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Part Two - The Basic Requirements for Healing - Part 1

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Part Two

The Basic Requirements for Healing

We are now entering upon a new section of our discussion on the Rays and Disease.  It is essentially far more practical in scope than the highly speculative section (speculative to all of you) which we have just concluded.  Much that I have there told you is, for you, in the nature of questionable truth (using this word "questionable" in its real sense; i.e., as promoting questions).  For the most intuitive of you, it was at its best a "possibly accurate" hypothesis.  I would here ask you to note this phrasing, paradoxical as it may appear.  You have no direct means of knowing how true it may be.  A great deal of the mystery of life and of living will clarify as more and more aspirants in the world begin to function consciously in the realm of causes.  There is no questioning in the Hierarchy, except upon those matters which touch upon the unpredictable nature of human reactions.  Even in connection with the uncertain activities of mankind, the Masters can usually gauge what will occur, but esoterically They refuse "to ponder on the energies released upon the plane of earthly living, for fear that counter-energies, issuing from the Centre where They dwell may negate the truth of man's freewill."  I am here quoting one of the Masters, speaking at a conference held in 1725.

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What I have told you in the previous section is to me unquestionable truth and factually proven; to you it may be an adequate hypothesis or a questionable and nonacceptable interpretation of the underlying causes of disease.

Behind humanity lies a very ancient past, wherein so-called sins and errors, wrong-doing and wrong attitudes have piled up a very heavy karma which (fortunately for the race of men!) is being rapidly worked off at this time.  The immense interest in disease which is displayed today, the focussing of all the resources of medical and surgical science on behalf of the fighting forces—(resources later to be mobilised in aid of the civilian populations of the devastated countries in both hemispheres)—the widespread research being carried on in our hospitals and centres of learning, and the rapid discoveries of science, plus a steady trend towards a much needed simplification, will before long bring about major changes in the approach to disease.  These will lead to the eradication of many of the dreaded inherited diseases.

The inspiration and inflow of occult knowledge, via the disciples and initiates of the world, will bring about many alterations in technique; the coming revelation of new, yet most simple, laws of health, and the blending which will inevitably come of orthodox medicine, psychology and spiritual methods of healing, will produce an entirely new approach to the entire subject; the increasing use of fire as a means of purification (both in relation to the soil of the planet and to the human frame) will do much.  Of this, the technique of inducing fever as a means of curing certain forms of disease, and the method (frequently employed by nature) of subjecting large areas of the soil to the impact of fire, will be developed into a new and most helpful science. This, however, will come later.  I indicate simply faint trends in that direction.  Man stands—in all fields of [382] knowledge—at a climaxing point; this has been induced by the rapid unfoldment of the human consciousness, and it prefaces a great expansion of the understanding and a new insight into the conditioning causes which are responsible for much that today distresses man's physical body.

The new learning and the coming knowledge will arise as a result of an awakening intuition, of the presence upon earth of a very great number of advanced and developed souls, and the coming of the Hierarchy and Humanity into a closer relationship.  The blending (slowly going forward) of the energies of those two planetary centres will bring about major changes and unfoldments, and this not only in the perceptive faculties of man but in the physical mechanism also.  There will be a much greater resistance to the indigenous and inherited diseases and a real ability to resist infections; this will eliminate much pain and suffering.  The reduction of the sum of human karma through the experience of this planetary war (1914-1945) will enable the souls seeking incarnation to create bodies free from tendencies to morbid developments.  The Masters are entirely free from disease because they have entirely overcome the karma of the three worlds and are liberated.

The ability—developed during the past fifty years—to cope with the planetary disease of tuberculosis will, when extended into the densely populated areas of the Orient and to districts suffering hitherto from inadequate medical attention, stamp it out altogether.  The syphilitic diseases are already being brought under rapid control through the use of the newly discovered drugs, though these are regarded as amelioratives only by the Masters, and as superficial in time and space.  Such diseases will be slowly and correctly stamped out in toto as humanity shifts its consciousness on to the mental plane and away from the field of astral and sexual desire with their reflex action upon [383] the automatic and responsive physical body.  The third great planetary disease, cancer, is as yet basically uncontrollable, and the relative simplicity of surgery seems at present the only mode of possible cure.  The mode of preventing the occurrence of cancer and the nature of its cause are still unknown, and the entire field is largely speculative and still subject to infinite research and investigation.  Many minor ailments, infections and a wide range of allied physical ills will eventually be found traceable to one or other of these three basic diseases; they, in their turn, are related to a definite misuse of the energy of the three major rays.  It might be stated that:

1. The syphilitic diseases are due to the misuse of third ray energy, that of the creative, intelligent energy of substance itself.

2. Tuberculosis is the result of the misuse of the energy of the second ray.

3. Cancer is a mysterious and subtle reaction to the energy of the first ray, the will-to-live, which is one of the aspects of this ray.  It works out, therefore, in an overactivity and growth of the body cells whose will-to-live becomes destructive to the organism in which they are to be found.

