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SECTION ONE - THE NATURE OF GLAMOUR - Part 1

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SECTION ONE

THE NATURE OF GLAMOUR

In the preceding pages we dealt with certain definitions of the words (frequently used interchangeably) dealing with illusion and glamour. We found that:

1. Illusion is primarily of a mental quality and was characteristic of the attitude of mind of those people who are more intellectual than emotional. They have outgrown glamour as usually understood. It is the misunderstanding of ideas and thoughtforms of which they are guilty, and of misinterpretations.

2. Glamour is astral in character, and is far more potent at this time than illusion, owing to the enormous majority of people who function astrally always.

3. Maya is vital in character and is a quality of force. It is essentially the energy of the human being as it swings into activity through the subjective influence of the mental illusion or astral glamour or of both in combination.

4. The Dweller on the Threshold, always present, swings however into activity only on the Path of Discipleship, when the aspirant becomes occultly aware of himself, of the conditions induced within him as a result of his interior illusion, his astral glamour and the maya surrounding his entire life. Being now an integrated personality (and no one is a disciple, my brother, unless he is mental as well as emotional, which is a point the [27] devotee oft forgets) these three conditions (with the preponderance of the effect in one or other of the bodies) are seen as a whole, and to this whole the term the "Dweller on the Threshold" is applied. It is in reality a vitalised thoughtform—embodying mental force, astral force and vital energy.

The problem, therefore, before all of you in this group is to learn first of all:

1. To distinguish between these three inner illusory aspects.

2. To discover what conditions in the environment or in the individual constitution induce these situations of difficulty.

3. To find out what methods are effective in inducing a cessation of the bewildering deceiving conditions.

It must be remembered also that these distorting conditions, found in all of you, are the medium whereby you are tuned in on the world glamour and illusion. The emphasis has been laid in esoteric teaching on the training and liberation of the individual aspirant. This is, of course, necessary, for the mass is made up of the individuals, and in the steady release from the control of these inner delusions will come the eventual clarification of humanity. Therefore each of you in this group must of necessity work separately and apart with himself, and learn to induce those conditions of clarity and truth which will overcome the ancient rhythms and deep-seated habits and thus steadily purify the aura. But this has now to be done as a group, and this group constitutes one of the first of the exoteric groups with which it is intended to work in the new age. Through the activity of such groups, the world glamour will be dissipated, [28] but first of all the aspirant must learn to deal with individual and group glamour. It is necessary to remember the following three things. I am going to be brief and technical in teaching this group, for my time is short and you have an adequate technical knowledge with which to understand that whereof I speak.

First, the united auras of the group members ever determine the group condition, the group activity, usefulness, problem and glamour. Hence emerges individual group responsibility and individual usefulness. Each of you either hinders or aids the group, according to his auric condition, which is either in a state of glamour or illusion or is kept relatively free from these conditions.

Second, that the first job that each of you has to do is to determine his own peculiar problem. In giving you your individual instructions, I will take up with you in this instruction where the particular tendency in this direction of each of you lies, and whether it is glamour, illusion or maya to which you habitually succumb. I will deal with directness, for I have tested your sincerity and believe in your willingness to be told the truth. Once you have each determined the specific nature of your peculiar problem, you can then work with deliberation towards its solution—with deliberation, brother of old, and with no speed, but with due care and caution and with right understanding.

Thirdly, you must remember that as I look at the individual in any of these groups, I can at the same time gauge the quality of the group itself as a whole. The amount of inner light that can shine through and make its presence felt in your auras can be seen by me and indicate to me the strength and the efficiency and also the potency of your individual group influence, for the positive auras subordinate the negative auras. What is required is a combination of positive auras, deliberately subordinated to group work. [29] As you deal with illusion and as you free your minds from its effects, and as you dissipate the astral glamour in which you are all more or less immersed, you will enter into a greater freedom of living and usefulness. As the maya of distorted energy currents ceases to swing you into lines of undesirable activity, the light that is in you will shine forth with greater clarity. Incidentally the Dweller on the Threshold will slowly and surely disintegrate and leave your way, to the door of Initiation, free and unimpeded.

Strongly mental types are subject to illusion. This illusion is in reality a condition wherein the aspirant is being definitely controlled by:

1. A thoughtform of such potency that it does two things:

a. Controls the life activity or output.

b. Tunes the aspirant in on the mass thoughtforms, which are of a similar nature, and which are built by others under the dominance of a similar illusion.

This, in its worst aspect, produces mental insanity or idée fixe, but in its least dangerous and normal result produces the fanatic. The fanatic is usually—even if he realises it not—a bewildered man, who has a potent idea of some kind or another, but who finds it quite impossible to integrate it into the world picture; to make those needed, and often divinely directed, compromises which profoundly help humanity; to find the time or place for the realities which are within his natural grasp.

