Written in 1937. I might add that it has only gotten worse since then (by design) as we see in today’s marketing of New Age/pop-spirituality (incld. self-help gurus in the likes of Tony Robbins and anything related to “The Secret”), distorted esoteric principles/laws and spiritual practices:
“The field of popular metaphysics is now a battlefield of competitive isms. There is no code of fair play among the merchants of pseudo-religion/spirituality. Metaphysical movements frequently sacrifice integrity upon the altar of success. It was once observed by a prominent business man that it takes a great deal of advertising to sell an inferior product, and nearly all over-advertised products are inferior.
Fakery and elaborate promises always go hand in hand. Fakery generally follows the line of least resistance. Nearly all people want to be beautiful. In this department metaphysics and cosmetics share the spoil. Nearly everyone wants to have a dominating, powerful, magnetic personality. Nearly everyone desires to be a citizen of distinction in his own community. The poor desire money, the moderately comfortable desire wealth, and the wealthy desire more wealth. The sick want to be well, the lame, the halt and the blind want to be relieved of their infirmities. These desires taken together are a fertile field for an individual with the exploiting instinct.
People fundamentally honest, in either material or spiritual matters, are not easily fooled. It is the streak of dishonesty in human nature that makes fraud profitable. People desiring something they have not earned are almost certain to lose in their effort to get it. It is the stupidity and cupidity of millions that sustain corruption in every department of society, and religion/spirituality cannot remain pure and undefiled while the men who make up the belief are in themselves corrupt.
Many metaphysicians have come to me with their tales of woe, of how they only wanted the Elixir of Life, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the secret of eternal wealth; that it had been promised to them in ten easy lessons at the ridiculously low sum of twenty-five dollars, and that they had been viciously cheated by a nasty man who could not deliver the goods.
Universal law is as immutable as the seasons, as inevitable as the course of the stars, and no metaphysical maestro is going to alter these inevitables in ten lessons or in ten million lessons. The law of cause and effect is as inevitable as day and night, as certain as the tides, and as constant as the ages. This law says that ‘as ye sow, so shall ye reap’. What you earn comes to you, what you have not earned can never be yours, and neither god nor man can alter the complexion of these facts.
There is no teaching more dangerous than that of special dispensation and special privileges. There are no such things in the universe and anyone claiming to be able to administer them is either self-deluded or fraudulent. If there be one thing constant in the universe it is law. This law is the hope of the wise, the firm rock upon which the informed build their philosophy of life. It is a fatal day for the truth-seeker when he lets some pseudo-mahatma talk him out of the realization of universal integrity.
Now let us see something of the truth of the situation. What are the material results of a life dedicated to a spiritual code of action? Of course we are referring now to a life. This does not mean a few weeks of instruction or ten simple lessons. It means exactly what the words themselves mean- a lifetime, year after year lived honestly and intelligently.
A man is not spiritualized because he reads books, or because he studies with some famous teacher, even if that teacher is bona fide. He is not spiritual because he knows spiritual people, or because he recites a few platitudes morning and evening, or because he goes into the silence, or because he prays a formula, or because he chants Sanskrit, or because he pays dues to a metaphysical organization, or because he has been “initiated” into some mystical cult.
He is only a spiritual person because year after year he lives a spiritualized, philosophical life. There is an old saying common to the clergy, that the parishioners want to go to heaven on the coat-tails of the ministry, and there are a great many people who believe that their spiritual salvation is all worked out because they have joined an organization with advanced views, or because they believe in Reincarnation and Karma, or because they love animals.
Some think they work out their eternal destiny with diet. Others strive to breathe their way into a divine state. Others use packages of appropriate herbs gathered by a “mahatma,” on the top of the Himalayas, sold at a dollar a package to the believers.
Religion [Spirituality/Esotericism] is not a fancy process of mechanical exercises or affirmations. It is not some thing that you-rub on. It is something you live day by day. Religion is the improvement of the self by a constant course of self-discipline, called the philosophic life. It is something to be lived, not talked about; something to be practiced, not affirmed. The great metaphysical systems of the past have descended to us in a fragmentary condition due to the centuries of theological blight that nearly destroyed classical philosophy. Pythagoras and Plato were metaphysicians, so were Buddha and Confucius, but their metaphysics has little in common with the popular brand.