I have here only given you a hint, and one that is not of wide usefulness at this time.  A great deal of occult research remains to be done by the medical profession along these lines, but this will only be possible when the Science of the Rays is better understood and when the evidence substantiating the presence of five basic energies in every human being (the energies of his five conditioning rays) can be ascertained; men will learn some day to determine with ease their ray type, and the rays which govern their three-fold personality.

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Along every line of man's expanding understanding, the opportunity for that which is new to make entrance and control is becoming increasingly evident.  The door of adventure (in its highest sense) stands wide open, and nothing yet has ever succeeded in stopping humanity from passing through that door; down the ages man has passed through its portals and has entered into new and richer realms of investigation, of discovery and of subsequent practical application.

Today, the door which is opening will admit man into a world of meaning—a world which is the ante-chamber to the world of causes.  Effect; Meaning; Cause.  In these three words you have the key to the growth of man's consciousness.  Most men live today in the world of effects, and have no idea that they are effects.  Some few are now beginning to live in the world of meaning, whilst disciples and those functioning in the world of the Hierarchy are aware, or are steadily becoming aware, of the causes which produce the effects which meaning reveals.  It is for this reason that we can now start considering the basic requirements which man must meet before he can move forward along the path of future enlightenment.  This enlightenment will most necessarily remove all fear of death and deal with that subject which has for so long a time driven humanity into the depths of despair and of fear.  I refer also to the required attitudes which those seeking healing, the surmounting of disease and the cure of bodily ills, must realise, and with which they must cope, principally along mental lines.  These requirements will evoke the mental attention of both the healing agency and the patient.  They have reference also to man as a whole.

It has generally been surmised that the main prerequisite to the art of healing is faith.  But this is not so. Faith has little to do with it.  Healing is dependent upon [385] certain vital and basic factors into which faith enters not at all.  The effort of the patient to achieve faith is frequently a great detriment to his freedom from the difficulties which lie between him and complete healing.  When Christ so frequently emphasised faith (or rather that quality which is translated as faith in our Western Scriptures) He referred in reality to acceptance of law, to a recognition above all of karma, and to a knowledge of divine destiny.  This, if grasped, will bring about a new attitude both to God and to circumstance.  The prerequisites which I would like to emphasise might be enumerated as follows:

1. A recognition of the great Law of Cause and Effect, if possible.  This is not always possible when dealing with the totally unenlightened.

2. Correct diagnosis of the disease by a competent physician, and later by a spiritual clairvoyant, when that capacity is developed by the initiate healer.

3. A belief in the law of immediate Karma.  By that I mean an ability on the part of the patient or of the healer to know whether it is the destiny of the patient to be healed or else be helped to make the great transition.

4. A willingness to recognise that healing might be detrimental and basically undesirable from the standpoint of the soul.  People are sometimes healed by the potency of the healer when it is not their destiny to resume active physical plane living.

5. The active cooperation of healer and patient—a cooperation based upon mutual understanding.

6. A determined acquiescence on the part of the patient to accept whatever may be the demonstrated will of the soul.  It might be called an expression of divine indifference.

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2. An effort upon the part of both healer and patient to express complete harmlessness.  The value of this will repay careful thought.  This has basically a reference to the relation of both parties to their associates.

8. An effort on the part of the patient (unless too ill) to adjust and put right those aspects of the nature and those characteristics which might militate against the right spiritual perception.  This is one of the meanings hidden in the phrase, the "work of restitution," though not the most important meaning.

9. The deliberate eliminating of qualities, lines of thought and of desires which could hinder the inflow of spiritual force—a force which might integrate the soul more closely with the body in the three worlds and inaugurate a renewed life-expression, or which might integrate the soul with its emanating source and initiate renewed life on soul levels.  This, therefore, affects the relation of the patient to his soul.

10. The capacity of both healer and patient to integrate into the soul group with which they are subjectively affiliated, to integrate in other cases both personality and soul, and, if they are at a needed point of development, both to integrate more closely into the Master's ashramic group.

These ten requirements may appear simple but are not so by any means.  Superficially, they may appear to deal with character and quality and capacity; fundamentally, they concern the relation of soul and body, and deal with integration or abstraction.  The objective underlying them in any case is to set up an unbroken rapport between the healer [387] or the healing group and the patient who is receiving the scientific attention of the healing agent—group or individual.

One of the first things that any healing agent will have to do will be the drawing up of a simple outline of instruction which should govern the attitude of the one to be healed.  These instructions must be simple, because where real illness is present it is not possible for the patient to make the simplest physical effort in order to institute any changed attitude.  This is oft forgotten.

There are one or two things which I would like to make clear and which you must, in your turn, make clear to the patient.

1. Cure is not guaranteed.  Patients must realise that continuance of life in the physical body is not the highest possible goal.  It may be so if the service to be rendered is of real import, if obligations remain still to be carried out, and if other lessons must still be learned.  Bodily existence is not, however, the summum bonum of existence.  Freedom from the limitations of the physical body is of real beneficence.  Patients must learn to recognise and accept the Law of Karma.

2. Fear is needless.  One of the first objectives of the healing agent should be to aid the patient to achieve a happy, sane, expectant outlook upon his future—no matter what that future may bring.

It will be obvious too that there lies before you the opportunity to bring a new attitude to the whole problem of disease and healing and to train humanity in a better and happier sense of proportion where disease and health are concerned.

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It will also be obvious to you that the word "restitution" concerns the high art of restoring to the patient that which he needs in order correctly to face life—life in a physical body and on the physical plane or the continuity of life on the other levels, unseen by the average man and regarded as problematical and intangible.  Restitution may also involve the righting of wrongs by the patient, prior to receiving what he will regard as successful treatment, but it primarily concerns the effect of the healing group when it first establishes contact with the one to be healed.  This must not be forgotten.  Sometimes, when the patient's karma indicates it, the will-to-live must be restored to him; in other cases, the rejection of fear (fear of life or fear of death) must be induced, bringing with it the restoration of courage; the restoration of an affirmative attitude in all circumstances may be the quality needed, bringing with it the restitution of the willingness to take, with understanding and with joy, whatever the future may bring; it may also involve the restitution of harmonious relations with the patient's surroundings, with family and friends, and the consequent result of renewed correct adjustments, an uprising of a spirit of love and the negation of what may have been deep-seated wrong thinking.

It will be apparent to you, therefore, that the process of following a healing ritual is only one phase of the work to be done, and that the relation of healer and patient is basically an educational one; it must be an education tempered by the physical condition of the sick person.  You will find, as you work along these lines, that it will be necessary to have short expositions of the work to be done, of the restitutions which the patient must be prepared to make in order to facilitate the inflow of the healing force.  He must be induced to "clean the slate" (if I may use such a symbolic [389] phrase) if the work of healing is to be successful under the Law of Karma.

This phase of the preparatory work is not easy.  With patients who may be grievously ill, it may not be possible.  It will be found by all healing agencies that when working with those who are spiritually-minded and those whose lives have for a long time been based upon right effort and a correct "rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's," that the work of healing will be greatly accelerated or, on the other hand, that the task of smoothing the way through the gates of death will be greatly simplified.  After all, death is in itself a work of restitution.  It involves the work of rendering back of substance to the three worlds of substance, and doing it willingly and gladly; it involves also the restoration of the human soul to the soul from whence it emanated, and doing this in the joy of reabsorption.  You must all learn to look upon death as an act of restitution; when you can do this it will take on new light and true meaning and become an integral part—recognised and desired—of a constant living process.

If I were asked to say what is the major task of all healing groups, such as the Hierarchy seeks to see functioning in the future, I would say it is to prepare human beings for what we should regard as the restorative aspect of death, and thus give to that hitherto dreaded enemy of mankind a new and happier significance.  You will find that if you work along these indicated lines of thought, the entire theme of death will constantly recur, and that the result of this will be new attitudes to dying and the inculcation of a happy expectancy where that inevitable and most familiar event occurs.  Healing groups must prepare to deal with this basic condition of all living, and a major part of their work will be the elucidating of the principle of death.  The [390] soul, we are told, must return to the one who gave it.  To date that has been an enforced and dreaded restitution, one which engenders fear and which leads men and women everywhere to clamour for the healing of the physical body, overemphasising its importance and making them regard the prolongation of earthly existence as the most important factor in their lives.  During the next cycle, these wrong attitudes must come to an end; death will become a normal and understood process—as normal as the process of birth, though evoking less pain and fear.  This comment of mine is in the nature of a prophecy and should be noted as such.

I would, therefore, enjoin upon you the elementary fact that any healing group seeking to work along the new lines must (as a preliminary effort) seek to understand something about the factor of death to which is given the appellation of "the great restorative process" or "the great restitution."  It concerns the art of wisely, correctly and with due timing, giving back the body to the source of its constituent elements and of restoring the soul to the source of its essential being.  I am wording this with care because I seek to have you ponder most carefully and sanely upon the so-called enigma of death.  It is an enigma to man, but not an enigma to disciples and knowers of the wisdom.

Healing groups and individual healers will find it necessary at times to confront their patients with the fact of death; one of the undertakings of disciples in my Ashram and in the Ashram of the Master K.H. is to interject the theme of death into their conversation with other seekers for truth, into their thinking and into their discussions with each other, and particularly with those they seek to heal. It will not be easy and it must not be done in a precipitate manner, but it is a subject which cannot and must not be avoided or evaded.  Healing groups working out from an Ashram lay not the emphasis upon bodily healing, but upon [391] timing and upon the cycles of work or of physical plane living, and the cycles of restitution or physical plane death.

This entire section with which we are now engaged, called The Basic Requirements, has reference in reality to the processes of dying, to the conditions of the material world or the three worlds of incarnated service.  The restitution of the body to the general reservoir of substance, or to service in the outer world of daily physical living, the restoration of the soul to its source, the soul upon its own plane or—in reverse—to full responsibility within the body, are dealt with in this first point.  The elimination of the life principle and the consciousness aspect is dealt with in the second point, and the theme is not that of character building, as some might surmise.  I touched upon character and personal qualities in my opening remarks in this section because all true understanding of the basic principles of death and life is facilitated by right action, based on right thinking, which eventuates in right character building.  I seek not, however, to enlarge upon these elementary prerequisites.  The processes of integration as I seek to consider them here concern the integration of the soul into the threefold body, if karma so decides, or into the kingdom of souls, if karma decrees that what we call death lies ahead of the man.

We are therefore considering, in this second section, the problem of death or the art of dying.  This is something which all seriously ill people must inevitably face, and for which those in good health should prepare themselves through correct thinking and sane anticipation.  The morbid attitude of the majority of men to the subject of death, and their refusal to consider it when in good health, is something which must be altered and deliberately changed.  Christ demonstrated to His disciples the correct attitude when referring to His coming and immediate decease at the hand [392] of His enemies; He chided them when they evidenced sorrow, reminding them that He was going to His Father.  Being an initiate of high degree, He meant that He was, occultly speaking, "making restitution to the Monad"; ordinary people and those below the grade of an initiate of the third degree make "restitution to the soul."  The fear and the morbidness which the subject of death usually evokes, and the unwillingness to face it with understanding are due to the emphasis which people lay upon the fact of the physical body and the facility with which they identify themselves with it; it is based also upon an innate fear of loneliness and the loss of the familiar.  Yet the loneliness which eventuates after death, when the man finds himself without a physical vehicle, is as nothing compared to the loneliness of birth.  At birth, the soul finds itself in new surroundings and immersed in a body which is at first totally incompetent to take care of itself or to establish intelligent contact with surrounding conditions for a long period of time.  The man comes into incarnation with no recollection as to the identity or the significance to him of the group of souls in bodies with which he finds himself in relationship; this loneliness only disappears gradually as he makes his own personality contacts, discovers those who are congenial to him and eventually gathers around him those whom he calls his friends.  After death this is not so, for the man finds on the other side of the veil those whom the knows and who have been connected with him in physical plane life, and he is never alone as human beings understand loneliness; he is also conscious of those still in physical bodies; he can see them; he can tune in on their emotions, and also upon their thinking, for the physical brain, being nonexistent, no longer acts as a deterrent.  If people but knew more, birth would be the experience which they would dread, and not [393] death, for birth establishes the soul in the true prison, and physical death is only the first step towards liberation.

Another fear which induces mankind to regard death as a calamity is one which theological religion has inculcated, particularly the Protestant fundamentalists and the Roman Catholic Church—the-fear of hell, the imposition of penalties, usually out of all proportion to the errors of a lifetime, and the terrors imposed by an angry God.  To these man is told he will have to submit, and from them there is no escape, except through the vicarious atonement.  There is, as you well know, no angry God, no hell, and no vicarious atonement.  There is only a great principle of love animating the entire universe; there is the Presence of the Christ, indicating to humanity the fact of the soul and that we are saved by the livingness of that soul, and the only hell is the earth itself, where we learn to work out our own salvation, actuated by the principle of love and light, and incited thereto by the example of the Christ and the inner urge of our own souls.  This teaching anent hell is a remainder of the sadistic turn which was given to the thinking of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages and to the erroneous teaching to be found in the Old Testament anent Jehovah, the tribal God of the Jews. Jehovah is not God, the planetary Logos, the Eternal Heart of Love Whom Christ revealed.  As these erroneous ideas die out, the concept of hell will fade from man's recollection and its place will be taken by an understanding of salvation upon the physical plane, which leads him to right the wrongs which he may have perpetrated in his lives on Earth, and which enables him eventually to "clean his own slate."

I seek not here to impose upon you a theological discussion.  I seek only to point out that the present fear of death must give place to an intelligent comprehension of the reality [394] and to the substitution of a concept of continuity which will negate disturbance, and emphasise the idea of the one life and one conscious Entity in many experiencing bodies.