2. When a man is highly developed, the mental illusion is built around a definite intuition and this intuition is concretised by the mind until its appearance is so real that the man believes he sees so clearly that which should be done or given to the world that he spends his time endeavouring [30] in a fanatical manner to make others see it too. Thus his life slips away on the wings of illusion and his incarnation is a relatively profitless one. In a few rare cases, this combination of intuition and mental activity produces the genius in some field or another; but then there is no illusion, but clear thinking, coupled with a trained equipment in that particular field or enterprise.

3. The weaker and more average mental types of people succumb to the general field of illusion and of mass illusion. The mental plane manifests a different sort of distortion to that of the astral plane or the etheric. The faculty of discrimination which is being developed has produced sharper lines of demarcation, and instead of the dense fogs and mists of the astral plane or the swirling tides and currents of energy of the etheric plane, we have on the mental plane masses of sharply indicated thoughtforms of a particular quality and note and tone, around which are grouped lesser thoughtforms, created by those who respond to these forms, and to their note, quality and tone. Similarities are then seen to exist which constitute channels or avenues for the magnetic drawing power of the more potent thoughtforms. Ancient theologies in modern garb, fixed presentations of half truth, the wild thinking of various world groups, and many similar emanating sources have—down the ages—produced the world of illusion and those mental states which have held humanity prisoner to wrong concepts and thoughts. So many are these thought producing illusions that the effect in the world today has been to cause a general division of the human race into varying schools of thought (philosophy, science, religion, sociology, etc., etc.), into many parties and groups, all of them coloured by an analogous idea, into groups of idealists fighting each other on behalf of their pet concepts, and into tens [31] of thousands of participants in group mental activity. These are today producing the world literature, through which the world platforms are coloured; by their means the world leaders are inspired; and they are responsible at this time for the mass of experiments in the field of government, of education, and of religion which are producing so much of the world unrest, and consequently so much of the world illusion.

What is needed therefore at this time, are thinkers who are training themselves in that mental attitude and one-pointedness which is divorced from the danger of a negative receptivity and is responsive, at the same time, to the higher intuitional inspiration. It is mediating interpreters of ideas that are needed and not mediums.

The emotional types respond with facility to world glamour and to their own individual inherited and self-induced glamour. The bulk of the people are purely emotional with occasional flashes of real mental understanding—very occasional, my brother, and usually entirely absent. Glamour has been likened to a mist or fog in which the aspirant wanders and which distorts all that he sees and contacts, preventing him from ever seeing life truly or clearly or the conditions surrounding him as they essentially are. When he is a somewhat advanced aspirant, he is aware of the glamour and occasionally sees in a flash in what direction truth for him may lie. But then again the glamour settles down upon him and he is rendered powerless to release himself or to do anything constructive. His problem becomes further complicated by his consequent distress and his deep disgust with himself. He walks ever in a fog and sees naught as it truly exists. He is deceived by the appearance and forgets that which the appearance veils. The emanatory astral reactions which each human [32] being initiates ever surround him and through this mist and fog he looks out upon a distorted world. These reactions and the surrounding aura which they constitute blend and merge with the world glamour and fog and form part of the miasmas and unhealthy emanations for which the masses of men, for millions of years, are responsible.

I would point out to you that, in Lemurian days, glamour and illusion were relatively unknown from the human standpoint. There were no mental reactions and but little emotional response to environment. Men were largely instinctual animals. Glamour began to be found in Atlantean days, and since that time has steadily precipitated, until today when the Hierarchy looks at humanity it appears to be walking in a deep and constantly changing density of currents which hide and distort, and which swirl around the sons of men and prevent their seeing the LIGHT as it is. This is all the more obvious when it is remembered that the other kingdoms of nature are relatively free from glamour and illusion. In our race, the Aryan, the world illusion is gathering weight and slowly emerging into recognition in the human consciousness and this is a real point gained, for that which is recognised can then be intelligently handled, if the will to do so exists. Today illusion is so potent, that few people whose minds are in any way developed but are controlled by these vast illusory thoughtforms, which have their roots and draw their life from the lower personality life and desire nature of the masses of men. It is interesting to remember also in connection with our Aryan race that these thoughtforms draw their vitality also from the realm of ideas, but of ideas wrongly intuited and grasped and forced to serve the selfish purposes of men. Their forms have been brought into activity by the steadily growing creative power of mankind, and have been subordinated to the wishes of men, through the [33] use of language with its power to limit and distort. The illusion is also precipitated more potently than would otherwise be the case by the effort of many devoted idealistic men to impose these distorted thoughtforms upon the mental bodies of the masses. This constitutes one of the major problems with which the Hierarchy today has to concern itself; it is also one of the first factors which a Master has to consider in connection with any aspirant and disciple.

