Made and Printed in Great Britain at
The Mayflower Press, Plymouth. William Brendon & Son, Ltd.
|1||After Mankind, What?||
|2||The Crests of the Life Cycles||
|3||The Path as a Natural Process||
|4||Let Man First Recall his Humanity||
|5||The Invisible Worlds||
|6||The Testimony of the Illuminati||
|7||Self-discovery through Experiment||
|8||The Free Man in Society||
|9||Society in the Era of Leisure||
|10||Vital Exploration of the Invisible||
|11||The Return of the Divine Kings||
|12||America in the New Age||
Is there, beyond man, a new order of evolutionary beings, critically different?
And, if so, by what is it uniquely marked?
Amorphous matter of sea and sky is sundered from the vast crystalline masses of Alp and Himalaya by a gulf of form, self-born and self-perpetuated.
The backbone of Rockies and Andes is separated by an equally deep chasm from its verdure, however intimately this sinks roots into every crevice. The miracle of plant adaptation, assimilation and growth is denied the vast rampart clothed by sequoia, lichen, fir, moss, cedar, fern and great gums.
tree may be conceived, and by some Burbank grown, which
would yield the ruby flesh of
pomegranates, saffron pears, dark olives and Alphonso mangoes Ч but it would [Page 10] nevertheless remain plant, parted from animal by that inward otherness which appears to us outwardly as mobility, thought and seeking.
However imperceptible the gradations in the basic stuff of evolution Ч energy unit into element, element into crystal, crystal to bacterium, bacterium to protozoon Ч it is nevertheless a patent fact that the grand aggregations of these primitive fine-world forms are significantly different the one from the other.
The break between man and animal is no less sharp, however similar the ovulae may be, the organs, the chemistry. As plant is distinguished from rock by feeling-linked-with-digestion (a relation acknowledged by all after dinner, if not before); as beast is marked off from tree by thought linked with a mobility which enables him to seek experience and run from it; so man is equipped with unique self-consciousness linked with tool-using. The otherness here is somewhere within the self-awareness.
Are there, beyond mankind, beings utterly new, and if so by what are they set off from man? [Page 11]
I am proposing to examine in this book that gap between man and superman, holding that the next stage beyond is a clean-cut affair; and that no man, however fruitful as man, bodies forth the god by being merely a bigger and better human. The trick is in angular direction, not linear progression. It is a problem in new dimensions, not greater volumes. However complete may be the humanity of the Men beyond mankind, as touching their godhood, we must conceive a wholly new departure, a definitely new evolutionary stage.
My thesis is that this stage can be clearly defined and studied, and, still more important, personally anticipated by self-development. There is a mark for humanity; there is also a mark for demi-gods, and if we can discover in humanity the beginning of the god, we may find the method of stimulating that factor so that we need no longer be merely human but may attain the stage beyond humanity. To put it differently, there are those who have found the way of quickening the evolutionary process so that they now stand in much the same relation to us as we do to the animal. These beings know the road they have gone, and can and [Page 12] do explain it to us, so that we can follow it if we have the strength and the desire.
This, of course, is the problem of problems, involving all manner of controversial points in philosophy, general science and psychology, for it deals with the very nature of humanity. Moreover, it is an attempt to examine that which is yet to come, and this scrutiny, though it may seem so speculative and so remote as to be impractical, is really even more important than the study of mankind, because to understand what we are now it is necessary to understand what we shall be.
The great problem which faces humanity at present, as ever, is the search for security. We have failed in that search because we have been content with the human measure. But, if we can anticipate what is yet to come, it may be possible to assume a power above human events, exactly as man is above animal life in his higher nature, and can therefore control the destinies of animals. Any little directional advance we can make over the front ranks of evolution, so that we are less and less merely human and more and more the demi-god, is to our advantage because it will give us the right kind of [Page 13] security, which does not depend on environment but comes from self-mastery.
The principal immediate difficulty in discussion is not that our proposal is impracticable, but that it involves so many controversial points. Take this very question of what consciousness is. Does the psychologist recognize anything simple and clear in the term consciousness?а I employ it in reference to the point of awareness which appears to be able to attend to one thing at one time. I do not mean a state of mind. Let us not enter now into all these difficulties, but only say that evolution has stages. "Carrots is carrots and pigs is pigs", and men are men, but there may be something more, demi-gods are demi-gods, and not human beings. Through a discovery of this fact comes a kind of peace and certainty that cannot be derived from any other source. We feel we can come to grips with our destiny when we find that this long evolutionary story can be broken down into great critical episodes. Our hope is to visualize the possibility that the next great strategic move for us is within our own hands and so close to us, in our very nature, that by a little change in the angle of vision we [Page 14] may see that freedom and release which is just before us.
We can at least say that we now have the physical sciences generally, if only very generally, on our side, in one established factor which strongly supports our proposition. Modern scientific philosophy has isolated the life process. We know now that this mysterious self-organizing power that is within us and around us on every side is not energy. That isolation of life enables us to study it in new terms.
This is the first great contribution that relativity, wave mechanics and the quantum theory have brought to us. We now see, rooted in the heart of matter, the life principle apparent as waves, throbbing in the very substance of the universe. For the first time in the history of science a kind of duality has arisen in physics itself, not resolvable by any known logical process Ч the difference between the atomic and the wave aspects of matter. Physics has caught up with Hindu realism. These are the anu and vibhu classes of the Vaisheshika outlook. The physical and chemical sciences are thus coming to the support of biology in a new yaw, by saying that there is reason to believe [Page 15] that in the nature of matter there is organization, plan and design. This makes life no longer a sort of feeble by-product of energy but an intrinsic part of the stuff of the universe, yet with laws of its own which are being discovered in the recent advances of modem physics.
This freedom which has come to biology promises other contributions to our study. No longer is it the science of the living as a by-product of the non-living. For twenty years of his life Woltereck has done battle with himself over the problem of whether the living has any right to be scrutinized on its own account. But at last he admits himself defeated. He is the third of the great German biologists to come over lately to the belief that life is unique, and that, although it clothes itself in matter, it has laws of its own. Since von Nexk№ll and others have finally abandoned mechanistic attempts to explain life, since we now realize, thanks to physics, that life is a process on its own account, different in many ways from the material process, the likelihood is that within our lifetime we shall know what this life principle is. