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SECTION ONE - THE NATURE OF GLAMOUR - Part 3

When one is in the midst of fogs and glamours, however, it is much easier to sit down and hypnotise oneself into the belief that one is "calling in the soul" than it is to subject one's astral and emotional nature to the effect of hard straight thinking, using the mind as the instrument whereby glamour can be dispelled. Strange as it may seem, the "calling in of the soul" to deal directly with glamour may (and frequently does) lead to an intensification of the difficulty. The mind is the means whereby light can be brought to bear on all conditions of glamour, and students would do well to bear this thought constantly in their consciousness. The process is one of linking up the mind with the soul and then focussing oneself consciously and with precision in the mind nature or in the mental body, and not in the soul nature or the egoic form. Then, through analysis, discrimination and right thought one proceeds to deal with the problem of glamour. The trouble is that disciples often do not recognise [84] the condition as one of glamour and it is difficult to give a clear and infallible rule whereby that recognition can come. It might be stated, however, that glamour can always be found where there exists:

1. Criticism, when careful analysis would show that no criticism is really warranted.

2. Criticism, where there is no personal responsibility involved. By that I mean, where it is not the place or the duty of the man to criticise.

3. Pride in achievement or satisfaction that one is a disciple.

4. Any sense of superiority or separative tendency.

Many other clues to a right recognition of glamour might be given, but if all of you would pay close attention to the above four suggestions, you would release your lives most perceptibly from the influence of glamour and be of greater service consequently to your fellowmen. I have endeavoured to give you here some practical assistance in this difficult battle between the pairs of opposites, which is the major cause of glamour.

3. Glamour Upon Etheric Levels . . . . . . Maya

We come now to a consideration of the ways and means whereby maya can be ended and the disciple stand free from the influence of physical plane force. In the above statement the whole story of maya can be found. It might be added also (perhaps not wholly correctly but nevertheless with sufficient truth to warrant the statement) that maya, as a recognised effect, is only experienced when one is upon the Path, beginning with the Path of Probation or Purification. One is always in the midst of forces. But maya (as a problem) [85] only becomes so when recognised, and this recognition is not possible in the early stages of evolution. Upon the Path, one begins to watch for and to discover the effects of force; one finds oneself consciously the victim of force currents; one is swept into activity of some kind by uncontrolled forces, and the world of force becomes a consciously sensed reality to the struggling aspirant. It is for this reason that I have stated that maya is predominantly a difficulty of the etheric body, for in relation to maya we are dealing with the forces pouring through the seven centres of the body (in all or in some), producing reactions and effects that are desirable or disastrous.

It is naturally necessary to realise that all manifestation on all levels is an expression of force, but the forces to which I refer here under the term maya are those uncontrolled energies, those undirected impulses which emanate from the world of prana and from the latent force of matter itself. These sweep a man into wrong activity and surround him with a whirlpool of effects and of conditions in which he is entirely helpless. He is the victim of mass force, hidden in the animal nature or in the world and the environing circumstances in which he finds himself. When to the power of maya is added the condition of glamour and also the illusions of the advanced disciple, it will be seen how necessary it is that there should be quiet differentiation between the three types of deception. It should he remembered that when we use the term "deception," we mean deception from the angle of the soul. The aspirant has to learn to stand free from illusion, glamour, and maya, and to do this he must understand the means to freedom which are: Intuition, Illumination and Inspiration.

The problem of maya is complicated by the fact that upon the physical plane (as upon the astral plane, though this is as yet little realised) you have the battle of a pair of [86] opposites. These are of a different nature in some respects to those found upon the astral plane. On the physical plane (and by that I mean upon the etheric levels of the physical plane whereon the deceptive power of maya is experienced) there is the meeting of the forces of the subjective world of the personality and the ancient energies of matter itself, brought over as latent seeds from an earlier solar system.

It might perhaps become clearer to your perception if I worded the truth about maya as follows:

The latent impulses of the personality life, when divorced from and not under soul control, are blended with the pranic fluids within the periphery of the personality sphere of influence, and then become potent directed streams of force, seeking emergence into physical manifestation through the medium of the seven centres in the physical body. These forces or impulses, plus the prana available, constitute the etheric body of the undeveloped and frequently of the average man. It will be apparent, therefore, how much the undeveloped man is the victim of mass energy of a low kind, for his etheric body is responsive to, and draws its energy from a type of general environing prana, until such time as there is a definite direction and a higher control—either through oriented aspiration and mental discipline, or later as the result of soul conditioning, to use the psychological phrase.