Glamour, as we have seen, is of more ancient standing and of earlier emergence than is illusion. It has little in it of the mental quality and is the major factor controlling the majority. The objective of all training given on the Path of Discipleship and up to the third initiation is to induce that clear thinking which will render the disciple free from illusion and give to him that emotional stability and poise which gives no room for the entrance of any of the world glamour. This freedom becomes possible when there is in the aspirant no personal glamour, and no deliberately self-induced response to the determining factors which have produced glamour down the ages. With these factors we will later deal.

Maya is the result of both glamour and illusion. It connotes, when present, an integrated personality and therefore the capacity to tune in on mental illusion and astral glamour. Where this condition is found, the problem of the disciple is one of the greatest in the world. What constitutes the prime difficulty of any disciple is the fact that the battleground of his life involves every aspect of his nature. The whole man is involved. Technically, the word MAYA should only be used in two cases:

1. In reference to the united glamour-illusion to which a man who is an integrated personality responds.

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2. In speaking of the limitations of the planetary Logos of our planet.

In the above remarks I have given you much food for thought—not only as regards your own personal problems (for all of you are subject to these conditions), but I have also indicated to you what is the nature of glamour. The word is used in all esoteric books and teaching to cover the conditions which are differentiated under the words maya, illusion and glamour itself. Later I will give you some teaching upon the causes of glamour and the methods of its dissipation. But I have given you here enough for the present, for it is my desire that you ponder upon these ideas during the next few months and learn somewhat of the significance of these words which you so lightly use. Watch yourselves and your daily life with discrimination, so that you learn to distinguish between glamour, illusion and maya. See whether you can discover the form which your individual Dweller upon the Threshold is likely to assume as you come into conflict with it; and if you do the same for your group brothers and the immediate world need, you will lose no time in the work of your astral clarification and mental release.

I would ask you to study these instructions with peculiar care, for I am taking the time and trouble these busy days to meet your need and to bring as much light as I can, without infringing your free will, to meet your need and clear your course to service.

I would suggest also that you find out all that you can anent the much misunderstood subject of the aura: search out what is said in my books and in the writings extant in any good occult library. I seek no copying out of paragraphs but a formulation of your knowledge so that you [35] can answer clearly questions which might be asked. The following three questions are basic:

1. What is the aura and how does it come into existence?

2. How can the aura be made the medium of light, and the light which should shine through it be intensified?

3. Have you noticed what is the effect which your own individual aura is making upon your environment and how can you improve that effect?

This will enable you to make practical application of that which I seek to teach you. Forget not that as you look out upon the world and your immediate environment, that you look out through your aura and have, therefore, to deal with glamour and illusion.

There are three further questions which you might put to yourself, facing the issue in the light of your soul:

1. Do I suffer primarily from glamour or from illusion?

2. Do I know which quality or characteristic in my nature facilitates my tuning in on the world glamour or the world illusion?

3. Have I reached the point where I can recognise my peculiar Dweller on the Threshold, and can I state what form it takes?

That you may indeed as individuals and also as a group learn the meaning of true self- knowledge and so learn to stand in spiritual being, increasingly free from glamour and illusion, is the prayer of your friend and brother who has fought his way through to a greater measure of light...

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During the past six months, four members of this group of students have been fighting glamour in their own individual lives, and for the most part successfully. I make reference to this because in an experimental group such as this, it is well to anticipate such a situation; such wrestling will naturally occur, because only that which is experimentally known becomes a true content of the equipment of the disciple. Earlier I referred to the fact that part of the plan of the Hierarchy embraces the starting of small groups such as this one which would have the definite objective of providing the active means whereby the world glamour—today so potent and deep—can be dissipated.

The time has not yet come for dealing with the world illusion on a large scale, for the race is not adequately mental nor has the illusion (which is, as I have stated, pre-eminently the result of the misinterpretation of ideas) reached its height. But the hour has struck for the first steps to be taken in the dissipation of glamour, and the hold of glamour upon the race should be appreciably lessened in the future. Hence the practical training now being given in this group in their own lives; hence also the intended teaching later to be given to the group—if they measure up to the opportunity—which will enable them to aid in the concerted and planned attack upon the world glamour. Wrestle therefore with your personal problems along these lines, my brothers, for in this way you will gain facility in discernment, in clear precise action, and in strengthened understanding.

In the process of dissipating glamour, the way of the greatest potency is to realise the necessity to act purely as a channel for the energy of the soul. If the disciple can make right alignment and consequent contact with his soul, the results show as increased light. This light pours down and irradiates not only the mind, but the brain consciousness [37] as well. He sees the situation more clearly: he realises the facts of the case as against his "vain imaginings"; and so the "light shines upon his way." He is not yet able to see truly in the larger sweeps of consciousness; the group glamour and, of course, the world glamour remain to him as yet a binding and bewildering mystery, but his own immediate way begins to clear, and he stands relatively free from the fog of his ancient and distorting emotional miasmas. Alignment, contact with his soul, and then steadfastness, are the keynotes to success.

It will therefore be apparent to you that small groups such as this, if established in different countries and cities and if successful in their personal activities, could play a most useful part. Such groups would have two aspects to their endeavour. They would have to wrestle with group glamour which creeps inevitably into group life through the instrumentality of the group members. Their united personal glamours provide the open door through which group glamour can enter. An instance of this can be seen in this group, when glamour entered in through the medium of L.T.S-K., and swept I.B.S. into its vortex of force. It was overcome, fortunately, leaving you all the richer and more united on account of the strong stand in love taken by the other group members. May I remind L.T.S-K. and I.B.S. of their deep indebtedness to the love of their brothers. The group love protected them. I.B.S. has gone a long way in freeing herself from certain aspects of glamour. L.T.S-K. is also freer than he was, but still has much to do. It is always difficult for the third ray person to cultivate the intuition. The apparently profound wisdom of the manipulative and devious science of the intelligence inherent in matter prevents oft the entrance of the true wisdom of the illumined mind. Six months ago I felt that it was probably impossible for L.T.S-K. to free himself [38] from the glamour in which he habitually walked. Today a little more light shines upon his way and he may, if he frees himself still further from his self-generated thoughtforms, make the needed grade.

When group glamour has been somewhat dissipated and the group can walk in the "lighted Way" with freedom, then will come the time when the group can be trained in group alignment, group contact and group steadfastness. It can then begin the definite and scientific task of attacking the world glamour. It is of interest in this particular group to be reminded that this is part of the activity now being undertaken by certain people in the New Group of World Servers. Through the emphasis in the world of certain basic ideas such as goodwill and mutual inter-dependence, much is being done to dissipate the glamour in which the people of the world are walking. It is not the function of every server to form part of the massed attack upon the world glamour which is now getting under way. Everyone has to deal with glamour in his own personal life, but functions and activities differ. Yours is the work of the trained observers, and that training takes much time. At present, many of you do not recognise glamour when it meets you, and envelops you. It is only by its effects that you eventually know it for what it is. The time must come when your processes of observation are so keen that you will recognise it in its true nature before it immerses and engulfs you and produces those conditions which enable you to say later: "Why did I allow myself to be glamoured? Why was I so deluded?"

At this point I desire to do two things: I seek to outline a little more carefully this discussion or short treatise on glamour, so that our ideas may be clearly formulated and you will have a textbook for future reference which [39] will serve to guide your group and analogous groups in the way of right activity. Secondly, I wish to recapitulate somewhat those things which I have already stated so as to enrich your understanding of the various phases of the world glamour. This world glamour, the analytical mind has to differentiate into distinctive phases, calling them Illusion, Glamour, Maya and that synthetic thoughtform, found on the Path of Discipleship, which is called by some schools of esotericism the Dweller on the Threshold.

As you will see from this, my brothers, we have set ourselves a large theme, which must be very carefully handled. My task is a difficult one, because I write for those who are still held by the varying aspects of glamour, and usually by the secondary glamour and maya. Illusion does not yet fully play its part and the Dweller is seldom adequately realised. I would here remind you of a stupendous occult fact and will ask you to endeavour to understand that whereof I speak. The Dweller on the Threshold does not emerge out of the fog of illusion and of glamour until the disciple is nearing the Gates of Life. Only when he can catch dim glimpses of the Portal of Initiation and an occasional flash of light from the Angel of the Presence Who stands waiting beside that door, can he come to grips with the principle of duality, which is embodied for him in the Dweller and the Angel. Do you comprehend that whereof I speak? As yet, my words embody for you symbolically a future condition and event. The day will surely come, however, when you will stand in full awareness between these symbols of the pairs of opposites, with the Angel on the right and the Dweller on the left. May strength then be given to you to drive straight forward between these two opponents, who have for long ages waged warfare in the field of your life, and so may you [40] enter into that Presence where the two are seen as one, and naught is known but life and deity.

In summarising some of the information I have given to you concerning the four aspects of glamour, I would offer the following tabulation for your careful consideration.

Note:

1. A dawning sense of maya arose in Lemurian days, but there was no real glamour and illusion.

2. Glamour arose in early Atlantean times.

3. Illusion arose among advanced human beings in later Atlantean days and will be a controlling factor in our Aryan race.

