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4. Diseases and Problems of Disciples and Mystics - Part 1

We will divide what we have to say about our theme, The Diseases and the Problems of Mystics, under four headings:

1. Those arising out of the awakening of the centres.  These constitute a major difficulty and will, therefore, be dealt with first of all.

2. Those arising out of the unfoldment of psychic powers.

3. Those connected with group conditions and problems.

4. Those related to the outgoing sixth ray forces and the incoming seventh ray influences.

a. PROBLEMS ARISING OUT OF THE AWAKENING AND STIMULATION OF THE CENTRES

Those of you who have read my other books and treatises will know how immense is the subject with which we are concerned and how little is yet known and taught anent the centres and their force emanations and the activity of the vital or etheric body which is the receiver and the distributor [521] of energies.  These energies determine and condition the circumstances and the physique of the human being and produce (in the last analysis) the phenomenal manifestation of man upon the physical plane, plus his inherent characteristics.  All of this information I have earlier given and it can be read and studied by those who are interested to do so.  They can thus clarify their knowledge anent the various centres.  One thing I would like here to point out and will later elucidate and that is the relation of the various centres to the rays.  This is as follows:

 

Ray one

Power or Will

Head centre.

Ray two

Love-Wisdom

Heart centre.

Ray three

Active Intelligence

Throat centre.

Ray four

Harmony through Conflict

Ajna centre.

Ray five

Concrete Knowledge

Sacral centre.

Ray six

Devotion

Solar plexus.

Ray seven

Ceremonial Order

Base of spine.

 

Much could be learned if one would gather all the data given on this subject into one book, thus relating what is known about the specific energy points to be found in the human frame.  All that I can do here is to give a general idea of the subject, indicate certain lines of development and relationship anent the seven major centres, the seven major glands and the localities and areas in the human body where these glands and centres are to be found.  I would also beg you to realise five facts:

1. That undeveloped men are energised and galvanised into outer activity through the medium of the three centres below the diaphragm.

2. That average man is beginning to function primarily through the solar plexus centre and to use it as a transferring centre of force for energies which must be carried from below the diaphragm to above the diaphragm.

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3. That the world aspirants are slowly being energised and controlled by the forces which are being transferred from the centres below the diaphragm to the throat centre and from the soul to the throat centre.  This leads to creative activity of some kind.

4. That the world disciples are beginning to be governed and controlled by the throat and heart centres and are also beginning to transfer the forces which have been raised to the heart and throat, to the ajna centre between the eyebrows, in the middle of the forehead.  When this has been done, the man is then an integrated personality.  The soul also stimulates the ajna centre.

5. That the more advanced disciples and world initiates are also energised from two sources:  by means of the energies raised up and lifted into the head from all the centres in the body, and by those which pour into the human frame from the soul, via the highest centre at the top of the head.

The whole process is, as you can see, one of development, use and transference, as is the case in all evolutionary development.  There are two major transferring centres in the etheric body—the solar plexus and the throat—and one master centre through which the energy of the soul must pour when the right time comes, pouring consciously and with the full awareness of the disciple.  That centre is the head centre, called in the Eastern philosophy "the thousand-petalled lotus".  The problem of the average man is, therefore, connected with the solar plexus.  The problem of the disciple, the advanced aspirant and the initiate of the lower degrees is connected with the creative centre, the throat.

I would here remind students that the following three [523] points, related to the transference of energy, must be borne in mind:

1. That there is a transference to be made from all the lower centres to higher ones and that this is usually done in two stages.  This transference, carried on within the personality, is paralleled by the transference of spiritual energy from that reservoir of force we call the soul to the man on the physical plane.  This becomes possible as the man makes the needed transference within himself.  These transferences can take place in the course of the evolutionary process, or they can be hastened through the forced training given to disciples of all degrees.

2. That, within this major field of activity, the following transferences will have to be made:

a. The energy of the centre at the base of the spine (the organ of the personal will) must be raised and carried up the spinal column to the head centre, via the ajna centre.

b. The energy of the sacral centre (governing the sexual life and the organs of physical creation) must be raised to the throat centre, which becomes the organ of creative activity of a non-physical nature.

c. The energy of the solar plexus (the organ of self-conscious personal desire) must be raised to the heart and there transmuted into group service.