To study metaphysics in the hope of curing a stomach ache, or of attaining cosmic consciousness, or increasing the income, is to be guilty of sacrilege to say the least, or possibly better, absurdity and effrontery.
The ages have sought for truth. Hundreds of millions have lived to achieve it and millions have died for it. Heroes, martyrs, sages, saints and prophets, and demigods of forgotten ages, are the priests of this great house. The gates of this sanctuary are to be approached only with reverence. The ancient road that leads to it is worn smooth with the footsteps of uncounted multitudes, and the modern metaphysician of today is so incapable of perceiving even dimly the immensity and sanctity of this science, that he confuses this divine program with a business mens’ cooperative luncheon club, or a local clinic.
The Ancient Wisdom offers nothing to a disciple of the Great Work but the opportunity to improve himself by a consistent program of intelligently directed effort. No individual is ready for a religious, spiritual or philosophical life while he has to be induced into the process of being good by promises of material reward. Wise men study philosophy, not so they will remain young forever, but that they may grow old wisely. No man studies the Ancient Wisdom teachings with a view to increasing his personal wealth, because philosophy, if anything, will probably separate him from what he now has.
Philosophy makes men rich not in out ward possessions but in inward consciousness. Philosophy stores up treasures within, where thieves can not steal nor time corrupt.
The law and the prophets are misquoted and mistranslated in an effort to make them justify the foolish belief that God wants all men to be healthy, happy and rich whether they live well or not. As a matter of fact, the universe has no particular interest in man’s happiness, any more than man is moved deeply by the state of comfort or discomfort that may exist in a beehive or ant-hill.
In order to be happy, man must live well. He must be honest to his world, honest to himself, and conscious of the purpose for his own existence. If man keeps the laws of life, lives intelligently and nobly, and uses his mind for the perfection of his inward nature and for the assistance of others, he is entitled to a reasonable amount of happiness. In fact, if he does these things, he is happy and is not spending his time looking around for platitudinous solutions to his imperfections.
The same principle applies to the problem of wealth. Nature has not decreed nor the universe foreordained that man should be wealthy; in fact the whole theory of wealth is of human fabrication, for nature stores up what it needs and man accumulates what he does not need.
Wealth is the heaviest responsibility that an individual has to carry in this world, and right decision concerning its use is one of the heaviest causes of Karma. It is a constant temptation and binds the individual to a host of responsibilities and decisions. It takes up a vast amount of time and renders the mind confused and wearied and unfitted for philosophical study.
True metaphysics is concerned with universal facts, with the divine life of man that extends far beyond this mortal sphere. True metaphysics is life under law, man flowing through the universe upon the currents of divine law like a ship moved by the great currents of the ocean. The wise man does not desire to escape from law but rather aspires to perfect harmony with it. Any metaphysical teacher, therefore, who would tempt man’s mind away from the acceptance of those universal principles which sustain the world is guilty of the promulgation of false doctrines. There has never been any of the great Mystery Schools that ever promised power, enlightenment or security until after the individual perfected the virtues within himself.
It must be evident that a group of people gathered from all parts of a community, with no effort made to discriminate between their varying degrees of undevelopment, can never be promised any spiritual advantage by any metaphysical teacher or organization. Metaphysics is all inward chemistry, philosophical chemistry, based on the principle: the better we are, the more we can know. If we are not anything in ourselves, it is humanly impossible for any being, human or divine, to impress upon us the realization of truths beyond the state of our own development.
There is no exception to this, there is no way of avoiding, evading or escaping this fundamental metaphysical fact.
Any effort to force conditions which are not merited comes under the heading of Black Magic or sorcery. A sorcerer is simply a person who uses the mechanical processes of the will in an effort to force out of nature things or conditions not merited under the law of Karma. By hypnosis, by the exercise of will power, by formulas, it is sometimes possible to temporarily here in the physical world force the semblance of unjustified conditions.
A man can steal by metaphysical means just the same as he might rob a bank or forge a name, or in some other harmful way come into possession of that which is not his own, but the mere fact that it can be accomplished in such a manner does not justify the process nor make right the wrong principle which is involved.