4. The Dweller on the Threshold arrives at full potency at the end of this race, the Aryan, and in the lives of all initiates prior to taking the third initiation.

5. The subhuman kingdoms in nature are free from glamour and illusion, but are immersed in the world maya.

6. The Buddha and His 900 arhats struck the first blow at the world glamour when He promulgated His Four Noble Truths. The Christ struck the second blow with His teaching of the nature of individual responsibility and of brotherhood. The next blow will be struck by the New Group of World Servers, acting under the direction of Christ and His disciples, symbolically described as "Christ and His 9000 initiates."

7. The Four Keynotes to the solution of the problem of glamour are:

Intuition . . . Illumination . . . Inspiration . . . The Angel of the Presence.

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THE ASPECTS OF GLAMOUR See Table

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I would call your attention to the fact that the whole problem concerns itself with the use or misuse of force or energy, and that much will clear up in your minds if you will realise three things:

1. That average man, in everyday life, and the aspirant upon the Path of Probation or Purification, works with the forces of life on the three planes of human endeavour, plus the principle of life itself.

2. That the disciple begins to discriminate between the forces and energy. Upon the Path of Discipleship he begins to work with soul-energy. This eventually dominates the forces.

3. That the initiate works, upon the Path of Initiation, with energy and learns to distinguish between the energy of life, the energies of the soul, and the forces of the phenomenal world.

Another point also should be emphasised here and that is that the nature of these forces and energies, and their use and control have always to be realised and worked out in full consciousness upon the physical plane. Theory must become fact, and the battles which take place on the subtler levels of the astral and mental planes must be realised in the brain consciousness. It is there that the application is made. As these realisations and inner activities become practical parts of the disciple's life and their consequences become clear to his perception in waking consciousness, they form in time part of his quality equipment. He is in reality integrating and synthesising experience in the three worlds and becoming a Master through conscious mastering. He grasps the fact that all that appears and all that happens is due to the circulation and constant mutation of force. He discovers then how these forces interplay in his own experiences [43] and nature, and grasps then the fundamental fact that only those forces which he himself can use and master in his own life as an individual can be employed by him in group activity and be used in the dispelling of the world glamour. It might be expressed in illustration thus:

1. Through alignment and subsequent contact, the intuition is evoked, awakened and used. This is the great dispelling agency, and pours down from the plane of the intuition (the plane of buddhi) through the soul and the brain to the heart of the disciple.

2. Through alignment and subsequent contact, the energy of the soul is evoked, awakened and used. This is the great dissipating agency, and pours down from soul levels (the higher levels of the mental plane) through the mind to the brain of the disciple carrying illumination to the astral plane.

3. These two types of spiritual energy work differently upon the forces of the personality, and their purpose and activity have to be realised in the brain consciousness of the disciple as he works upon the physical plane.

4. Then and only then can the light of the intuition and the light of the soul return to the astral plane through the conscious effort and the dynamic intelligent will of the serving disciple.

Ponder on these points for they outline your way and your service....

I have organised somewhat our ideas and outlined the plan under which we would approach this theme. I gave you certain basic concepts and a skeleton outline of the subject as a whole. (See the Table of Contents.) Today we will begin with our real discussion. As you know, it is not [44] my intention to write a long and ponderous thesis on this subject. The books which will be compiled from the instructions offered to these groups of disciples, will not be heavy treatises as are those on Cosmic Fire and White Magic. They will constitute a series of relatively short volumes, and must therefore be packed with information, and not discursive in style.

Above everything else, my brothers, these instructions must be of a definitely practical value and must leave the student with the realisation that he understands better the subtle world of thought currents and of forces in which he dwells; and that he knows better the means he must employ and the technique he must follow if he is to clear his path from darkness and confusion and follow on to light and harmony. Our study must be comparative also, and the reader must bear in mind that he will not be able to distinguish the truth or isolate that aspect of the teaching which is for him of paramount importance unless he applies that which is helpful, and ascertains clearly whether he is the victim of illusion or of glamour. In the last analysis, he must know where he stands before he can take his next needed step forward. The disciple is the victim and, let us hope, the dissipator of both glamour and illusion, and hence the complexity of his problem and the subtlety of his difficulties. He must bear in mind also (for his strengthening and cheer) that every bit of glamour dissipated and every illusion recognised and overcome "clears the way" for those who follow after, and makes easier the path of his fellow disciples. This is par excellence, the Great Service, and it is to this aspect of it that I call your attention. Hence my attempts in these instructions to clarify this issue.

One of the problems which confronts the aspirant is the problem of duly recognising glamour when it arises, and of being aware of the glamours which beset his path and the [45] illusions which build a wall between him and the light. It is much that you have recognised that glamour and illusion exist. The majority of people are unaware of their presence. Many good people today see this not; they deify their glamours and regard their illusions as their prized and hard won possessions.