3. That all these centres are developed and brought into activity in three stages, and thus progressively condition the outer aspects of a mans life:

a. There is a period wherein the centres are active only in a sluggish and semi-dormant manner:  the forces of [524] which they are formed, and which they express, move slowly and with a heavy inert rhythm; the light which can be seen wherever there is a centre is dim; the point of electric potency at the centre (the "heart of the lotus or chakra," the hub of the wheel, as it is esoterically termed in the Oriental teaching) is relatively quiescent.  There is just enough energy pouring into the centre to produce the preservation of life, the smooth functioning of the instinctual nature, plus a tendency to react, in a fluctuating and unintelligent manner to stimuli coming from the astral plane, via the individual astral body.

b. A period wherein there takes place a definite heightening and intensifying of force.  The light of the centres is brighter and the solar plexus centre, in particular, becomes very active.  As yet, all the real life of the man is focussed below the diaphragm.  The centres above the diaphragm are dim and dull and relatively inactive; the point at the centre is, however, more electrical and dynamic.  At this stage, the man is the average intelligent citizen, predominantly controlled by his lower nature and his emotional reactions, with what mind he has actively employed in bringing satisfaction to his needs.  His centres are the receivers primarily of physical and astral forces, but occasionally respond to mental impacts.

c. A period wherein the first transference is being made.  This can last a long time and cover several lives.  The centres below the diaphragm are fully awakened; their activity is great; their light is vivid; their interrelation is real, so much so that a complete magnetic field has been set up involving the whole area below the diaphragm and becoming potent enough to extend its [525] influence above the diaphragm.  The solar plexus becomes the dominant organ in the place of the sacral centre which has so long determined the life of the animal nature.  It becomes the recipient of energy streams from below which it absorbs and starts on its task of deflecting them and transferring them to the higher centres.  The man is now the highly intelligent citizen and aspirant.  He is conscious of the dualism of his nature, of that which is below and of that which is above, as it has been called, and is ready to tread the Probationary Path.

d. A period wherein the transference is continued.  The sacral forces are carried to the throat and the solar plexus forces are carried to the heart.  The latter transference is as yet of so small a measure that the effect of the transference is almost negligible.  This period is a long and very difficult one.  Today, most people are going through periods c and d, which are preparatory to the expression of the mystical life.

e. A period wherein the heart and throat centres are brought into activity.  The man is creatively intelligent along some line or other and is slowly becoming group conscious.  As yet, however, his reactions are still selfishly motivated though—at the same time—he is subject to cycles of vision and periods of spiritual effort.  The mystical life is definitely attracting him.  He is becoming the mystic.

f. A second period of transference ensues and the ajna centre, which governs the integrated personality, becomes active and dominant.  The life of feeling and of mystical effort is, at this time, liable to die down temporarily in its expressed fervour and ardent disciplines, and personality integration, personality ambitions [526] personality aims and personality expression take its place.  This is a right and good change and tends correctly to a rounded out development.  It is only temporary, for still the mystic sleeps beneath the outer activity and the intelligent worldly effort, and will emerge again to living endeavour when the mind nature has been fully aroused and is controlling, when desire for mental satisfaction has been satiated and the "son of God is ready to arise and enter the Father's house".  During this period, we find the intelligently creative or the powerful man will come to the zenith of his personality life.  The centres below the head will all be active and functioning, but the centres below the diaphragm will be subordinated to and controlled by those found above.  They are subject then to the conditioning will of the man who is governed at this time by ambition, intellectual expediency and that form of group work which tends to the expression of his personality potency.  The ajna centre is vivid and potent; the throat centre is intensely active and the heart centre is rapidly awakening.

g. A period wherein the highest head centre is brought into radiant activity.  This occurs as the result of the uprising (in a fresh and more potent manner) of the mystical instinct, plus, this time, an intelligent approach to reality.  The result is twofold:

1. The soul begins to pour its energy into all the etheric or vital centres, via the head centre.

2. The point at the heart of each centre comes into its first real activity; it becomes radiant, brilliant, magnetic and forceful, so that it "dims the light of all that lies around."

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All the centres in the body are then swept into ordered activity by the forces of love and will.  Then takes place the final transference of all the bodily and psychic energies into the head centre through the awakening of the centre at the base of the spine.  Then the great Polar opposites, as symbolised and expressed by the head centre (the organ of spiritual energy) and the centre at the base of the spine (the organ of the material forces) are fused and blended and from this time on the man is controlled only from above, by the soul.

There are, consequently, two points to be borne in mind as we study the mystic and his difficulties; first of all, the period of awakening and subsequent utilisation of the centres and, secondly, the period of the transference of energy from the solar plexus to the heart, and then from all the four centres up the spine to the throat centre, prior to the focussing of the energy of all the centres in the ajna centre (between the eyebrows).  This centre is the controlling one in the personality life and from it goes all personality direction and guidance to the five lower centres which it synthesises.  Each of these stages brings with it its own difficulties and problems.  We shall, however, concern ourselves with these problems only as they affect present opportunity or hinder the man who finds himself upon the Path and is, therefore, taking his own evolution in hand.  Then he stands "midway between the pairs of opposites" and this means (as far as our particular interest at this time is concerned) that we shall find three stages in the mystical work, each of which will mark a definite point of crisis, with its attendant tests and trials:

1. The stage wherein transference is made of all the lower [528] energies into the solar plexus, preparatory to carrying them to the throat and heart centres above the diaphragm.  This stage covers not only the process of transference but also that of focussing the forces in the higher centres.

 

Period

The later stages of the Path of Probation and the early stages of the Path of Discipleship.

Keynote

Discipline.

Objective

Idealism, plus personality effort.  Purification and control.

 

2. The stage wherein transference is made into the ajna centre and the personality life becomes integrated and powerful.

 

Period

The later stages of the Path of Discipleship and up till the time of the third initiation.

Keynote

Expression of the soul, through the medium of the personality.

Objective

The understanding of the Plan and consequent cooperation with it.

 

Then comes the third and final stage with which we need not concern ourselves wherein there is a complete blending of the bodily forces (focussed through the ajna centre) with the Soul forces, (focussed through the head centre).  It is at this time that there comes the final evocation of the personality will (purified and consecrated) which has been "sleeping, coiled like the serpent of wisdom" at the base of the spine; this surges upward on the impulse of devotion, aspiration and enlightened will and thus fuses itself in the head with the spiritual will.  This is the final raising, by an act of discriminating determination, of the kundalini fire.  This raising takes place in three stages, or impulses:

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1. The stage wherein the lower energies are carried to the solar plexus centre.

2. The stage wherein these energies, pouring through to the heart, are blended with it and carried to the throat.

3. The stage wherein all the five lower forms of energy are focussed in the ajna centre in the head.

Students might here ask:  Are there any other energies below the diaphragm, except those of the sacral centre and those focussed in the centre at the base of the spine which are carried up to the ajna centre via the solar plexus centre?  There are quite a large number of lesser centres and their energies, but I am not specifying them in detail for the sake of clarity; we shall deal here only with the major centres and their effects and inter-relations.  The subject is abstruse and difficult in any case without our complicating it unduly.  There are energies, for instance, pouring into the spleen from planetary sources as well as into two small centres situated close to the kidneys, one on either side, besides several others and these forces must all be understood, transmuted, transformed and transferred.  It is interesting to note that the two little centres close to the kidneys are related to the lower levels of the astral plane and let loose into the system much of the fear, etc., which is the distinguishing factor in those subplanes.  They are, therefore, found close to the centre which can control them because even the modern endocrinologist knows that the adrenal glands, when stimulated, produce (as a psychological result of a physical happening) an access of courage and a form of directed will which enables achievements to be carried out that are, at other time, well-nigh impossible.

I would like here to point out that the statement so frequently made in occult books that "kundalini sleeps" is only partially true.  The centre at the base of the spine is subject to [539] the same rhythmic life as are the other centres.  The specific period wherein "kundalini awakes" refers to that period wherein the "point at the centre" becomes vibrant, potent and active:  its forces can then penetrate throughout the entire spinal area until the highest head centre is reached.  This, however, would not be possible had there not been three earlier "uprisings of the latent force of will".  These uprisings serve to clear the passage up the spine, penetrating and destroying the etheric web which separates each centre and the area it controls from the next above.

All these transferences and interior organisation produce normally and naturally turmoil and conflict in the life of the mystic, causing difficulties of a definitely psychological nature and frequently pathological trouble as well.  You have to note consequently, the series of transference, psychological difficulty and pathological results.