By the malicious use of will power and animal magnetism the law of cause and effect can apparently be nullified for a short time. But again the mere fact that it can be accomplished does not establish the integrity of such a process. The only way in which any individual can honestly possess what he desires is to earn or deserve that thing.
Again there are no exceptions.
When some metaphysician stands up and tells you that he has a private way with the universe by which he can justify the misuse of power, only very foolish people will pay any attention to him. Black magic is not philosophy any more than bank robbery is ethics. If the whole problem is lifted to a metaphysical level, untrained minds are very apt to lose sight of values and proportions.
Metaphysical black magic has flourished for many thousands of years, for there always has been and will probably continue to be for an indefinite period of time a class of people who desire to possess without the labor of acquiring by legitimate means. No one can be morally dishonest and at the same time pretend to be spiritual or philosophical. On the other hand it would be wrong to say that man’s spiritual efforts, when wisely and honestly directed, are not rewarded in a wholly adequate way.
Wisdom bestows a security far beyond that of wealth, gives inward peace and outward patience. It clears the mind of innumerable false values that clutter up the reasoning of the majority, it frees thought to contemplate the real. Philosophy rewards men with a coinage of its own, it gives them that which they have earned and which the world cannot take from them.
Wisdom is its own reward and those who possess it can never be humiliated, impoverished or degraded. Wisdom is not of this world but of the secret world that lies behind. The rewards of wisdom are not of this world but also of that secret place which is the abode of wisdom.
Wise men retire from worldliness to dwell in the presence of truth and in this achieve the rational end for which the human fabric was devised. Hence we cannot say that the quest for truth is all struggle and no result, for with each small gain we make within ourselves there is an appropriate extension of consciousness and enlightenment in our natures. The only thing is that we must learn not to think of philosophy in terms of dollars and cents, of real estate and of mortgages. Philosophy does not pay us in dollars because they are not of the world of philosophy.
Man has an erroneous idea that by unfolding consciousness he can become one of the princes of the earth, possessing all material things and an object of universal admiration.
Religion/Spirituality is not super-salesmanship, nor is it a substitute for the doctor, the dentist and the grocer. The work of religion is to give man inner character, not outer opulence. It often follows that man’s material conditions are improved by his religion, but it also frequently follows that materially he remains an insignificant figure. It is a terrible mistake to use spiritual means in an effort to accomplish material ends. It is a distinct prostitution of that which is too fine and too noble to be so perverted and contaminated.
The honest-minded metaphysician should avoid, as he would the plague, teachers and teachings which promise him freedom from the physical responsibilities of life and the famous “peace, power and plenty” psychology of the inflated 20’s.
These problems affect the beginner who must seek for truth through one of those jarring sects that make up the metaphysical-religious field of today. It may be a disappointment to some to realize that religion as aphorism or platitude is not a substitute for living, working and thinking, but this discovery must finally be made, once made, becomes the guiding star in the quest for real and permanent values.
Gone are the noble masters of that elder day. Only their shadows have descended to us, a few fragments of their words, a story, a fable. These alone bind us to the great philosophical institutions of the past. We live in a material generation and our minds have become used to the idea of interpreting everything on a cash basis. The abstract wealth of beauty, of dream, of vision, of hope and aspiration, of ethics and logic all this is beyond the appreciation of the average man of today.
The underlying materialistic psychology of the age contributes much to religious fraud. We attempt to establish our theologies on the profit system. The whole world today is envisioning a period to come when money will not be the sovereign factor in our thoughts and lives. We are beginning to realize the limitations of wealth and that money is only useful to the degree that it can contribute to our opportunity to improve our inward selves. Today money can secure leisure but cannot guarantee the intelligent use of leisure. It can purchase education but education is bankrupt as far as ethical and aesthetic values are concerned.
What all men are really seeking is some form of inner contentment or tranquillity that can give them courage over outer circumstances. Philosophy bestows the strength of right decision, it gives resistance to temptation, and leveling all extremes of action, reduces wealth and poverty to a common state, elevating only truth to a position of first importance.
We all desire to be better than we are. There are millions of people in this country who want to understand the principles of the mystic life. In their hearts these people are willing but their viewpoints are distorted by false teachings and in adequate understanding. To these people must come the realization that honesty is the beginning of wisdom and that without honesty no great spirituality can be accomplished.