The very recognition, in its turn however, carries with it its own problems, so unable is the average disciple to free himself from the glamour-making faculties developed in the past, and so hard does he find it to preserve a due proportion and a proper sense of values in regard to the truths of the mental plane. A hard won truth and a principle of reality can be grasped, and then around it the disciple can build the easily formed illusions of the mind which is just beginning to find itself. The glamours of an emotional nature can emerge and gather about the ideal, for that is as yet unclarified and is prone to attract to itself that which—emotionally and sensitively—it believes itself to be and have.

Let us illustrate my point from two angles, both of which are entirely in the realm of discipleship, or encountered upon the Path of Probation. We will call them the "illusion of power" and the "glamour of authority." This form of words will show you that one is to be encountered upon the astral plane and the other upon the mental.

The Glamour of Authority is a mass glamour in most cases. It has its roots in mass psychology and is one of the indications that humanity is at the nursery stage as yet, wherein men are safeguarded from themselves by the imposition of some rule, some set of laws, some authoritative dictum, emanating from state control, from the rule of an oligarchy, or from the dictatorship of some individual. It reduces mankind, as far as one can judge, to set forms and standardises men's activities, regimenting their lives [46] and work. It is imposed and ordered through catering to the fear complex, rampant in humanity at this time; and this fear is one of the most fruitful sources of glamour which we have. We might perhaps and with reason regard it as the seed of all glamour upon our planet. Fear has been the incentive to those conditions which have brought about the glamour of the astral plane, though not the illusions of the mental levels of consciousness.

When the glamour of authority transfers itself into the spiritual consciousness of man, we have such a state of affairs as the period of the Inquisition in its worst forms, of Church authority, with the emphasis upon organisation, government and penalties, or the unquestioned rule of some teacher. In its highest forms we have the recognition of the right of the solar Angel, of the soul or ego, to rule. Between these two extremes, which express the infancy of the race and the freedom which comes when mankind achieves its majority and the freedom of the soul, lie all the many types and kinds of intermediate reactions. In illustration of our point, and thus emphasising the glamour aspect as it affects the disciple and the problem which he faces, what do we find? The disciple has freed himself somewhat from the imposed control of an orthodox teaching and from the rule of a teacher. He stands (as far as he can tell) free from such control. Knowing however his essential weakness and the lure of the personality, he is on guard against himself, and against the ancient rules of control and learns steadily to stand on his own feet, to come to his own decisions, to distinguish truth for himself. He learns to choose his way. But, like all persons who have not taken some of the higher initiations, he can (in due time) become enamoured of his freedom, and automatically then swing into the glamour of his ideal of freedom,—an ideal which he has created. He becomes the prisoner of freedom. He rejects all rule except [47] that which he calls the "rule of his own soul," forgetting that his contact with his soul is still intermittent. He demands the right to stand alone. He revels in his new found freedom. He forgets that, having given up the authority of a teaching and of a teacher, he has to learn to accept the authority of the soul and of the group of souls with which he is affiliated through his karma, his ray type, his choice, and the inevitability of the effects of the at-one-ment. Having relinquished the guidance of another person upon the Path, and having his eyes partially opened, he now seeks to tread that Path to the goal, forgetting however that he treads the Path in unison with others, and that there are certain "Rules of the Road" which he must master, and which he must master in unison with others. He has exchanged the individual law for the group law, but does not yet know that group law as it should be known. He marches on as best he can alone, glorying in the freedom from authority which he has succeeded in achieving. He promises himself that he will brook no authority or guidance.

Those of us who are considering him and looking on at him from the clearer heights of attainment see him gradually becoming obscured by wisps of fog and by a glamour which is gradually growing up around him as he becomes a "prisoner of the fog of freedom" and revels in what he deems the fact of his independence. When his sight has cleared, and when his mental aspect is more developed and unfolded, he will know that the Law of the Group must, and will, impose itself upon him, and that the rule of the lower nature has only to be exchanged for the rule of the soul. This is group rule and works under the law of the group. He has struggled out of the mass of seekers of the Road on to the Road itself. He is, therefore, ahead of the masses but he is not alone, even if he thinks that he is. He will discover many others who are travelling the same way with [48] him, and their numbers will steadily increase as he progresses. The rule of interplay, of travel, and of group recognition and work and service will impose themselves upon him until he finds that he is a member of the New Group of World Servers, working under the conditions which are the rules governing their activities. As he learns to travel with them upon the Road, their governing incentives and the techniques of their chosen service will penetrate his consciousness, and automatically and naturally he will begin to obey the higher rhythm and give his assent to the laws which control group life and group consciousness. Finally, he will find himself entering into the silent places where the Masters of the Wisdom dwell, and will work in group rhythm with Them, obeying thus the laws of the spiritual realm, which are the subjective laws of God.