It might be stated, in order to sum up my general proposition, that the fear and horror of death is founded upon the love of form—our own form, the forms of those we love and the form of our familiar surroundings and environment.  Yet this type of love runs counter to all our teaching anent the spiritual realities.  The hope of the future, and the hope of our release from this ill-founded fear, lie in the shifting of our emphasis to the fact of the eternal soul and to the necessity for that soul to live spiritually, constructively and divinely within the material vehicles.  Into this concept again enters the thought of restitution.  Wrong concepts are therefore forgotten; the idea of elimination also enters in so that right focus is attained.  Integration demands consideration, so that absorption in the life of the soul will take the place of absorption in the life of the body.  Sorrow, loneliness, unhappiness, decay, loss—all these are ideas which must disappear as the common reaction to the fact of death also vanishes.  As men learn to live consciously as souls, as they also learn to focus themselves on soul levels and begin to regard the form or forms as simply modes of expression, all the old sorrowful ideas anent death will gradually disappear, and a new and more joyful approach to that great experience will take their place.

You will note that the various words I have chosen in considering the basic requirements have been so chosen for their specific meanings:

1. The Work of Restitution signifies the returning of the form to the basic reservoir of substance; or of the soul, the divine spiritual energy, returning to its source—either on soul or monadic levels, according to the point [395] in evolution.  This restitution is predominantly the work of the human soul within the physical body and involves both the heart and the head centres.

2. The Art of Elimination.  This refers to two activities of the inner spiritual man; i.e., the elimination of all control by the threefold lower man, and the process of refocussing itself upon the concrete levels of the mental plane as a point of radiant light.  This concerns primarily the human soul.

3. The Processes of Integration.  These deal with the work of the liberated spiritual man as he blends with the soul (the oversoul) upon the higher levels of the mental plane.  The part returns to the whole, and the man comprehends the true meaning of the words of Krishna, "Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of myself, I remain."  He, too, the conscious experiencing fragment which has pervaded the little universe of the form in the three worlds, still remains.  He knows himself to be a part of the whole.

These three processes are Death.

It will be obvious to you that when humanity attains this outlook upon the fact of death or the art of dying, the entire attitude of the race of men will undergo beneficent change.  This will be paralleled, as time elapses, by a rapport between men upon telepathic levels; men will be steadily growing in intelligence, and humanity will be increasingly focussed upon mental levels.  This telepathic rapport will be a common and ordinary phenomenon of which modern spiritualism is the guarantee, though the distortion (and a very serious distortion) is largely based on humanity's wishful thinking, with very little true telepathy to be found in it.  The telepathy which is present today between the medium [396] (in or out of trance) and the bereaved relative or friend is not between the one who has experienced the release of death and the one who is still in form.  This should be remembered.  In the interim where mind is not normally telepathic, there may be (though there very seldom is) the interposition of a mediumship based upon clairvoyance and clairaudience, but not upon trance.  This will still necessitate a contact via a third party, and will be entirely astral; it will therefore be full of glamour and error.  It will, however, be a step forward from the present mediumistic performances which simply ignore the man who is dead and give to the enquirer only what the medium reads in his aura—his recollection of the personal appearance, significant remembrances stored in the enquirer's consciousness, and wishful thinking anent advice demanded because the enquirer believes that because a man is dead he must be more wise than heretofore.  When the medium at times succeeds in establishing true communication, it is because the enquirer and the dead person are mental types, and there is therefore a true telepathic rapport between them which the medium intercepts.

The race is progressing, developing and becoming increasingly mental.  The relation between the dead and the living must and will be upon mental levels, prior to the processes of integration; the true severance of communication will come when the human soul is reabsorbed into the oversoul, prior to again reincarnating.  The fact of communication up to that time will, however, completely destroy the fear of death.  In the case of disciples working in a Master's Ashram, even this process of integration will constitute no barrier.  In the next few pages I will give some teaching on what might be called the art of dying and so expand what I said in A Treatise on White Magic.

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PRESENT ATTITUDES TO DEATH

I undertook to take up with you the processes of dying and to consider a little more fully the factor of death—the most familiar experience (could the physical brain but recall it and realise it) in the life of the reincarnating entity or soul.  Let me make some comments as to the attitude of man to the experience of "restitution."  This is a peculiarly occult word, largely used by the initiate when speaking of death.  The outstanding attitude associated with death is one of fear.  This fear is based upon the—at present—mental uncertainty as to the fact of immortality.  Beyond the proven fact of some form of survival, established by the psychical research groups, immortality or the permanent existence of what we usually mean when we speak of the "I" remains as yet in the realm of wishful thinking or of belief.  This belief can be founded on Christian premises, upon religious affirmation based on rationalising the matter, and on the more scientific approach which argues that economic necessity requires that that which has been so long in evolving and which is the culminating result of the evolutionary process cannot be lost.  It is interesting to note that there is no evidence upon our planet of any higher evolutionary product than that of the human kingdom; even for the materialistic thinker, the uniqueness of man is to be found in his various stages of consciousness and in his capacity to present for investigation all stages of consciousness, from that of the illiterate savage, through all the intermediate stages of mental effectiveness up to the most advanced thinkers and geniuses, capable of creative art, scientific discovery and spiritual perception.  Putting it very simply, the question which the theme of death arouses is:  Where is the "I," the occupying tenant of the body, when that body is relinquished and disintegrates?  Is there, in the last analysis, an occupying tenant?

