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LETTER V - DANGERS TO BE AVOIDED IN MEDITATION - Part 2

a—He serves first through activity, through the use of his intelligence, using the high faculties of mind and the product of his genius to aid the sons of men.  He builds slowly great powers of intellect and in the building overcomes the snare of pride.  He takes, then, that active intelligence of his and lays it at the feet of collective humanity, giving of his best for the helping of the race.

b—He serves through love, becoming, as time elapses, one of the saviours of men, spending his life and giving of his all through perfect love of his brothers.  A life then comes when the utmost sacrifice is made and in love he dies that others may live.

c—He serves then through power.  Proved in the furnace to have no thought save the good of all around, he is trusted with the power that follows from active love intelligently applied.  He works with the law, and bends all his will to make the power of the law felt in the three-fold realms of death.

In all these three branches of service you will notice that the faculty of working with groups is one of paramount importance.  These groups are diverse, as before I have said, and vary on different planes.  Let us briefly enumerate them:—

1—On the physical plane.  The following groups will be found:—

a—His family group to which he is usually affiliated for two reasons, one to work out karma and repay his debts; the second, to receive a certain type of physical vehicle that the Ego needs for adequate expression.

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b—His associates and friends; the people his environment throws him with, his business associates, his church affiliations, his acquaintances and casual friends, and the people he touches for a brief period and then sees no more.  His work with them is twofold again; first to repay an obligation should such a debt have been incurred; and secondly to test out his powers to influence for good those around him, to recognise responsibility and to direct or help.  In doing thus, the Guides of the race find out the actions and reactions of a man, his capacity for service, and his response to any surrounding need.

c—His associated band of servers, the group under some Great One that is definitely united for work of an occult and spiritual nature.  It may be either a band of church workers among the orthodox (beginners are tried out here); it may be in social work such as in the labor movements or in the political arena; or it may be in the more definitely pioneer movements of the world, such as the Theosophical Society, the Christian Science movement, the New Thought workers and the Spiritualists.  I would add to this, one branch of endeavour that may surprise you,—I mean the movement of the Soviet in Russia and all the aggressive radical bodies that sincerely serve under their leaders (even when misguided and unbalanced) for the betterment of the condition of the masses.

Thus on the physical plane you have three groups to which a man belongs.  He owes a duty to them and he must play his part.  Now wherein could danger enter through meditation?  Simply in this:  that as long as a man's karma holds him to some particular group the thing that he must aim at is to play his part perfectly, so that he may work out from under karmic obligation [118] and advance toward ultimate liberation; besides this he must carry on his group with him to greater heights and usefulness.  Therefore, if through meditation of an unsuitable nature he neglects his proper obligation he delays the purpose of his life, and in another incarnation he will have to play it out.  If he builds into that group's causal body (the composite product of the several lines) aught that has not its place properly there, he aids not but hinders, and again that involves danger.  Let me illustrate, for clarity is desired:—A student is affiliated with a group that has an over-preponderance of devotees, and he has come in for the express purpose of balancing that quality with another factor, that of wise discrimination and mental balance.  If he permits himself to be overcome by the group thoughtform and becomes himself a devotee, following a devotional meditation and unwisely omitting to balance that group's causal body, he runs into a danger that hurts not only himself but the group to which he belongs.

2—On the emotional plane:  Here he belongs to several groups such as:—

a—His emotional plane family group, which is more thoroughly his own group than the family into which he happens to be born on the physical plane.  You will see this demonstrated many times in life when members of an emotional plane family contact each other on the physical plane.  Instant recognition ensues.

b—The class within the Hall of Learning to which he is assigned and in which he receives much instruction.

c—The band of Invisible Helpers with whom he may be working and the band of Servers.

All these groups involve obligation and work and all must be allowed for in studying the wise use of meditation. [119] Meditation should increase a man's capacity to discharge his karmic debts, giving clear vision, wise judgment and a comprehension of the work of the immediate moment.  Anything that militates against this is dangerous.

3—On the mental plane:  The groups to be found there may be enumerated as follows:

a—The groups of pupils of some one Master to Whom he may be attached, and with Whom he may be working.  This is usually only the case when the man is rapidly working out his karma and is nearing the entrance to the Path.  His meditation, therefore, should be directly under the guidance of his Master, and any formula followed that is not adjusted to a man's need carries with it elements of danger, for the vibrations set up on the mental plane and the forces engendered there are so much more potent than on the lower levels.

b—The egoic group to which he belongs.  This is most important for it involves the consideration of the man's ray in the apportioning of meditation.  This matter has already been somewhat touched upon.

As you will see, I have not specified certain dangers attacking any particular body.  It is not possible to cover the subject thus.  In later days, when occult meditation is more comprehended and the matter scientifically studied, students will prepare the necessary data and treatises covering the entire subject as far as then may be.  I sound, however, a note of warning, I indicate the way,—the teachers on the inner side seldom do more.  We aim at developing thinkers and men of clear vision, capable of logical reasoning.  To do this we teach men to develop themselves, to do their own thinking, reason out their own problems, and build their own characters.  Such is the Path....

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August 3, 1920.

Dangers arising from subtle forces.

...We have for our topic this morning the final section of our letter on the dangers incidental to meditation.  We have dealt somewhat with individual dangers inherent in the three bodies; we have touched upon the risks that may be run when the karma of the student and his group affiliations are overlooked.  Today the subject involves real difficulty.  We have to deal with the dangers that may arise from forces and persons, from entities and groups working on the subtler planes.  The difficulty arises in three ways:—

l—The ignorance of the average student as to the nature of those forces and as to the personnel of the groups on the subtler planes.

2—The risk of revealing more than would be wise in an exoteric publication.

3—An occult risk that is little comprehended by the uninitiated.  It lies in the fact that in the concentration of thought that necessarily arises in discussing these problems, thought-waves are set in motion, currents are contacted and thoughtforms circulated that attract the attention of those under discussion.  This may lead at times to undesirable results.  Therefore, I shall with brevity touch upon the subject.  Upon the inner planes the needed light and protection are afforded.

Three groups of entities:—

These groups of entities can be differentiated in a threefold manner:—

l—Groups of discarnate beings on either the emotional or the mental planes.

2—Devas, either singly or in groups.

3—The dark Brotherhood.

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Let us take each division and deal with it carefully, first laying the foundation of knowledge by pointing out that the dangers arise from a threefold condition of the bodies of the student which may be the result sometimes of meditation.  These conditions are:

A negative condition that makes the entire three bodies of the personality receptive and quiescent, and open therefore to the attack of the watching denizens of other planes.

A condition of ignorance or foolhardiness that, in attempting to use certain forms and mantrams without the permission of the Teacher, involves the student with certain groups of devas, bringing him into contact with the devas of the emotional or mental planes and making him therefore (through his ignorance) the butt of their attack and the plaything of their destructive instincts.

A condition which is the reverse of the above, which makes a man positive and a channel, therefore, for force or power.  When this is the case, the man proceeds, under occult rule or law and with the aid of his Teacher, to wield the electrical fluid of the inner planes.  He becomes then a centre of the attention of those who strive against the Brothers of Light.

The first two conditions are all the result of meditation unwisely and ignorantly practised, the last state of affairs is frequently the reward of success.  In the first two, the remedy lies within the student himself and in the wise correction of the type of meditation and its more careful following; in the third case the remedy must be sought in various ways which I will later indicate.

Dangers of obsession.

Dangers from discarnate entities are frankly those of obsession, either of a temporary nature and lasting for a few moments or more enduring and lasting for a longer [122] period.  It may even be permanent and lasting through a lifetime.  I have earlier written to you a letter upon this subject which you might here incorporate.  We never duplicate effort if it can be avoided.  I seek primarily to emphasise the point that this entrance which we call obsession is effected largely through the negative attitude assumed through the unwise following of an unsuitable meditation.  In his anxiety to be the recipient of light from above, in his determination to force himself to a place where he can contact the teachers or even the Master, and in his endeavour to eliminate all thought and lower vibrations, the student makes the mistake of rendering his entire lower personality receptive.  Instead of making it firmly positive to environing factors and to all lower contacts, and instead of only allowing the "apex of the mind" (if I may use so unusual a term) to be receptive and open to transmission from the causal or the abstract levels and even from the intuitional, the student permits reception from all sides.  Only a point within the brain should be receptive, all the rest of the consciousness should be so polarised that outer interference will not be possible.  This refers to the emotional and to the mental bodies, though with the majority these days it refers solely to the emotional.  At this particular period of the world's history the emotional plane is so densely populated and the response of the physical to the emotional is now becoming so exquisitely attuned, that the danger of obsession is greater than ever heretofore.  But for your cheering—the reverse holds good also, and response to the divine and rapid reaction to the higher inspiration has never been so great.  Divine inspiration or that "divine obsession" which is the privilege of all advanced souls, will be understood in the coming years as never before, and will be definitely one of the [123] methods used by the coming Lord and His Great Ones for the helping of the world.

The thing to be remembered is that in the case of wrong obsession the man is at the mercy of the obsessing entity, and is unconsciously or unwillingly a partner in the transaction.  In divine obsession the man consciously and willingly co-operates with the One Who seeks to inspire, or to occupy or employ his lower vehicles.  The motive is ever the greater helping of the race.  The obsession is then not the result of a negative condition but of a positive collaboration and proceeds under law and for a specific period....As more and more of the race develop continuity of consciousness between the physical and the emotional and later the mental, this act of transference of the vehicles will be more frequent and more understood.

October 9, 1919.

Causes of Obsession.

One of the activities ahead of the occult student is the study and the scientific observation of this matter.  We have been told in various occult books that obsession and insanity are very closely allied.  Insanity may exist in all three bodies, the least harmful being that of the physical body, whilst the most enduring and the hardest to cure is that of the mental body.  Insanity in the mental body is the heavy fate that descends upon those who for many incarnations have followed the path of selfish cruelty, using the intelligence as a means to serve selfish ends and using it wilfully, knowing it to be wrong.  But insanity of this type is a means whereby the Ego sometimes arrests the progress of a man towards the left-hand path.  In this sense it is a disguised blessing.  Let us deal first with the causes of obsession, leaving the subject of insanity [124] for another day.  These causes are four in number and each responds to a different treatment:—

One cause is a definite weakness of the etheric double, in the separating web, which like a piece of relaxed elastic permits entry of an extraneous entity from the emotional plane.  The door of entrance which is formed by this web is not closed tight, and entrance can be effected from without.  This is a physical plane cause, and is the result of the maladjustment of physical plane matter.  It is the result of karma, and is prenatal, existing from the earliest moment.  Usually the sufferer is physically weak, intellectually feeble, but possessed of a powerful emotional body which suffers and fights and struggles to prevent entrance.  The attacks are intermittent, and more frequently attack women than men.

Another cause is due to emotional reasons.  A lack of co-ordination exists between the emotional and the physical and when the man functions in the emotional body (as at night) the moment of re-entry is attended with difficulty, and opportunity exists for other beings to enter the physical vehicle, and prevent its occupation by the real Ego.  This is the most common form of obsession, and affects those with powerful physical bodies and strong astral vibrations, but with weak mental bodies.  It leads, in the ensuing struggle, to the violent scenes of screaming lunatics and to the paroxysms of the epileptic.  Men are more subject to this than women, as women are usually more definitely polarised in the emotional body.

A rarer kind of obsession is the mental.  In coming days as the mental body develops, one may expect perhaps to see more of it.  Mental obsession involves the displacement taking place on the mental levels—hence its rarity.  The physical body and the emotional body remain as a unit, but the Thinker is left in his mental body, [125] whilst the obsessing entity (clothed in mental matter) enters the two lower vehicles.  In the case of emotional obsession the Thinker is left with his emotional body and his mental body but with no physical.  In this latter case he is left with neither emotional nor physical.  The cause lies in the fact of the over-development of the mental, and of the relative weakness of the emotional and physical bodies.  The Thinker is too powerful for his other bodies and disdains their use; he is too interested in work on mental levels, and thus gives opportunity to obsessing entities to assume control.  This, as I said before, is rare and is the result of lop-sided development.  It attacks women and men equally; it principally shows itself in childhood and is difficult to cure.

A still rarer cause of obsession is definitely the work of the dark Brothers.  It takes the form of snapping the magnetic link that attaches the Ego to the lower physical body, leaving him in his emotional and mental bodies.  This would normally result in the death of the physical body, but in cases such as these the dark Brother, who is to use the physical body, enters it and makes connection with his own cord.  These cases are not common.  They involve only two classes of people:—

Those who are highly evolved and on the Path, but who through some wilful shortcoming fail for some one incarnation and so lay themselves open to the evil force.  Sin (as you call it) in the Personality of a disciple leads to a weakness in some one spot, and this is taken advantage of.  This type of obsession shows itself in the transformation that is sometimes seen when a great soul suddenly plunges on an apparent downward path, when he changes the whole trend of his existence and besmirches a fair character with mud.  It carries with it its own punishment, for on the inner planes the disciple looks [126] on, and in agony of mind sees his lower vehicle dishonouring the fair name of its real owner and causing evil to be said of a loved cause.