Time and again, along the Road, he will revolt from control and will fall back into the glamour of his supposed freedom. There is freedom from the control of the personality. There is freedom from the control of personalities. But there is never any freedom from the Law of Service, and from the constant interplay between man and man, and soul and soul. To stand really free is to stand in the clear unimpeded light of the soul, which is basically and intrinsically group consciousness.

Therefore, when one of you is beset by uncertainty and unrest, desiring and demanding to walk free and that no authority be imposed upon you, see that you are not submitting to the glamour of a desire to be freed from your group impacts, and make sure that you are not seeking—as a sensitive soul—a way of escape. I am using this phrase in the modern psychological sense. Be sure to ask yourself the question: Is your comfort and your peace of mind of such definite importance to yourself and to others that it warrants your sacrificing the group integrity in order to have it? [49] Does your own interior satisfaction provide an adequate excuse for delaying the planned group purpose? For delay it, it certainly will. Whatever you decide will constitute, in its turn, an authoritative decision with all the consequent reactions upon the group....

What is this occult obedience, my brothers, about which we hear so much? Not what many occult groups make it out to be. It is not the control of an external organisation, dedicated to so-called occult work. It is not the imposed conditions of any teacher of any rank. It is not the exchange of the prison of one set of ideas for those of another set with perhaps a larger range or import. A prison is a prison, whether it is a tiny cell or an isolated island of vast extent, from which escape is impossible.

The authority to which we, the teachers on the inner side, respond is twofold in nature, and to it you are just beginning (as units in a group) to respond. To what do you respond?

1. To the slowly emerging realisation of the "light beyond," using that phrase as a symbol. This light is different in its appeal to the individual. Yet it is ONE LIGHT. But its recognition reveals new laws, new responsibilities, new duties and obligations, and new relations to others. These constitute an authoritative control. None can escape this authority, but can disobey it in time and space and for a temporary period.

2. To the authority of the Rules of the Road which are imposed upon one as one passes from the Path of Probation on to the Path of Discipleship. Yet it is ONE ROAD. Upon this "narrow, razor-edged path," one learns to walk with discipline and discretion and [50] with the desirelessness which one experiences in unison with one's fellow disciples.

What, briefly and succinctly, are these rules of the Road? Let me give you six of the simplest rules, begging you to remember that they are not authoritatively imposed by an arbitrary Board of Directors, such as a group teacher or teachers (of whom I might, of course, be one) but are the outcome of the conditions to be found upon the Path itself. They carry the warrant of a man's own soul and are the result of the experience of millions of travellers upon that Path.

I will give you these six rules (even as I gave them to another aspirant {i}*) in ancient and symbolic form, translating them as well as I can from the ancient records, stored in the Hall of Wisdom, and available to all earnest disciples,—such as you.

The Six Rules of the Path

(Rules of the Road)

I. The Road is trodden in the full light of day, thrown upon the Path by Those Who know and lead. Naught can then be hidden, and at each turn, a man must face himself.

II. Upon the Road the hidden stands revealed. Each sees and knows the villainy of each. (I can find no other word, my brother, to translate the ancient word which designates the unrevealed stupidity, the vileness and crass ignorance, and the self-interest which are distinguishing characteristics of the average aspirant.) And yet there is, with that great revelation, no turning back, no spurning of [51] each other, and no shakiness upon the Road. The Road goes forward into day.

III. Upon that Road one wanders not alone. There is no rush, no hurry. And yet there is no time to lose. Each Pilgrim, knowing this, presses his footsteps forward, and finds himself surrounded by his fellowmen. Some move ahead; he follows after. Some move behind; he sets the pace. He travels not alone.

IV. Three things the Pilgrim must avoid. The wearing of a hood, the veil which hides his face from others; the carrying of a water pot which only holds enough for his own wants; the shouldering of a staff without a crook to hold.

V. Each Pilgrim on the Road must carry with him what he needs: a pot of fire, to warm his fellowmen; a lamp, to cast its rays upon his heart and show his fellowmen the nature of his hidden life; a purse of gold, which he scatters not upon the Road but shares with others; a sealed vase, wherein he carries all his aspiration to cast before the feet of Him Who waits to greet him at the gate—a sealed vase.

VI. The Pilgrim, as he walks upon the Road, must have the open ear, the giving hand, the silent tongue, the chastened heart, the golden voice, the rapid foot, and the open eye which sees the light. He knows he travels not alone.