For instance, these ideas may clarify themselves in your mind if I point out certain facts, relating to the sacral centre which for so long a period of time governs the animal and physical creative life of the human being.  During the processes of evolution, the sacral centre passes through the stages of automatic unconscious use, such as you find in purely animal man; then use under the urge of desire for pleasure and physical satisfaction, wherein the imagination is beginning to exert its influence; next comes the period wherein there is the conscious subordination of the life to the sex impulse.  This is of a different nature to the first mentioned.  Sex becomes a dominating thought in the consciousness, and many people today are passing through this stage and everybody at some time or in some life passes through it.  This is followed by a period of transference wherein the physical pull of sex and the urge to physical creation is not so dominant and the forces begin to be gathered up into the solar plexus.  There they will [531] be controlled largely by the astral imaginative life far more than by the unconscious animal or the conscious desire life.  They blend there with the forces of the solar plexus itself and gradually are carried up to the throat centre, but always via the heart centre.  Here we find a major point of difficulty for the mystic who is rapidly coming into being and functioning activity.  He becomes painfully conscious of duality, of the pull of the world and of the mystical vision, of divine possibilities and personality potencies, of love in place of desire and attraction, of divine relationship instead of human relations.  But this whole subject is still interpreted in terms of duality.  Sex is still imaginatively in his consciousness and is not relegated to a balanced place among the other instincts of the human nature; the result is an almost pathological interest in the symbolism of sex and what might be called a spiritualised sex life.  This tendency is amply exemplified in the writings and experiences of many of the mystics of the middle ages.  We find such expressions as the "bride of Christ", the "marriage in the Heavens", the picture of Christ as the "heavenly bridegroom" and many such symbols and phrases.  In the Song of Solomon, you find a masculine rendition of the same basically sexual approach to the soul and its all embracing life.

These and many more unpleasant examples of a sex psychology are to be found, blended with a true and pronounced mystical aspiration and yearning, and a genuine longing for union with the divine.  The cause of all this lies in the stage of transference.  The lower energies are subject, as you can see, to two stages of transference:  first, into the solar plexus and from thence to the throat centre.  The throat centre is not, at this period, active enough or sufficiently awakened to absorb and utilise the sacral energies.  They are arrested in some cases in their upward passage and retained temporarily in the heart [532] centre, producing the phenomena of sex urges (accompanied at times with definitely physical sexual reactions), of religious eroticism and a generally unwholesome attitude, ranging all the way from real sexuality to fanatical celibacy.  This latter is as much an undesirable extreme as the other and produces most undesirable results.  Frequently in the case of a male mystic there will be over developed sexual expression on the physical plane, perversions of different kinds or a pronounced homosexuality.  In the case of women, there may be much disturbance of the solar plexus (instead of sacral disturbances) and consequent gastric trouble and an unwholesome imaginative life, ranging all the way from a feeble pruriency to definite forms of sexual insanity with (frequently) a strong religious bias at the same time.  I would remind you here also of the fact that I am definitely dealing with abnormalities, and hence must touch upon that which is unpleasant.  In the early stages of mystical development, if there were right guidance of the mental life and of thought, plus courageous explanation of process, a great deal of difficulty would later be avoided.  These early stages resemble closely the interest shown by the adolescent both in sex and religion.  The two are closely allied in this particular period of development.  If right help can be given at this time by educators, parents and those concerned with the training of the young, certain undesirable tendencies—now so prevalent—would never grow into habits and thought states as they now do.

The next question which might most correctly emerge in the students consciousness could be stated as follows:  How can this process of awakening the centres, of using them as channels for force (at first unconsciously and later with increasing consciousness), and finally of transferring the energy to ever higher centres,—produce problems, disease, and the many and varied difficulties of a phenomenal nature to which [533] humanity seems heir, once the mystical experience becomes a goal and appears desirable.  I would again remind you that the whole problem must be interpreted in terms of the growth of consciousness and also in terms of the bringing together, in progressive stages, of various types of energy.  The human body is, in the last analysis, an aggregate of energy units.  In the vital body (thus conditioning the endocrine and lymphatic systems) are certain focal points through which energy pours into the physical body, producing an impression and a stimulation upon the atoms of the body and thus having a powerful effect upon the entire nervous system which it underlies in all parts.  The vital or etheric body is the subtle counterpart of the physical body in its nervous structure and the energy centres condition and control the glandular system.  Thus energies, influences, potencies and forces pour into and pass through the physical body—consciously in some cases, unconsciously in the majority of cases—from the three worlds of human enterprise and activity.  When the heart centre and the head centres are awakened and used by the interior and the exterior forces, you have the beginning of the mystical and occult life.