This etheric energy, focussed in an individual etheric body, passes through two stages prior to the period of discipleship:

1. The stage wherein it assimilates the second force to which I referred—the force, latent in the dense physical form, the energy of the atomic substance, thus producing a definite fusing and blending. This causes the animal nature to conform entirely to the inner impulses, [87] emanating from the world of prana, where the entirely undeveloped man is concerned, or from the lower astral where the more developed or average man is concerned.

2. The moment, however, that an inner orientation towards the world of higher values takes place, then the etheric or vital force is brought into conflict with the lowest aspect of man, the dense physical body, and the battle of the lower pairs of opposites takes place.

It is interesting to note that it is during this stage that the emphasis is laid upon physical disciplines, upon such controlling factors as total abstinence, celibacy, and vegetarianism, and upon physical hygiene and physical exercises. Through these, the control of the life of matter, the lowest expression of the third aspect of divinity can be offset, and the man set free for the true battle of the pairs of opposites. This second battle is the true kurukshetra and is fought out in the astral nature, between the pairs of opposites which are distinctive of our solar system, just as the physical pairs of opposites are distinctive of the past solar system. From one interesting angle the battle of the opposites upon the lower spiral, in which the physical body in its two aspects is concerned, can be seen taking place in the animal kingdom. In this process, human beings act as the agents of discipline, and the domesticated animals, which are forced to conform to human control, are wrestling (even if unconsciously from our point of view) with the problem of this lower pair of opposites. Their battle is fought out through the medium of the dense physical body and the etheric forces, and in this way a higher aspiration is brought into expression. This produces in them the experience which we call "individualisation," wherein the seed of personality is sown. On the human battlefield, the kurukshetra, the higher aspect of the [88] soul begins to dominate, producing the process of divine-human integration which we call "initiation." Ponder upon this.

When an aspirant reaches that point in his evolution wherein the control of the physical nature is an urgent necessity, he recapitulates in his own life this earlier battle with the lowest pairs of opposites, and begins then to discipline his dense physical nature.

Making a broad and sweeping generalisation, it might be said that for the human family en masse this dense physical-etheric conflict was fought out in the World War, which was the imposition of a tremendous test and discipline. Remember that our tests and disciplines are self-imposed and grow out of our limitations and our opportunities. The result of this test was the passing on to the Path of Probation of a very large number of human beings, owing to the purging and purification to which they had been subjected. This purificatory process in some measure prepared them for the prolonged conflict upon the astral plane which lies ahead of all aspirants prior to achieving initiation. It is the "Arjuna experience." This is an interesting point upon which to ponder and explains much of mystery and of difficulty in the sequence of human unfoldment. The individual aspirant is apt to think only in terms of himself and of his individual tests and trials. He must learn to think of the mass occurrences and their preparatory effect where humanity is concerned. The World War was a climaxing point in the process of "devitalising" the world maya. Much force was released and exhausted and much energy expended. Much was consequently clarified.

Many people are occupied today in their individual lives with exactly the same process and conflict. On a tiny scale that which was worked out in the World War is worked out in their lives. They are busy with the problem of maya [89] and hence today we find an increasing emphasis upon the physical cultures, disciplines, and physical training, such as is imposed in the world of sport, in athletic exercises and military training. In spite of all the wrong motives and the terrible and evil effects (speaking again with a wide generalisation), the training of the body and the organised physical direction of the youth of the world today in all countries, particularly the military countries in Europe, is preparing the way for millions to pass upon the Path of Purification. Is this a hard truth, my brothers? Humanity is under right direction, e'en if (during a brief interlude) they misunderstand the process and apply wrong motives to right activities.

All these points we shall later take up in greater detail when we come to our third section and begin to study the modes of ending glamour, illusion and maya. At present I am only occupied with giving you a general picture and a slight elaboration of the tabulation to be found on page 41. Study it with care and memorise it if possible, for in its right understanding lies for you much of real usefulness.

I would like to point out in connection with the problem of maya that one of the first steps to its right handling is physical coordination; hence the emphasis laid upon this today in the training of children; hence also our use of a similar process under the term "alignment" when dealing with the work of meditation and the effort to induce increased soul control. Students would do well to bear this in mind and to ponder upon the following phrases:

1. Physical co-ordination.

2. Astral orientation.

3. Mental direction.

4. Personality alignment.

These are all attempts to express the process of "right activity [90] upon the Path of Return." This return is the objective of the human family and the culminating goal of the four kingdoms in nature. We could enlarge the concept by expressing the truth in the following manner:

     Process                               Correspondence        Obstacle

1. Physical coordination......... Mineral kingdom........ Maya.

2. Astral orientation............... Vegetable kingdom.... Glamour.

3. Mental direction................. Animal kingdom........ Illusion.

4. Personality alignment......... Human kingdom........ The Dweller on the

                                                                                        Threshold.

These processes have, therefore, their equivalents in all the kingdoms and lead up to:

1. The unfoldment of the divine consciousness. This starts in the mineral kingdom.

2. The expression of the soul. This is typified in the vegetable kingdom with its uses and beauty.

3. The manifestation of the Christ. This is the recognised goal of the animal kingdom which works towards individualisation.

4. The revelation of the glory of God. This is the objective before humanity.

4. Glamour upon the Higher Mental Planes . . . . . . The Dweller on the Threshold.

We will now touch very briefly upon the problem of the Dweller on the Threshold. This Dweller is oft regarded as a disaster, as a horror to be avoided, and as a final and culminating evil. I would remind you nevertheless that the Dweller is the "one who stands before the Gate of God," who dwells in the shadow of the portal of initiation, and who faces the Angel of the Presence open-eyed, as the ancient scripture calls it. The Dweller can be defined as the sum total of the forces of the lower nature as expressed in [91] the personality, prior to illumination, to inspiration and to initiation. The personality, at this stage, is exceedingly potent, and the Dweller embodies all the psychic and mental forces which down the ages have been unfolded in a man and nurtured with care; it can be looked upon as the potency of the threefold material form, prior to its consecration and dedication to the life of the soul and to the service of the Hierarchy, of God and humanity.

The Dweller on the Threshold is all that a man is, apart from the higher spiritual self; it is the third aspect of divinity as expressed in the human mechanism, and this third aspect must eventually be subordinated to the second aspect, the soul.

The two great contrasting Forces, the ANGEL and the DWELLER, are brought together—face to face—and the final conflict takes place. Again you will note that it is a meeting and a battle between another and higher pair of opposites. The aspirant has, therefore, three pairs of opposites with which to deal as he progresses towards light and liberation.

The Pairs of Opposites

1.   On the Physical Plane . . . The dense and the etheric.  Fought out upon the Path of Purification.

2.   On the Astral Plane . . . The well-known dualities.  Fought upon the Path of Discipleship.

3.   On the Mental Plane . . . The Angel and the Dweller.  Fought upon the Path of Initiation.

I have, I should judge, given you enough to ponder upon; I would close it, however, by pointing out to you the very practical nature of that which I have communicated and would urge you to find out in your own practical experience [92] the nature of the battle you have each to fight. To aid you in this, I am going to help you in one very definite way.

It will be of service to you if I indicate to you—each of you—the rays which govern your threefold personality. You will then be in a position to handle yourselves with greater wisdom, to trace more easily the causes of difficulty and to study more intelligently the effect you may have upon each other and upon those you contact in daily life. I will elaborate in detail the training which should be given to each of the three bodies, taking one of the vehicles at a time and explaining the problem facing each of you in relation to that particular vehicle, and assigning a meditation which will enable you (with greater facility) to handle the personality from that specific angle.

You will note from the above that it is, therefore, my intention to give you a much more careful and intensive training. Will you profit by it? In the interim and in order that you can apprehend the truth of what I shall later tell you, will you study yourselves with care during the next six months and see if what I later suggest is not true? Use the information given in A Treatise on the Seven Rays as your guide in this self-analysis; I would remind you that the rays govern the three bodies in the following order:

1. Rays governing the mental body......... Rays 1.4.5.

2. Rays governing the astral body........... Rays 2.6.

3. Rays governing the physical body....... Rays 3.7.

Thus you will note that all the rays play their part in the mechanism of man, making all circumstances the vehicles of opportunity and all conditions the medium of development. This statement as to the governing rays is a statement of an infallible rule, except in the case of accepted disciples.

As you read and study, you would find it of value to reflect upon and then to answer the following questions:

[93]

1. What is the relation of the intuition to the problem of illusion?

2. In what manner can illumination dispel glamour, and how can it be brought about?

3. Define maya and give your understanding of inspiration as a factor in dispelling it.

I have purposely not elucidated this technique as I sought to draw out your own ideas. I would urge you to follow the group meditation with care. It is of deep importance to the group in the interest of integration and real spiritual cooperation. The Full Moon work will likewise increase in importance. Later will come facility in recognising and recording the nature of the glamour to be dissipated and aptitude in seeing the process of light distribution.