The Illusion of Power is perhaps one of the first and most serious tests which comes to an aspirant. It is also one of the best examples of this "great mistake," and I [52] therefore bring it to your attention as being one against which I beg you most carefully to guard yourself. It is rare indeed for any disciple to escape the effects of this error of illusion for it is, curiously, based upon right success and right motive. Hence the specious nature of the problem. It might be expressed thus:

An aspirant succeeds in contacting his soul or ego through right effort. Through meditation, good intention, and correct technique, plus the desire to serve and to love, he achieves alignment. He becomes then aware of the results of his successful work. His mind is illumined. A sense of power flows through his vehicles. He is, temporarily at least, made aware of the Plan. The need of the world and the capacity of the soul to meet that need flood his consciousness. His dedication, consecration and right purpose enhance the directed inflow of spiritual energy. He knows. He loves. He seeks to serve, and does all three more or less successfully. The result of all this is that he becomes more engrossed with the sense of power, and with the part he is to play in aiding humanity, than he is with the realisation of a due and proper sense of proportion and of spiritual values. He over-estimates his experience and himself. Instead of redoubling his efforts and thus establishing a closer contact with the kingdom of souls and loving all beings more deeply, he begins to call attention to himself, to the mission he is to develop, and to the confidence that the Master and even the planetary Logos apparently have in him. He talks about himself; he gestures and attracts notice, demanding recognition. As he does so, his alignment is steadily impaired; his contact lessens and he joins the ranks of the many who have succumbed to the illusion of sensed power. This form of illusion is becoming increasingly prevalent among disciples and those who have taken the first two initiations. There are today many people in the world who have taken the first [53] initiation in a previous life. At some period in the present life cycle, recurring and recapitulating as it does the events of an earlier development, they again reach a point in their realisation which they earlier reached. The significance of their attainment pours in upon them, and the sense of their responsibility and their knowledge. Again they over-estimate themselves, regarding their missions and themselves as unique among the sons of men, and their esoteric and subjective demand for recognition enters in and spoils what might otherwise have been a fruitful service. Any emphasis upon the personality can distort most easily the pure light of the soul as it seeks to pour through the lower self. Any effort to call attention to the mission or task which the personality has undertaken detracts from that mission and handicaps the man in his task; it leads to the deferring of its fulfilment until such time when the disciple can be naught but a channel through which love can pour, and light can shine. This pouring through and shining forth has to be a spontaneous happening, and contain no self-reference.

These two illustrations of glamour and of illusion will show you not only the subtlety of the problem, but also the urgent need for its recognition. There are today so many manifesting these two qualities of the lower nature.

1. Glamour on the Mental Plane . . . . . . Illusion.

In this section of our discussion we shall give less time to the consideration of illusion than we shall to that of glamour, or of maya. Illusion is not met squarely, faced and overcome until a man has:

a. Shifted the focus of his consciousness on to the mental plane.

b. Worked definitely at the task of intelligent service.

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c. Made his soul alignment consciously and easily, and firmly established his technique of contact.

d. Taken the first initiation.

The word illusion is frequently lightly used to signify lack of knowledge, unsettled opinions, glamour, misunderstandings, psychic bewilderment, the dominance of the lower psychic powers, and many other forms of the world illusion. But the time has come when the word must be used with a developed discriminating sense, and when the disciple must know clearly and comprehend the nature of that phenomenal miasma in which humanity moves. For the purposes of clarity and in order to distinguish more definitely and effectively between the forms of illusion in which the soul moves, and from which it must liberate itself, it will be necessary for us to separate the Great Illusion (in its various aspects) into its component parts in time and space, and this I attempted partially to do when I defined for you the words Maya, Glamour, Illusion, and the Dweller on the Threshold. I want you to keep very clearly in your mind these distinctions, and to study with care the tabulation earlier given you.

Illusion, for our purposes, can be understood to signify the reaction of the undisciplined mind to the newly contacted world of ideas. This contact opens up from the moment a man has aligned himself and brought the lower nature into touch with the higher. Ideas come to us from the plane of the intuition. The soul illumines the plane of the mind and the plane of the intuition so that they stand revealed to each other and their mutual relationship becomes then apparent. The mind of the man (which is slowly becoming the centre of his consciousness and the major reality in his existence) becomes aware of this new and undiscovered world of ideas and he seizes upon some idea or group [55] of ideas and endeavours to make them his own. At first, with the majority of people and especially with the average mystical type, the appreciation of ideas is vague and nebulous, and frequently is arrived at from a second-hand angle. The illumination, coming through the medium of the feebly established soul contact, seems to the unaccustomed neophyte to be of a supreme wonder and of vital moment. The ideas contacted appear to him of great marvel, and superbly unusual, and vitally needed by humanity.