There are two reasons for this period of excessive difficulty:

1. The thread of consciousness in the head is anchored in the neighborhood of the pineal gland.  The thread of life is to be found anchored in the heart.  The turning of the forces (found below the diaphragm) into the solar plexus and from thence into the heart and the head brings those two major streams of energy (one coming from the Monad via the soul body to the heart centre, and the other coming from the soul direct to the highest head centre) to the attention of the mystic.  He then becomes aware of life possibilities and of the wide field which [534] consciousness can cover and of the area or the extension of its capacity.  This is the period of interior awareness.

2. The inflow of planetary and solar potencies, via the head centre to the heart and from thence to the other centres.

This inflow produces:

a. Stimulation of all the centres, major and minor, carried forward according to ray tendencies and influences.

b. The revelation of good and evil, that is, of the worlds of personality expression and of the world of soul expression.  This dual process proceeds simultaneously.

c. The existence, therefore, of duality, which when realised and when the great opposites (soul and personality) are blended, can and will produce the at-one-ment.

The result of these realisations in consciousness leads inevitably to struggle, conflict, and aspiration plus constant frustration; this process produces those adjustments which must be made as the man becomes increasingly aware of the goal and increasingly "alive".  The life expression (the threefold lower man) has to become accustomed to the new fields of consciousness and the opening areas of awareness, and to become used to the new powers which emerge, making the man able to enter more easily the wider fields of service which he is discovering.  It might be stated here in a broad and general sense that—

1. Stimulation produces the awakening of the lower psychic powers if the incoming energy is directed to the solar plexus or to the throat centre.  It produces the intense activities of the centres and this can, in the early stages, [535] cause definite psychic trouble.  In illustration of this I would like to indicate the general nature of the difficulties to which the mystic can be physically prone:

a. The awakening of the head centre can produce serious trouble if brought about prematurely and even lead at times to insanity.  Inflammation of certain areas of the brain and certain forms of brain tumours can be induced by a too rapid inflow of the highest form of energy which a man can receive prior to initiation.  This takes place, however, only in those cases where the man is a highly developed person and of a mental type.  In other cases of premature soul inflow, the energy pours through the opening at the top of the head and finds its way to some one or other of the centres, according to the ray type or stage of unfoldment.  Where the greatest attention of the man's consciousness and life force is focussed (even if unconsciously) to that point the incoming energy will almost automatically flow.

b. The awakening of the ajna centre which is, as we have seen, primarily the result of the development of a man's personality to the point of integration, can (if the energies involved are not correctly controlled) lead to serious eye trouble, to many aural difficulties, to various forms of neuritis, headache, migraine, and nerve difficulties in various parts of the body.  It can produce also many difficulties connected with the pituitary body and psychological trouble emanating from this important controlling gland as well as definite physical trouble.

c. The awakening of the heart centre (which is going on very rapidly at this time) is responsible for many [536] forms of heart trouble and for the various difficulties connected with the autonomic nervous system, particularly in relation to the vagus nerve.  The prevalence of various forms of heart disease at this time, particularly among the intelligentsia, professional and financial classes, is due to the awakening of this centre and to the discovery of an unrecognised capacity in humanity to become group conscious, and to undertake group service.  The thymus gland, which controls in a peculiar manner the life aspect in man, is closely connected with the heart centre, as might be expected.  This gland must eventually become more active in the adult than is now the case, just as the pineal gland in the coming human races will no longer be an atrophied organism with its true functions not understood and comprehended, but it will be an active and important part of man's equipment.  This will take place normally and naturally as man learns to function as a soul and not just as a personality.