The little evolved, weakly organised, and so unable to resist.

The Kinds of Obsessing Entities.

These are too numerous to mention in detail but I might enumerate a few.

l—Discarnate entities of a low order awaiting incarnation, and who see, in cases one and two, their wanted opportunity.

2—Suicides, anxious to undo the deed and to again get into contact with earth.

3—Earth-bound spirits, good and bad, who from anxiety over loved ones, over their business affairs, or eager to do some wrong or to undo some evil act, rush in and take possession of cases one and two.

4—Dark Brothers as aforesaid, who avail themselves principally of the third and fourth cases already cited.  They require highly developed bodies, having no use for weak or unrefined bodies.  In case three the weakness is entirely relative, due to over-accentuation of the mental vehicle.

5—Elementals and subhuman entities of a malicious nature who rush in on the slightest opportunity and where kindred vibration may be felt.

6—Some of the lower devas, harmless but mischievous who, from sheer freakishness and fun, enter another body in much the same way that a child loves to dress up.

7—Occasional visitors from other planets who enter certain highly evolved bodies for purposes of their own.  This is very, very rare....

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Let me now give you some of the methods that eventually will be the first attempts at cure.

In the first type of cases, those due to physical plane weakness, the stress of the cure will be laid first on building up a strong physical body in both its departments, though especially the etheric body.  This will be done in future years with the direct aid of the devas of the shadows (the violet devas or devas of the ethers).  The strengthening of the etheric web will be aided by means of the violet light, with its corresponding sound, administered in quiet sanitariums.  Coincident with this treatment will be the attempt to strengthen the mental body.  With the strengthening of the physical body will come longer and longer periods of freedom from attack.  Eventually the attacks will cease altogether.

When the cause is lack of co-ordination between the physical and the emotional vehicles the first methods of cure will be definite exorcism by the aid of mantrams and ceremonial (such as religious ritual).  Qualified persons will use these mantrams at night when the obsessing entity may be supposed to be absent during the hours of sleep.  Those mantrams will call the real owner back, will build a protective wall after his re-entry and will seek to force the obsessing one to stay absent.  When the real owner has returned, the work then will be to keep him there.  Educative work during the day and protective measures at night for longer or shorter periods will gradually eliminate the evil occupant, or unwanted tenant, and in the course of time the sufferer will continue to procure immunity.  More anent this can later be given.

Where mental obsession is involved the matter is more difficult.  Most of the first cures achieved in the future will centre around the first two groups.  Mental obsession must await greater knowledge, though experimentation [128] from the very first should be undertaken.  The work will have to be done mostly from the mental plane by those who can function there freely and so contact the Thinker in his mental body.  The co-operation of the Thinker must then be procured and a definite attack conjointly made on the obsessed physical and emotional bodies.  During the night much of the work in the first two cases of cures will be done, but in the latter case the Thinker has to win back his physical and his emotional bodies as well, hence the exceeding difficulty.  Death often eventuates in these cases.

In the severing of the magnetic cord naught can be done as yet.

Dangers from the deva evolution.

This second point is more complex.  You will remember how it has been said earlier in these letters that contact with the devas can be brought about through specific forms and mantrams and that in this contact lies peril for the unwary.  This danger is curiously real now, owing to the following reasons:

a—The coming in of the violet ray, the seventh or Ceremonial Ray, has rendered this contact more easy of attainment than heretofore.  It is therefore the ray on which approximation is possible, and in the use of ceremonial and of set forms, coupled to regulated rhythmic movement, will be found a meeting place for the two allied evolutions.  In the use of ritual this will be apparent, and psychics are already bearing witness to the fact that both in the ritual of the Church and in that of Masonry this has been evidenced.  More and more will this be the case, and it carries with it certain risks that will inevitably work themselves into common knowledge and thus affect in various ways the unwary sons of men.  [129] As you know, a definite effort is being made at this time by the Planetary Hierarchy to communicate to the devas their part in the scheme of things, and the part the human family must likewise play.  The work is slow, and certain results are inevitable.  It is not my purpose to take up with you in these letters the part that ritual and set mantric forms play in the evolution of devas and of men.  I only desire to point out that danger for human beings lies in the unwise use of forms for the calling of the devas, in experimenting with the Sacred Word with the object in view of contacting the Builders who are so largely affected by it, and in endeavouring to pry into the secrets of ritual with its adjuncts of colour and of sound.  Later on, when the pupil has passed the portal of initiation, such knowledge will be his, coupled with the necessary information that teaches him to work with the law.  In the following of the law, no danger lurks.

b—The race is possessed of a strong determination to penetrate within the veil, and to find out what lies on the other side of the unknown.  Men and women everywhere are conscious within themselves of budding powers which meditation enhances.  They find that by the careful following of certain rules they become more sensitive to the sights and sounds of the inner planes.  They catch fleeting glimpses of the unknown; occasionally and at rare intervals, the organ of inner vision temporarily opens and they hear and see on the astral or the mental plane.  They see devas at a meeting in which ritual has been employed; they catch a sound or a voice that tells them truths that they recognise as true.  The temptation to force the issue, to prolong meditation, to try out certain methods that promise intensification of psychic faculty is too strong.  They unwarily force matters and dire disaster results.  One hint here I give:—In meditation [130] it is literally possible to play with fire.  The devas of the mental levels manipulate the latent fires of the system and thus incidentally the latent fires of the inner man.  It is woefully possible to be the plaything of their endeavour and to perish at their hands.  A truth I speak here; I give not voice to the interesting chimeras of a fanciful brain.  Beware of playing with fire.

c—This transition period is largely responsible for much of the danger.  The right type of body for the holding and the handling of the occult force has not yet been built, and in the interim the bodies now in use but spell disaster to the ambitious student.  When a man starts out to follow the path of occult meditation, it takes well-nigh fourteen years to rebuild the subtle bodies, and incidentally the physical.  All through that period it is not safe to tamper with the unknown for only the very strong refined physical body, the controlled stable and equalised emotional body and the properly striated mental body can enter into the subtler planes and literally work with Fohat, for that is what the occult does.  Therefore is the emphasis laid by all wise Teachers everywhere on the Path of Purification, which must precede the Path of Illumination.  They lay the emphasis on the building in of spiritual faculty before psychic faculty can be safely permitted; they demand service to the race every day throughout the scope of life before a man may be permitted to manipulate the forces of nature, to dominate the elementals, to co-operate with the devas, and to learn the forms and ceremonies, the mantrams and the key-words, that will bring those forces within the circle of manifestation.

August 4, 1920.

Danger from the Dark Brothers.

I think I gave you earlier practically all that I can as [131] yet impart anent the Brothers of Darkness, as they are sometimes termed.  I only want at this point to lay emphasis upon the fact that no danger need be feared by the average student from this source.  It is only as discipleship is approached and a man stands out ahead of his fellows as an instrument of the White Brotherhood that he attracts the attention of those who seek to withstand.  When through application to meditation, and power and activity in service, a man has developed his vehicles to a point of real achievement, then his vibrations set in motion matters of a specific kind, and he learns to work with that matter, to manipulate the fluids, and to control the builders.  In so doing he encroaches on the domain of those who work with the forces of involution and thus he may bring attack upon himself.  This attack may be directed against any of his three vehicles and may be of different kinds.  Let me briefly point out some of the methods employed against a disciple which are the ones which alone concern the student of these letters:

a—Definite attack on the physical body.  All kinds of means are employed to hinder the usefulness of the disciple through disease or the crippling of his physical body.  Not all accidents are the result of karma, for the disciple has usually surmounted a good deal of that type of karma and is thus comparatively free from that source of hindrance in active work.

b—Glamour is another method used, or the casting over the disciple of a cloud of emotional or mental matter which suffices to hide the real, and to temporarily obscure that which is true.  The study of the cases wherein glamour has been employed is exceedingly revealing and demonstrates how hard it is for even an advanced disciple always to discriminate between the real and the false, the true and the untrue.  Glamour may be either on the [132] emotional or mental levels but is usually on the former.  One form employed is to cast over the disciple the shadows of the thought of weakness or discouragement or criticism to which he may at intervals give way.  Thus cast, they loom in undue proportion and the unwary disciple, not realising that he is but seeing the gigantic outlines of his own momentary and passing thoughts, gives way to discouragement, aye even to despair, and becomes of little use to the Great Ones.  Another form is to throw into his mental aura suggestions and ideas purporting to come from his own Master but which are but subtle suggestions that hinder and help not.  It takes a wise disciple always to discriminate between the voice of his real Teacher and the false whispers of the masquerading one, and even high initiates have been temporarily misled.

Many and subtle are the means used to deceive and thereby curtail the effective output of the worker in the field of the world.  Wisely therefore have all aspirants been enjoined to study and work at the development of viveka or that discrimination which safeguards from deception.  If this quality is laboriously built in and cultivated in all events, big and little, in the daily life, the risks of being led astray will be nullified.

c—A third method frequently employed is to envelop the disciple in a thick cloud of darkness, to surround him with an impenetrable night and fog through which he stumbles and often falls.  It may take the form of a black cloud of emotional matter, of some dark emotion that seems to imperil all stable vibration and plunges the bewildered student into a blackness of despair; he feels that all is departing from him; he is a prey to varied and dismal emotions; he deems himself forsaken of all; he considers that all past effort has been futile and that naught remains but to die.  At such times he needs much the gift [133] of viveka, and to earnestly weigh up and calmly reason out the matter.  He should at these times remind himself that the darkness hides naught from the God within, and that the stable centre of consciousness remains there, untouched by aught that may betide.  He should persevere until the end,—the end of what?  The end of the enveloping cloud, the point where it merges itself into sunlight; he should pass through its length and out into the daylight, realising that nothing can at any time reach to and hurt the inner consciousness.  God is within, no matter what transpires without.  We are so apt to look out at environing circumstances, whether physical, astral or mental, and to forget that the inmost centre of the heart hides our points of contact with the Universal Logos.

d—Finally (for I cannot touch on all the methods used), the means employed may be to cast a mental darkness over the disciple.  The darkness may be intellectual, and is consequently still more difficult to penetrate, for in this case the power of the Ego must be called in, whereas in the former frequently the calm reasoning of the lower mind may suffice to dispel the trouble.  Here, in this specific case, the disciple will be wise if he not only attempts to call his Ego or Higher Self for the dispelling of the cloud, but calls likewise upon his Teacher, or even upon his Master, for the assistance that they can give.

These are but a few of the dangers encircling the aspirant, and I hint at them solely for the purpose of warning and guidance, and not to cause alarm.  You can here interpolate the earlier letter with the rules that I there give for the assistance of the disciple.

September 25, 1919.

The Dark Brotherhood.

Today I seek to speak to you on the powers of the Dark Brotherhood.  Certain laws that govern their actions, [134] certain methods employed by them in work need to be realised and certain methods of protection apprehended and utilised.  As before I have told you the danger is as yet inappreciable to the majority, but more and more as time elapses shall we find it necessary to teach you, the physical plane workers, how to shield and guard yourselves from attack.

The Dark Brothers are—remember this always—brothers, erring and misguided yet still sons of the one Father though straying far, very far, into the land of distances.  The way back for them will be long, but the mercy of evolution inevitably forces them back along the path of return in cycles far ahead.  Anyone who over-exalts the concrete mind and permits it continuously to shut out the higher, is in danger of straying on the left-hand path.  Many so stray...but come back, and then in the future avoid like errors in the same way as a child once burnt avoids the fire.  It is the man who persists in spite of warning and of pain who eventually becomes a brother of darkness.  Mightily fights the Ego at first to prevent the Personality so developing, but the deficiencies of the causal body (for forget not that our vices are but our virtues misused) result in a lop-sided causal body, over-developed in some direction and full of great gulfs and gaps where virtues should be.

The dark brother recognises no unity with his species, only seeing in them people to be exploited for the furtherance of his own ends.  This then, on a small scale, is the mark of those who are being used by them wittingly or unwittingly.  They respect no person, they regard all men as fair prey, they use everyone to get their own way enforced, and by fair means or foul they seek to break down all opposition and for the personal self acquire that which they desire.