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Human history records the endless search for assurance upon this subject; this search culminates today in the numerous societies which are occupying themselves with the attempt to prove immortality and to penetrate into those fastnesses of the spirit which apparently give sanctuary to that "I" which has been the actor on the physical plane and which has hitherto baffled the most earnest seeker.  The incentive of fear lies behind this frantic search; it is an unfortunate fact that the majority of the people (apart from a few enlightened scientists and similar intelligent seekers) who engage in the usually questionable techniques of the seance room, are emotional types, easily convinced and only too ready to accept as evidence that which the more intelligent seeker would immediately repudiate.

Let me here make my position clear as regards the great spiritualistic movement which has done so much in the past to prove the fact of survival, and which has also, in certain of its phases, done so much to mislead and deceive mankind.  Under this general term, I class also the various psychical research groups and exempt all sincere scientific work.  None of these groups has as yet proven their case.  The mystery and the foolishness of the average seance room, and the work of the mediums, have nevertheless demonstrated the presence of an inexplicable factor; the laboratories of the scientific research worker have scarcely proved even that.  For every case of the definitely acceptable appearance of a discarnate person there are thousands of cases which can be explained upon the grounds of gullibility, telepathic rapport (with the bereaved person, but not with anyone who has passed over), the seeing of thoughtforms by the clairvoyant and the hearing of voices by the clairaudient, and also by trickery.  Note that I refer to "acceptable appearances" of a returning spirit.  There is enough evidence to warrant belief in survival and to prove its factual nature.  Upon the grounds of the inexplicable phenomena [399] of contact with the supposedly dead which have been noted, investigated and proven, and upon the character of the men who testify to the fact of these phenomena, we can affirm that something survives the "restitution" of the material body to the eternal reservoir of substance.  It is on this premise that we proceed.

Today the phenomenon of death is becoming increasingly familiar.  The world war has launched millions of men and women—civilians and those in the various branches of the armed forces of all the nations—into that unknown world which receives all those who discard the physical form.  Conditions are at this time such that in spite of the ancient and deep-seated fear of death, there is emerging in the consciousness of mankind the realisation that there are many worse things than death; men have come to know that starvation, mutilation, permanent physical incapacity, mental disability as the result of war and the strain of war, the observation of pain and agony which cannot be relieved, are indeed worse than death; also, many know and believe (for such is the glory of the human spirit) that the relinquishing of the values for which men have fought and died down the ages and which are deemed essential to the life of the free human spirit is of greater significance than the process of death.  This attitude, characteristic of the sensitive and the right thinking people at this time, is now emerging upon a large scale.  This means the recognition, alongside of the ancient fear, of an unconquerable hope of better conditions to be found elsewhere, and this need not necessarily be wishful thinking but an indication of a latent subjective knowledge, slowly coming to the surface.  Something is on its way as a result of human distress and human thinking; this is today sensed; this fact will be later demonstrated.  Opposing this inner confidence and subjective realisation are old habits of thought, the developed materialistic attitude [400] of the present, the fear of deception, and the antagonism of both the scientist and the religious man or churchman.  The former rightly refuses to believe that which remains still unproven and seems also not to be susceptible of proof, whilst religious groups and organisations have no confidence in any presentation of truth which they have not formulated in their own terms.  This lays an undue emphasis upon belief and thus stultifies all enthusiastic investigation.  The discovery of the fact of immortality will come from the people; it will eventually then be accepted by the churches and proven by science, but this not until the aftermath of the war is over and this planetary disturbance has subsided.

The problem of death, needless to say, is founded upon the love of life which is the deepest instinct in human nature.  The determination that nothing is lost under divine law is a recognition of science; eternal persistence in some form or another is universally held to be a truth.  Out of the welter of theories, three major solutions have been proposed; these are well known to all thinking people.  They are:

1. The strictly materialistic solution, which posits the experience and expression of conscious life as long as the physical, tangible form exists and persists, but also teaches that after death and the subsequent disintegration of the body there is no longer any conscious, functioning, self-identified person.  The sense of the "I," the awareness of a personality in contradistinction to all other personalities, vanishes with the disappearance of the form:  personality is believed to be only the sumtotal of the consciousness of the cells in the body.  This theory relegates man to the same state as any of the other forms in the three other kingdoms in nature; [401] it is based on the nonsensitivity of the average human being to life, withdrawn from a tangible vehicle; it ignores all evidence to the contrary and says that because we cannot see (visually) and prove (tangibly) the persistence of the "I" or the immortal entity after death, it is nonexistent.  This theory is not held by so many as it was in earlier years, particularly during the materialistic Victorian age.