Honesty should have its beginning in the realization that we have no right to anything we have not earned. What we have we must use wisely, what we have not we must earn. All the theological prayers of the ages put together have not the constructive power of one nobly executed action or one profoundly realized truth. To pray for things we have not earned is dishonest; to pray to be relieved of evils we have not mastered is dishonest; to desire anything that is not merited is unphilosophical.
The competition of creeds may leave us upon the horns of a dilemma, but of one thing we can be sure, regardless of our creeds or our beliefs-the spiritual life begins with right action. Honesty is the first step towards truth. Self-control, inward tranquillity, detachment from possession, balance of emotion-all these virtues are absolutely necessary to the understanding of any religious, spiritual or philosophical system.”
~ Manly P. Hall
“When man goes in search of the Way, it generally signifies that something within him has collapsed. Apart from exceptional cases, this collapse is preceded by a re-assessment of moral values, which in the searcher’s eyes lose the value he had previously given to them. This re- assessment itself has been provoked by the accumulation of more or less violent shocks which have given birth to negative emotions.
To be inclined towards esoteric work by positive emotions and success, one should be just, naturally pure, and not having been soiled by life. For most men success and joy, instead of awakening them, plunge them into mental sleep. Success, they say, turns the head. From the esoteric point of view, disagreeable shocks are a better base for work than happy accidents. The humility demanded by the Tradition is necessary as a screen against the noxious influences to which the least exterior or interior success exposes man. However, here as elsewhere one must avoid extremes. Everything, says St Isaac the Syrian, is adorned by measure. Even beauty, out of measure, looks deformed.
Interior collapse leads to certain consequences. Man starts to see things in a different light. Two diametrically opposed effects can result. If man is sufficiently strong and impartial, he will not lower his eyes before implacable reality. He will have the courage to face things directly, and to accept the constatations which are imposed on him, no matter how disagreeable they are. This signifies that he has firmly started on the track which leads to the path of Access to the Way. On the other hand, if the man is weak, this experience will weaken him even more. The law is explicit: ‘To whosoever hath, to him shall be given. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.’
If man does not accept his situation and, in particular, his inner state as it appears to him, thanks to brief illuminations from the consciousness of the real ‘I’—if he is obstinate against all evidence, justifying his Personality by protecting himself behind logic, legitimacy and justice, he will then turn his back on the path of Access, and thrust himself further into the wilderness.
We repeat: unless he is one of the just or righteous, nobody can reach the path of Access to the Way, without first passing through an interior bank- ruptcy; a moral collapse. That alternative is rather rare.”
– Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis
“To Initiated Adepts throughout the whole world … He is, as said, the “Nameless One” who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the “Initiator,” called the “GREAT SACRIFICE.” For, sitting at the threshold of LIGHT, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know – aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the GREAT SACRIFICE.”~ from The Secret Doctrine, by H.P. Blavatsky
“(1.) To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, colour, or creed. (2.) To promote the study of Aryan and other Scriptures, of the World’s r…
Tables turn. Time tables framed. Planetary
adjustments. Levels set in squares. Set-squares erected.
Right angles established. Wrong angles adjusted.
Accounts squared up.
As the hunter becomes the king, many pleasant transformations happen in him. The soul, the traveller, takes to an altogether different direction in travel from now onwards. The life plan changes totally but gradually. A new time-table is framed for him in tune with the Divine Plan. The individual plan merges into the Divine Plan. Consequently, the planetary aspects of his horoscope get adjusted and do not impose the Karma as before. On the contrary, planetary cooperation takes place and planetary adjustments thus happen.
An appropriate orientation is gained towards the objectivity. The objectivity is seen as the field for the intelligent manifestation of the Divine Plan. The objectivity is the square with which levels are set. The
disciple functions with the surrounding people at level. He interacts with a child like a child, with an adult as an adult, with the wise as the wise, with intellectuals as an intellectual, with diplomats as a diplomat, with the defaulters as the ruler, with the devotional as their God, with friends as a friend, etc. Thus, in the square of objectivity, he sets levels as per others. As per him, he has no level. He lives in “nil, none, nought levels.”
With his reoriented new approach to life and to objectivity, he erects fresh structures of life in the fellow beings, establishing right angles in them and lovingly eliminating the wrong angles in order to enable them to clear their Karma. This is the work of every accomplished soul.