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The dark brother considers not what suffering he may cause; he cares not what agony of mind he brings upon an opponent; he persists in his intention and desists not from the hurt of any man, woman or child, provided that in the process his own ends are furthered.  Expect absolutely no mercy from those opposing the Brotherhood of Light.

On the physical plane and on the emotional plane, the dark brother has more power than the Brother of the Light,—not more power per se but more apparent power, because the White Brothers choose not to exert Their power on those two planes, as do the Dark Brothers.  They could exert Their authority but They choose to refrain, working with the powers of evolution and not of involution.  The elemental forces to be found on these two planes are manipulated by two factors.

a—The inherent forces of evolution that direct all on to eventual perfection.  The White Adepts co-operate in this.

b—The Dark Brothers who occasionally employ these elemental forces to wreak their will and vengeance on all opponents.  Under their control work sometimes the elementals of the earth plane, the gnomes and the elemental essence as found in evil form, some of the brownies, and the fairy folk of colours brown, grey and sombre-hued.  They cannot control the devas of high development, nor the fairies of colours blue, green and yellow, though a few of the red fairies can be made to work under their direction.  The water elementals (though not the sprites or sylphs) move on occasion to their assistance, and in the control of these forces of involution they at times damage the furtherance of our work.

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Oft too the Dark Brother masquerades as an agent of the light, oft he poses as a messenger of the gods, but for your assurance I would say that he who acts under the guidance of the Ego will have clear vision, and will escape deception.

At this time their power is ofttimes mighty.  Why?  Because so much exists as yet in the Personalities of all men that respond to their vibration, and so it is easy for them to affect the bodies of men.  So few of the races, comparatively speaking, have as yet built in the higher vibration that responds to the key-note of the Brotherhood of Light, who move practically entirely on the two highest levels (or the atomic and sub-atomic subplane) of the mental, emotional and physical planes.  When moving on these subplanes the attacks of elementals on lower planes may be felt but effect no harm, hence the necessity of pure living and controlled pure emotions and elevated thought.

You will notice that I said that the power of the Dark Brotherhood is dominant apparently on the physical and emotional planes.  Not so is it on the mental, which is the plane on which the Brothers of the Light work.  Mighty dark magicians may be located on the lower mental levels, but on the higher, the White Lodge dominates, the three higher subplanes being the levels that They beg the evolving sons of men to seek; it is Their region, to which all must strive and aspire.  The Dark Brother impresses his will on human beings (if analogous vibration exists) and on the elemental kingdoms of involution.  The Brothers of Light plead as pleaded the Man of Sorrows for an erring humanity to rise upward to the light.  The Dark Brother retards progress and shapes all to his own ends; the Brother of Light bends every effort to the hastening [137] of evolution and—foregoing all that might be His as the price of achievement—stays amid the fogs, the strife, the evil and the hatred of the period if, in so doing, He may by all means aid some, and (lifting them up out of the darkness of earth) set their feet upon the Mount, and enable them to surmount the Cross.

And now what methods may be employed to safeguard the worker in the field of the world?  What can be done to ensure his safety in the present strife and in the greater strife of the coming centuries?

1—A realisation that purity of all the vehicles is the prime essential.  If a Dark Brother gains control over any man it but shows that that man has in his life some weak spot.  The door whereby entrance is effected must be opened by the man himself; the opening whereby malignant force can be poured in must be caused by the occupant of the vehicles.  Therefore the need of scrupulous cleanliness of the physical body, of clean steady emotions permitted in the emotional body, and of purity of thought in the mental body.  When this is so, co-ordination will be present in the lower vehicles and the indwelling Thinker himself permits no entrance.

2—The elimination of all fear.  The forces of evolution vibrate more rapidly than those of involution and in this fact lies a recognisable security.  Fear causes weakness; weakness causes a disintegration; the weak spot breaks and a gap appears, and through that gap evil force may enter.  The factor of entrance is the fear of the man himself, who opens thus the door.

3—A standing firm and unmoved, no matter what occurs.  Your feet may be bathed in the mud of earth, but your head may be bathed in the sunshine of the higher regions.  Recognition of the filth of earth involves not contamination.

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4—A Recognition of the use of common-sense and the application of this common-sense to the matter in hand.  Sleep much and, in sleeping, learn to render the body positive; keep busy on the emotional plane and achieve the inner calm.  Do naught to overtire the body physical, and play whenever possible.  In hours of relaxation comes the adjustment that obviates later tension.

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