d. Again, much trouble among people is due at this time to the awakening of the throat centre.  This centre governs and conditions the thyroid gland and the parathyroids.  It can produce, when unduly developed or prematurely awakened, hyper-thyroidism with its attendant difficulties and its often dangerous effects upon the heart and upon the metabolism of the body.  The psychological effects are well-known and recognised.  These difficulties are increased and this higher creative centre unduly stimulated and rendered a danger instead of an aid to expression by the enforced celibacy of many people, owing to the present unfortunate economic conditions.  These conditions are such that people refrain from marriage and there is consequently [537] the lack of opportunity to use (or to misuse) the energy flowing through the sacral centre.  Mystics are likewise prone to this difficulty.  The throat centre is not used creatively nor is the sacral centre turned to its proper uses.  The sacral energy is carried prematurely to the throat where it produces an intense stimulation.  The equipment of the man concerned has not yet reached the point where it can be turned to creative work in any field.  There is no creative expression of any kind as the development of the man does not permit him to be creative in the higher sense.  The Swiss people, though highly intelligent, are not creative in this sense.  The energy flowing through the thyroid gland is not used in creative art, music or writing in any outstanding manner, and hence the prevalence of goiter and thyroid difficulty.  There is much energy flowing through and to the thyroid gland and, as yet, but little use made of it.

e. The increased activity and stimulation of the solar plexus centre today is a most fruitful source of trouble.  It produces a great deal of the nervous difficulties to which women are particularly prone, and many of the stomach ills and liver troubles of the time, as well as intestinal difficulties.  One of the most powerful sources of cancer in various parts of the body (except in the head and face) can esoterically be traced to the congestion of the energy of the solar plexus centre.  This congestion has a general and widespread effect.  Difficulties arising from the awakening of the heart centre and the solar plexus centre (for the two are closely allied and have a reciprocal action for a long time in the mystical experience) produce also a powerful effect upon the blood stream.  They are connected with [538] the life principle which is ever "carried upon the waves of desire" (as the ancient writings put it) and this, when prevented from full expression, through lack of development or other causes, leads to cancerous areas in the body wherever there is a weakness in the bodily tissue.

f. The awakening of the sacral centre is of such ancient origin that it is not possible at this time to trace the true history of the development of the difficulties connected with sexual expression, nor is it desirable.  I have dealt with the subject of sex in my other treatises, particularly in A Treatise On White Magic.  I call attention to it only because in the course of the mystical life there is often a period of sexual difficulty if the mystic has not previously learnt sexual control and unless it has assumed balanced proportions to his other life activities and natural instincts in his consciousness.  Else, as he touches the heights of spiritual contact and brings in the energy of his soul to the personality, that energy will pass straight down to the sacral centre and not be arrested at the throat centre, as it rightly should be.  When this occurs, then perversions of the sex life may take place, or an undue importance may be attached to the sex activity, or the sexual imagination can be dangerously stimulated, leading to lack of control and to many of the difficulties known to physicians and psychologists.  The result is ever an overactivity of the sex life in some form or another.

g. The awakening of the centre at the base of the spine during the final stages of the higher mystical experience carries with it its own dangers.  These definitely affect the spine and consequently all the nerves which branch out in all directions from the spinal column.  [539] The raising of the kundalini force—if brought about ignorantly and prematurely—may produce the rapid burning through of the protective web of etheric matter which separates the various areas of the body (controlled by the seven centres) from each other.  This causes serious nervous trouble, inflammation of the tissues, spinal disease, and brain trouble.

I have here hinted at some of the difficulties in an effort to give you a general picture of the problem of the mystic.

2. Utilisation of a centre.  Let me explain this phrase.  Certain difficulties also arise when a centre is used to such an extent that the attention is withdrawn from the activity of the other centres and they are thus neglected.  In this way, whole areas of consciousness can temporarily cease to be recognised.  It should be remembered that the goal of all the mystic's efforts should be to achieve a rounded-out development which brings into use sequentially, correctly and in conformity to right ray methods, all the different centres.  Many people, however (once a centre is awakening and is subjectively stimulated) immediately find the utilisation of the centre to be the line of least resistance; they, therefore, begin to function almost exclusively through that centre.  This can be well illustrated by two examples.