2. The theory of conditional immortality.  This theory is still held by certain fundamentalist and theologically narrow schools of thought and also by a few of the intelligentsia, primarily those of egoistic tendency.  It posits that only those who reach a particular stage of spiritual awareness, or who accept a peculiar set of theological pronouncements, can receive the gift of personal immortality.  The highly intellectual also argue at times that the crowning gift to humanity is a developed and cultured mind, and that those who possess this gift are likewise endowed with eternal persistence.  One school dismisses those who are what they regard as spiritually recalcitrant or negative to the imposition of their particular theological certainties, either to complete annihilation as in the materialistic solution, or to a process of eternal punishment, thus at the same time arguing for a form of immortality.  Owing to the innate kindness of the human heart, very few are vindictive or unthinking enough to regard this presentation as acceptable, and of course among those we must class the unthinking people who escape from mental responsibility into blind belief in theological pronouncements.  The Christian interpretation as given by the orthodox and the fundamentalist schools proves untenable when submitted to clear reasoning; among the arguments which negate its accuracy lies the fact that [402] Christianity posits a long future but no past; it is likewise a future entirely dependent upon the activities of this present life episode and accounts in no way for the distinctions and differences which distinguish humanity.  It is only tenable upon the theory of an anthropomorphic Deity Whose will—as it works out in practice—gives a present that has no past but only a future; the injustice of this is widely recognised, but the inscrutable will of God must not be questioned.  Millions still hold this belief, but it is not so strongly held as it was one hundred years ago.

3. The theory of reincarnation, so familiar to all my readers, is becoming increasingly popular in the Occident; it has always been accepted (though with many foolish additions and interpretations) in the Orient.  This teaching has been as much distorted as have the teachings of the Christ or the Buddha or Shri Krishna by their narrow-minded and mentally limited theologians.  The basic facts of a spiritual origin, of a descent into matter, of an ascent through the medium of constant incarnations in form until those forms are perfect expressions of the indwelling spiritual consciousness, and of a series of initiations at the close of the cycle of incarnation, are being more readily accepted and acknowledged than ever before.

Such are the major solutions of the problems of immortality and of the persistence of the human soul; they aim to answer the eternal questioning of the human heart as to Whence, Why, Whither and Where?  Only the last of these proposed solutions offers a truly rational reply to all of them.  Its acceptance has been delayed because, ever since the time of H. P. Blavatsky, who formulated this ancient truth for the modern world in the last quarter [403] of the nineteenth century, it has been so unintelligently presented; it has been handicapped owing to the fact that the Eastern races have always held it, and—from the Western angle—they are heathen and the heathen "in their blindness bow down to wood and stone," to quote one of your fundamentalist hymns.  How curious it is to realise that, to the man from Eastern countries, the religious people in the West do likewise, and can be seen on their knees before the Christian altars bearing statues of the Christ, of the Virgin Mary and of the Apostles.

The occultists of the world, through the theosophical societies and other occult bodies, so-called, have greatly damaged the presentation of the truth anent reincarnation through the unnecessary, unimportant, inaccurate and purely speculative details which they give out as truths anent the processes of death and the circumstances of man after death.  These details are largely dependent upon the clairvoyant vision of astral psychics of prominence in the Theosophical Society.  Yet in the Scriptures of the world these details are not given, and H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine gave none.  An instance of this inaccurate and foolish attempt to throw light upon the theory of rebirth can be seen in the time limits imposed upon departed human souls between incarnations on the physical plane and the return to physical rebirth—so many years of absence are proclaimed, dependent upon the age of the departed soul and its place upon the ladder of evolution.  If, we are told, the soul is very advanced, absence from the physical plane is prolonged, whereas the reverse is the case.  Advanced souls and those whose intellectual capacity is rapidly developing come back with great rapidity, owing to their sensitive response to the pull of obligations, interests and responsibilities already established upon the physical plane.  People are apt to forget that time is the sequence of events and of states of [404] [404] consciousness as registered by the physical brain.  Where no physical brain exists, what humanity understands by time is nonexistent.  The removal of the barriers of the form, stage by stage, brings an increasing realisation of the Eternal Now. In the case of those who have passed through the door of death and who still continue to think in terms of time, it is due to glamour and to the persistence of a powerful thoughtform.  It indicates polarisation upon the astral plane; this is the plane upon which leading Theosophical writers and psychics have worked, and upon which they have based their writings.  They are quite sincere in what they say, but omit to recognise the illusory nature of all findings based on astral clairvoyance.  The recognition of a pronounced time factor, and the constant emphasis laid upon timing, are characteristic of all highly developed people in incarnation and of those whose lower, concrete minds are powerful in calibre.  Children and child-races on the one hand, and those highly advanced people whose abstract minds are functioning (through the medium of the interpretive lower mind), usually have no sense of time.  The initiate uses the time factor in his relations and his dealings with those living upon the physical plane, but is detached within himself from all recognition of it elsewhere in the universe.