All these adjustments can be seen in the biographies of initiates such as Jesus and Moses in the West and Yudhishtira, Nala, Harischandra and a host of others in the East.
Are you too intelligent and emotionally sensitive for this world? http://freemantv.com/ What emotions are hiding in your dark side? Can you face them? Our emotional bodies are real and in our cosmos no energy is wasted. What feeds off of our negative frequencies? This is the perilous path towards awakening!
As the the cosmic energies of our planet become increasingly-infused with the contrasting expression of light and dark frequencies during this Time of Transition, many of us (whether we are conscious or not of this elevation in contrasting vibrations) are experiencing breakdowns and breakthroughs at an accelerated pace. We are being pushed to awaken – to align with the divine force. This process is bringing up anything that is not of the same frequency that our spirit is currently “downloading” in order to be transmuted….
Growing up in Munich, Germany, Bernhard moved to California in 1994 to study drums and percussion at the ‘Percussion Institute of Technology’ (PIT), Los Angeles. His exploration into rhythm and music became a journey of self-discovery and healing which lead him to bodywork and the Healing Arts.
Being very emotionally sensitive and battling depression throughout his early life, Bernhard faced his shadow and fears. His personal healing process also inspired him to explore the mysteries and hidden knowledge surrounding our planet and humanity’s origins, questioning the roots of what constitutes “reality”, and how social (and spiritual) conditioning impacts upon our collective and individual search for truth, fulfillment and happiness in all aspects of life.
His blog “PIERCING THE VEIL OF REALITY” is a wide-ranging collection of essays, films and interviews, ranging from spirituality, shamanism, psychology, self-work, esotericism, history, to the paranormal and hyperdimensional realities.
TIME OF TRANSITION is his youtube channel consisting of interviews, webinars as well as 3 films he made with visual artist Humberto Braga based on Bernhard’s writings.
– Know Thyself
– Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition
– UFOs, Aliens, and the Question of Contact
“Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition” has been selected as the #1 film 2011-2012 of the ‘Top 100 Global Development Movies.’ The best positive, inspirational, thought-provoking movie of our times.”
– RYB TV
Bernhard is also a contributing writer for WAKE UP WORLD.
Connect with Bernhard on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bernhard.gue…
Thus it may be shown that all the fundamental truths of nature were universal in antiquity, and that the basic ideas upon spirit, matter, and the universe, or upon God, Substance, and man, were identical. Taking the two most ancient religious philosophies on the globe, Hinduism and Hermetism, from the scriptures of India and Egypt, the identity of the two is easily recognisable.
This becomes apparent to one who reads the latest translation and rendering of the “Hermetic Fragments” just mentioned, by our late lamented friend, Dr. Anna Kingsford. Disfigured and tortured as these have been in their passage through Sectarian Greek and Christian hands, the translator has most ably and intuitionally seized the weak points and tried to remedy them by means of explanations and foot-notes. And she says: . . . The creation of the visible world by the ‘working gods’ or Titans, as agents of the Supreme God, 1 is a thoroughly Hermetic idea, recognisable in all religious systems, and in accordance with modern scientific research (?), which shows us everywhere the Divine power operating through natural Forces.”
“That Universal Being, that contains all, and which is all, put into motion the Soul and the World, all that nature comprises, says Hermes. In the manifold unity of universal life, the innumerable individualities distinguished by their variations, are, nevertheless, united in such a manner that the whole is one, and that everything proceeds from Unity.” (Asclepios, Part I.)
“God is not a mind, but the cause that the mind is; not a spirit, but the cause that the Spirit is; not light, but the cause that the Light is.” (Divine Pymander, Book IX., v. 64.)
The above shows plainly that “Divine Pymander,” however much distorted in some passages by Christian “smoothing,” was nevertheless written by a philosopher, while most of the so-called “hermetic Fragments” are the production of sectarian pagans with a tendency towards an anthropomorphic Supreme Being. Yet both are the echo of the Esoteric philosophy and the Hindu Purânas.