The solar plexus centre is, at this time, highly active among men and women everywhere.  In every country millions of people are over-sensitised, emotional frequently to the point of hysteria, full of dreams, visions and fears, and highly nervous.  This produces widespread gastric difficulties, indigestion, stomachic and liver ills and diseases, and intestinal disorders.  To all of these the race today is exceedingly prone.  To these are often [540] coupled all kinds of skin eruptions.  The cause is twofold:

a. The over-stimulation of the solar plexus centre by its practically exclusive use, and by the consequent inflow of forces from the astral plane, to which the solar plexus is the wide open door.

b. The increased and constant use of this centre as its rhythm and vibration get too powerful to control.  The man then succumbs to the temptation to focus his life interest and attention in the astral world and to do this with increasing awareness, interest and phenomenal results.

The man is, therefore, a victim of forces which would otherwise produce a gathering together of that "which is lower" and their necessary transference into that which is higher.  A needed purpose would then be served, but—in the case we are considering—these forces are all concentrated in that central area of the body which is intended to be simply the clearing house for that "which is below into that which is above".  Instead of this, there is set up a tremendous whirlpool of forces which not only produces physical difficulties of many kinds (as stated above) but which is also a fruitful source of the cleavages with which modern psychology is dealing at the time.  So potent are the forces generated by the over use of the solar plexus (which is one of the most powerful of all the centres) and through the consequent flowing in of astral forces of every kind—thus augmenting the difficulties—that they assume eventually complete control of the life.  The forces below the diaphragm and those above become separated by this vibrant and potent central force centre.  Cleavage, astralism, delusions, hallucinations, nervous disorders of every kind and difficulties of a physical nature which definitely [541] involve the intestinal tract, the liver and the pancreas are only some of the problems which arise from the uncontrolled use of the solar plexus centre.  The man becomes controlled by it and is not the controlling factor, as he is intended to be.

The second illustration is connected with the unfoldment of the heart centre with its recognition of the group life and consequent group responsibility.  This today is rapidly growing and can be seen on every hand.  Students are apt to think that the awakening of the heart centre and its consequent group recognitions must be expressed in terms of religion, of love and of divinity.  They, therefore, make of it something spiritual, as that much misused word is understood by the orthodox religious man.  But it is far more than that.  The heart is connected with the life aspect, for there is the seat of the life principle and there is the life energy anchored.  It is connected with synthesis, with the monad, and with all that is more than the separated self.  Any group which is engineered and controlled by one man or by a group of men, whether it is a nation, or a big business institution or an organisation of some kind or another (such as a great hospital) is connected with the life which is found in the heart.  This remains true even when the motive or motives are mixed and undesirable, or purely selfish.  A business magnate controlling vast interests who has the lives of many people dependent upon the contingencies of a business which he may have founded and over which he presides, is beginning to work through the heart centre.  Hence the prevalence of certain forms of heart trouble to which so many people of influence and power so frequently succumb.  The heart becomes over-stimulated by the impact of the energies pouring in on the man who is subjected—among other things—to the directed thoughts of those connected with his organisation.  Can you see why, therefore, the senior members of the Hierarchy, Who work through the [542] head and the heart centres, keep Themselves withdrawn from public life and much human contact?  These two illustrations may help to clarify in your minds the sense in which I here use the term, "utilisation of a centre".

3. In the period of transference wherein the forces of the body are in a state of abnormal flux and mutation, it will be obvious what danger there is for the mystic and the disciple, and how serious can be the results of any transference which is forced into effect instead of following the natural course of evolution.  This accounts, partially, for the present world upheaval and chaos.  The forces flowing through the masses of average intelligent men today (and by that I mean those men who are educated and able to recognise the world news and to discuss world events and trends) are constituting the experimental ground for the transference of the energy of the sacral centre to the solar plexus.  This leads inevitably to turmoil, over-stimulation, revolt and many other difficulties.

The problems, therefore, are many but are subject to solution.  Let that not be forgotten.  The whole theme is vast, but many minds are today seeking to deal with it and are working selflessly and altruistically to bring about the needed changes, a better understanding of man's physical and psychological natures, and a new approach—both to religion and education.  When the mystical approach and its consequences, good and bad, material and spiritual—are better understood, through study and experiment, we shall arrive at a more complete comprehension of our problem and a better programme for human unfoldment.

I would like to point out that I am using the words "mystic and mystical" in this section of our treatise because I want [543] what I have to say to meet with the interest of those who recognise the fact of the mystical approach to God and the mystical life of the soul, but who refuse as yet to widen the concept so that it includes also the intellectual approach to divine identification.

