Son of Mind, the Soul, the Self.

c. The higher, abstract or intuitional mind.

or:

a. The receptive mind or common-sense.

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b. The individualised mind.

c. The illuminating mind.

8. The educators in the new age will deal with the processes or methods to be employed in bridging the gaps in consciousness between the different aspects.  Thus the Science of the Antahkarana will be brought definitely to the attention of the public.

9. The extension of this concept of bridging will be developed to include not only the internal history of man, but also the bridging between him and his fellowmen on all levels.

10. It will include also the training of the human mechanism to respond to life impacts, and to the soul.  This soul is essentially intelligence, vitally used on each plane.  It functions as the discriminating mind on the mental plane, as the sensitive consciousness on the emotional plane, and as the active participator in physical life.  This intelligent activity is always used from the wisdom angle.

11. The new education will take into consideration:

a. The mind and its relation to the energy body, the etheric body, which underlies the nervous system and which galvanises the physical body into activity.

b. The mind and its relation to the brain.

c. The mind and its relation to the seven centres of force in the etheric body, and their externalisation and utilisation through the medium of the major nerve plexi to be found in the human body, and their relation (which will become increasingly obvious) to the endocrine glands.

d. The brain as the coordinating factor in the dense body, and its capacity to direct the activities of the man through the medium of the nervous system.

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In the above statements you will see how large is our theme, and yet it is one which I intend to cover with the utmost brevity, writing only a fundamental textbook which will serve as a signpost for the production of the new culture which will distinguish the Aquarian Age.  Other disciples will later elaborate my theme, but the subject is as yet so little understood that much that could be said would be meaningless, even to the most intelligent.

Modern education is beginning to give some attention to the nature of the mind and to the laws of thought.  In this connection we owe much to psychology and philosophy.  There is also an increasing interest in the Science of Endocrinology as a material means of producing changes, usually in deficient children and morons.  Nevertheless, until modern educators begin to admit the possibility that there are central units in man which underlie the tangible and visible mechanism, and will also admit the possibility of a central powerhouse of energy behind the mind, progress in education will be relatively at a standstill; the child will not receive the initial training and the foundational ideas which will enable him to become a self-directed, intelligent human being.  Psychology, with its emphasis upon the three aspects of man—thought, emotional feeling, and the bodily organism—has already made a vital contribution and is doing much to bring about radical changes in our educational systems.  Much remains to be done.  The interpretation of men in terms of energy and the grasping of the seven types of energy which determine a man and his activities, will bring about immediate changes.