Compare two invocations, one to the Hermetic “Supreme All,” the other to the “Supreme All” of the later Aryans. Says a Hermetic Fragment cited by Suidas (see Mrs. Kingsford’s “The Virgin of the World“):
“I adjure thee, Heaven, holy work of the great God; I adjure thee, Voice of the Father, uttered in the beginning when the universal world was framed; I adjure thee by the word, only Son of the Father who upholds all things; be favourable, be favourable.”
This just preceded by the following: “Thus the Ideal Light was before the Ideal Light, and the luminous Intelligence of Intelligence was always, and its unity was nothing else than the Spirit enveloping the Universe. Out of whom is neither God nor Angels, nor any other essentials, for He (It?) is the Lord of all things and the power and the Light; and all depends on Him (It) and is in Him (It), etc.” (Fragments of the writings of Hermes to Ammon.)
This is contradicted by the very same Trismegistos, who is made to say: “To speak of God is impossible. For corporeal cannot express the incorporeal. . . . . That which has not any body nor appearance, nor form, nor matter, cannot be apprehended by sense. I understand, Tatios, I understand, that which it is impossible to define – that is God.” (Physical Eclogues, Florilegium of Stobæus.)
The contradiction between the two passages is evident; and this shows (a) that Hermes was a generic nom-de-plume used by a series of generations of mystics of every shade, and (b) that a great discernment has to be used before accepting a Fragment as esoteric teaching only because it is undeniably ancient. Let us now compare the above with a like invocation in the Hindu Scriptures – undoubtedly as old, if not far older. Here it is Parâsara, the Aryan “Hermes” who instructs Maitreya, the Indian Asclepios, and calls upon Vishnu in his triple hypostasis.
“Glory to the unchangeable, holy, eternal Supreme Vishnu, of one universal nature, the mighty over all; to him who is Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Sankara (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva), the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of the world; to Vasudeva, the liberator (of his worshippers); to him whose essence is both single and manifold; who is both subtile and corporeal, indiscreet and discreet; to Vishnu the cause of final emancipation, the cause of the creation, existence, the end of the world; who is the root of the world, and who consists of the world.” (Vish. Purâna, Book L.)
This is a grand invocation, full of philosophical meaning underlying it; but, for the profane masses, as suggestive as is the first of an anthropomorphic Being. We must respect the feeling that dictated both; but we cannot help finding it in full disharmony with its inner meaning, even with that which is found in the same Hermetic treatise where it is said:
“Reality is not upon the earth, my son, and it cannot be thereon. . . . Nothing on earth is real, there are only appearances. . . He (man) is not real, my son, as man. The real consists solely in itself and remains what it is. . . Man is transient, therefore he is not real, he is but appearance, and appearance is the supreme illusion.
Tatios: Then the celestial bodies themselves are not real, my father, since they also vary?
Trismegistos: That which is subject to birth and to change is not real. . . . . There is in them a certain falsity, seeing that they too are variable . . .
Tatios: And what then is the primordial Reality?
Trismeg.: That which is one and alone, O Tatios; That which is not made of matter, nor in any body. Which has neither colour nor form, which changes not nor is transmitted but which always is.”
This is quite consistent with the Vedantic teaching. The leading thought is Occult; and many are the passages in the Hermetic Fragments that belong bodily to the Secret Doctrine.
The latter teaches that the whole universe is ruled by intelligent and semi-intelligent Forces and Powers, as stated from the very beginning. Christian Theology admits and evenenforces belief in such, but makes an arbitrary division and refers to them as “Angels” and “Devils.” Science denies the existence of such, and ridicules the very idea. Spiritualists believe in the Spirits of the Dead, and, outside these, deny entirely any other kind or class of invisible beings. The Occultists and Kabalists are thus the only rational expounders of the ancient traditions, which have now culminated in dogmatic faith on the one hand, and dogmatic denials on the other. For, both belief and unbelief embrace but one small corner each of the infinite horizons of spiritual and physical manifestations; and thus both are right from their respective standpoints, and both are wrong in believing that they can circumscribe the whole within their own special and narrow barriers; for – they can never do so. In this respect Science, Theology, and even Spiritualism show little more wisdom than the ostrich does, when it hides its head in the sand at its feet, feeling sure that there can be thus nothing beyond its own point of observation and the limited area occupied by its foolish head.