The keynotes which the mystic at present recognises and which the religious writer and thinker is also willing to admit are those of feeling, sensitivity to the divine existence, the recognition of a vision of God which will suffice to meet individual need and thus bring relief, peace, understanding and the realisation of divinity without and within, plus the relationship of the man to some extraneous Factor called God, or the Self, or the Christ.  This attitude is coloured always by a sense of duality; it leads to the attainment of union—a union of which the marriage relation remains still the best symbol and illustration as the writings of the mystics of all periods and nationalities will testify, and which still preserves the consciousness of the two identities.

The keynotes of the occult life have been (and rightly) the notes of knowledge, of the mental approach to the problem of divinity, the recognition of divine immanence and of the fact that "as He is so are we."  There is, however, no sense of duality.  The goal is the achievement of such an approved and appreciated identification that the man becomes what he is—a God and, eventually, God in manifestation.  This is not the same thing as the mystical union.

And yet, the whole theme is mystical and innately subjective.  The time must come when the mystic will appreciate and follow the way of the head and not only the way of the heart.  He will learn to realise that he must lose his sense of the Beloved in the knowledge that he and the beloved are one and that the vision must and will disappear as he transcends it [544] (note that phrase) in the greatest processes of identification through initiation.

The occultist, in his turn, must learn to include the mystical experience in full understanding consciousness as a recapitulatory exercise before he transcends it and passes on to a synthesis and an inclusiveness to which the mystical approach is but the beginning, and of which the mystic remains unaware.

The mystic is too apt to feel that the occultist over-estimates the way of knowledge and repeats glibly that the mind is the slayer of the real and that the intellect can give him nothing.  The occultist is equally apt to despise the mystical way and to regard the mystical method as "lying far behind him".  But both must learn to tread the way of wisdom.  The mystic must and will inevitably become the occultist and this whether he likes the process or not.  He cannot escape it in the long run, but the occultist is not a true one until he recovers the mystical experience and translates it into terms of synthesis.  Note the structure of words I have used in this last paragraph for it will serve to elucidate my theme.  I use therefore the words "mystic and mystical" in this section of the treatise to describe the intelligent, highly mental man and his processes upon the Path of Discipleship.

In dealing with the problems and diseases of mystics who are at the point in their evolution where they are making one of the major transferences of force, it should be pointed out that in the earlier stages quite a long period of time may elapse between the first effort to transmute and transfer the energies and that particular life wherein the energies are finally gathered up and "elevated" as the esoteric term usually employed technically expresses it.  It is at this point of focussed activity (in the place of the previous fluidic and spasmodic efforts) that one finds a definite point of crisis in the life of the mystic.

The question is often asked:  Why is there frequently so [545] much illness, nervous trouble and various pathological conditions found among the saints of the earth, and among those who are clearly oriented towards the light?  The answer is that the strain put upon the physical vehicle by the shift of the forces is usually unduly great and so produces these undesirable conditions.  These again are often augmented by the foolish things done by the aspirant as he seeks to bring his physical body under control.  It is, however, far better for the undesirable results to work themselves out in the physical vehicle than in the astral or mental bodies.  This point is seldom realised and hence the emphasis laid upon the idea that sickness, ill-health, and disease are indicative of individual error, of failure and of so-called sin.  They can of course be all of these things, but, in the case of the true aspirant who is endeavouring to discipline and control his life, they are often not due to these causes at all.  They are the inevitable result of the clash of forces—those of the awakened energies which are in process of elevation and those of the centre into which the energies are being raised.  This clash produces strain, physical discomfort and (as we have seen) many distressing kinds of disorders.

The widespread disease and ill-health found everywhere at this time is caused by a mass transference which is steadily going forward in the race.  Through this transference, the solar plexus centre is thrown into an abnormal activity, thereby releasing all kinds of astral forces into the consciousness of man—fear, desire of a wrong kind and many of the emotional characteristics which are causing people so much distress.  The process is as follows:  the consciousness first of all registers these astral impressions, then formulates them into thought forms and—as energy follows thought—a vicious circle is thus set up, involving the physical body.  In the turmoil consequently evoked by these clashing forces which are

[546]

a. Mounting from below into the solar plexus,

b. Pouring into the solar plexus from the astral plane,

c. Reacting to the magnetic attractive power of the higher centres,