Therefore the use of the term "immortality" infers timelessness and teaches that this timelessness exists for that which is not perishable or conditioned by time.  This is a statement requiring careful consideration.  Man reincarnates under no time urge.  He incarnates under the demands of karmic liability, under the pull of that which he, as a soul, has initiated, and because of a sensed need to fulfill instituted obligations; he incarnates also from a sense of responsibility and to meet requirements which an earlier breaking of the laws governing right human relations have [405] imposed upon him.  When these requirements, soul necessities, experiences and responsibilities have all been met, he enters permanently "into the clear cold light of love and life" and no longer needs (as far as he himself is concerned the nursery stage of soul experience on earth.  He is free from karmic impositions in the three worlds, but is still under the impulse of karmic necessity which exacts from him the last possible ounce of service that he is in a position to render to those still under the Law of Karmic Liability.  You have, therefore, three aspects of the Law of Karma, as it affects the principle of rebirth:

1. The Law of Karmic Liability, governing life in the three worlds of human evolution, and which is ended altogether at the fourth initiation.

2. The Law of Karmic Necessity.  This governs the life of the advanced disciple and the initiate from the time of the second initiation until a certain initiation higher than the fourth; these initiations enable him to pass on to the Way of the Higher Evolution.

3. The Law of Karmic Transformation, a mysterious phrase governing the processes undergone upon the Higher Way.  These fit the initiate to pass off the cosmic physical plane altogether, and to function upon the cosmic mental plane.  It is concerned with the release of those like Sanat Kumara, and His Associates in the Council Chamber at Shamballa, from the imposition of cosmic desire which demonstrates upon our cosmic physical plane as spiritual will.  This should be to you an arresting thought.  It will be obvious, however, that there is little that I can say upon this subject.  The knowledge involved is not yet mine.

[406]

To turn now to another aspect of our theme.  There are, speaking in the larger sense, three major death episodes.

There is, first of all, the constant recurrence of the fact of physical death.  This is familiar to all of us through its extreme frequency, could we but realise it.  This recognition would rapidly eliminate the present fear of death.  There is then the "second death" spoken of in the Bible, which is in this present planetary cycle associated with the death of all astral control over the human being.  In the larger sense, this second death is consummated at the fourth initiation, when even spiritual aspiration dies, being no more needed; the Will of the initiate is now fixed and immovable, and astral sensitivity is no longer required.

There is a curious counterpart to this experience upon a much lower level in the death of all astral emotion which takes place for the individual aspirant at the time of the second initiation.  It is then a complete episode and is consciously registered.  Between the second and the third initiations, the disciple has to demonstrate a continuity of nonresponse to astralism and emotionalism.  The second death, to which I am here referring, has to do with the death or the disappearance of the causal body at the time of the fourth initiation; this marks the completion of the building of the antahkarana and the institution of direct, unimpeded continuity of relationship between the Monad and the personality.

The third death takes place when the initiate leaves behind him, finally and with no prospect of return, all relation with the cosmic physical plane.  This death, necessarily, lies far ahead for all in the Hierarchy and is at present only possible and permissible for a few in the Council Chamber at Shamballa.  It is not, however, a process through which Sanat Kumara will pass.  He underwent this "transformation" many aeons ago, during the great cataclysm [407] which inaugurated the Lemurian Age, and which was induced by His cosmic experience and the need for an inflow of energy from extra-planetary Beings.

I have given these brief summations so as to enlarge your general understanding of what the Masters call "the extension of death in space."  Nevertheless, in the following pages we shall confine ourselves to the theme of the death of the physical body and of the subtler bodies in the three worlds; we shall deal also with the processes which bring about the reabsorption of the human soul into the spiritual soul upon its own plane, the higher mental plane; we shall consider the reassimilation of substance and the appropriation of matter in order again to reincarnate.

We shall therefore consider the three major processes to which I earlier referred; these cover three periods and lead, eventually, to other processes under the Law of Rebirth.  They are:

1. The Process of Restitution, governing the period of withdrawal of the soul from the physical plane and from its two phenomenal aspects, the dense physical body and the etheric body.  This concerns the Art of Dying.

2. The Process of Elimination.  This governs that period of the life of the human soul after death and in the two other worlds of human evolution.  It concerns the elimination of the astral-mental body by the soul, so that it is "ready to stand free in its own place."

3. The Process of Integration, dealing with the period wherein the liberated soul again becomes conscious of itself as the Angel of the Presence and is reabsorbed into the world of souls, thus entering into a state of reflection.  Later, under the impact of [408] the Law of Karmic Liability or Necessity, the soul again prepares itself for another descent into form.