As the only works now extant upon the subject under consideration within reach of the profane of the Western “civilized” races are the above-mentioned Hermetic Books, or rather Hermetic Fragments, we may contrast them in the present case with the teachings of Esoteric philosophy. To quote for this purpose from any other would be useless, since the public knows nothing of the Chaldean works which are translated into Arabic and preserved by some Sufi initiates. Therefore the “Definitions of Asclepios,” as lately compiled and glossed by Mrs. A. Kingsford, F.T.S., some of which sayings are in remarkable agreement with the Esoteric Eastern doctrine, have to be resorted to for comparison. Though not a few passages show a strong impression of some later Christian hand, yet on the whole the characteristics of the genii 2 and gods are those of eastern teachings, while concerning other things there are passages which differ widely in our doctrines.
1 A frequent expression in the said Fragments, to which we take exception. The Universal Mind is not a Being or “God.”
2 The Hermetic philosophers called Theoi, gods, Genii and Daimones (in the original texts), those Entities whom we call Devas (gods), Dhyan Chohans, Chitkala (Kwan-yin, the Buddhists call them), and by other names. TheDaimones are – in the Socratic sense, and even in the Oriental and Latin theological sense – the guardian spirits of the human race; “those who dwell in the neighbourhood of the immortals, and thence watch over human affairs,” as Hermes has it. In Esoteric parlance, they are called Chitkala, some of which are those who have furnished man with his fourth and fifth Principles from their own essence; and others the Pitris so-called. This will be explained when we come to the production of the complete man. The root of the name is Chiti, “that by which the effects and consequences of actions and kinds of knowledge are selected for the use of the soul,” or conscience the inner Voice in man. With the Yogis, the Chiti is a synonym of Mahat, the first and divine intellect; but in Esoteric philosophy Mahat is the root of Chiti, its germ; and Chiti is a quality of Manas in conjunction with Buddhi, a quality that attracts to itself by spiritual affinity a Chitkala when it develops sufficiently in man. This is why it is said that Chiti is a voice acquiring mystic life and becoming Kwan-Yin.
The Secret Doctrine, ii 285–288
H. P. Blavatsky
“The individual who is aware of the emotional ascent of the soul and wishes to understand it better, should bear in mind that progress is always slow. Some of the soul’s greatest gains come as the result of mistakes and even failures. The struggle of man’s inner Self for liberation from the ego is an age-old problem, difficult to overcome, but as long as the individual can honestly feel that he is going in the right direction, there is no cause for dismay.”
~ Manly P. Hall, “The Basic Ideas of Man: The Emotional Ascent of Soul”
According to esoteric teaching there are seven primary, and seven secondary “creations“, the former being the Forces self-evolving from the one causeless FORCE, the latter showing the manifested Universe emanating from the already differentiated divine elements.
Esoterically, as well as exoterically, all the . . . enumerated Creations stand for the (7) periods of Evolution, whether after an “Age“ or a “Day“ of Brahmâ. This is the teaching par excellence of Occult Philosophy, which, however, never uses the term “creation“ nor even that of “evolution” with regard to primary “Creation“, but calls all such forces “the aspects of the Causeless Force“.
The Secret Doctrine, i 446
Each individual is an essential if unequal participant in the fourteen phases of evolution indicated in the Puranic Teachings concerning the seven creations. All human beings share in the most subtle and sublime spiritual resources of the universe as well as in its more manifest and mundane features. From the standpoint of mental growth and moral learning, the foremost element of human self-existence is its partial participation in the Mahatic self-transcendence of the Kumaras. Through the fiery spark of universal self-consciousness, every human being is sacrificially endowed with the priceless gift of learning truth, the right perception of existing things, and the capacity for Bodhisattvic action. Existing as the latent seed of divine self-consciousness, it is an inseparable portion of the impartite field of primordial Wisdom – Dzyan – which supports and pervades the differentiated universe.
Divine Wisdom is at once the luminous awareness of its origins lost in the ineffable Darkness and Silence as well as the directing intelligence of the noumenal cosmos. As Brahmâ-Mahat it is the architectonic wisdom of Karma mirrored in the Buddhic faculty in man. As Brahmâ-Rudra it is one with the hosts of Manasa-Dhyanis, endowing human beings with the immense potential of its transcendental wisdom. In the devotional heart of every human being it is Ishwara, the Ishtaguru, the prototype and preceptor, the living light of the lost Word guiding the pilgrim-soul along the Path.
The awakening of wisdom is not the exclusive concern of human beings as distinguished from the other kingdoms of nature. Rather, it is the common current carrying every centre of life forward through evolutionary cycles of transformation. Governed from within by the universal law of harmony and compassion, each phase of evolution and each kingdom of nature elaborates and defines one of a series of indispensable stages of growth. Each affords its own array of opportunities and each is circumscribed by its own limiting laws. Poised between transcendental unity and mayavic differentiation, consciousness experiences a series of states distinguished by permutations of space, motion and duration. Through birth and death, through involvement and withdrawal, through affirmation and negation, the appropriate soil is prepared and the seeds of self-consciousness quickened so that they might germinate and flower into the fullness of svasamvedana.
Viewed in this light, the present phase of human evolution may be seen as a period of mature awakening to universal responsibility. To the extent that human beings realize their inmost identity with the Kumaras and Bodhisattvas, they may perceive the solidarity of their being with all other souls and hence the universality of their obligation of compassion. To the extent that they are illuminated and energized by the transcendental wisdom of the Kumaras, they will find within themselves the skill and strength needed to meet the just demands of a life of joyous service to other beings. As the active awareness of the bond of Being hidden in Non-Being, Karma is the basis of a philosophic fusion of the concepts of human nature, obligation, potentiality and destiny. Encompassing all from Brahmâ-Mahat to the tiniest atom, Karma is inseparable from the world-wielding spirit of Wisdom which creates, sustains and regenerates manifestation out of non-manifestation.
Karma is thus one of the most mysterious and at the same time one of the most practical themes. In the present cycle it is the sacred responsibility of those who have been fortunate to receive the teaching of karma to use the doctrine intelligently and patiently, so as to be able to communicate by example – which is the school of mankind – as well as by precept – which is the mode of service to one’s fellow beings – those insights into karma which they have been privileged to garner. Buddhic intuition with regard to the operation of karma is indispensable to human beings who wish to gain noetic control over their lives and instruments so that they may remain attuned to the potent vibration of the New Cycle. As the karmic station of humanity demands the integration of Buddhic awareness and Manasic deliberation, the cultivation of mindfulness through daily exercises in meditation is an essential starting-point in gaining insight into karma. The practical art of mindfulness can begin with attentiveness to extremely simple and elementary points of existence. For example, in a variety of Buddhist schools aspirants are encouraged to observe their mode of breathing. By counting breaths over a period of time and by observing the rhythms of outbreathing and inbreathing, one can become aware of the pauses involved in breathing – before an outbreath, after an outbreath, before an inbreath, and after an inbreath. Such attention to breathing is not, however, equivalent to mindfulness, but must be linked through contemplation to an understanding of inward processes in consciousness. Inbreathing is important in relation to the powers of assimilation, preservation and absorption. Outbreathing is important in discharging one’s debts to the seven kingdoms of nature and to all human beings, seen and unseen, with whom one interacts. Each opportunity to breathe outwards is an opportunity to either bless or curse life-atoms.
Every human being is a receptacle of life-atoms from billions of other beings, immersed in a constant circulation that passes in and out of every astral form. In and through these shariras or vestures there is a ceaseless movement in the ocean of life of classes of life-atoms, which themselves belong to the hebdomadic kingdoms and sub-kingdoms of nature. Each entering and exiting life-atom experiences and retains the impress of the thought and feeling of the human being presiding over the ephemeral vesture. All of these kingdoms and classes of elementals have had an archetypal function in the history of cosmic and human evolution. By combining a firm if rudimentary grasp of the metaphysics of the Gupta Vidya concerning the seven creations with a persistent attention to the elementary processes of life, one can acquire through mindfulness a minimal insight into the magical process of breathing, thinking, feeling and willing. Minimally, one can begin to see that crude empirical notions like good luck and bad luck, being accident-prone or fortunate, are inadequate to an understanding of the exactitude and precision of karma. Similarly, one may come to see that neither wishful or dreamy thinking nor mechanistic or reductionist assumptions can be adequate to comprehend or cope with the challenges of life.
Hermes, August 1982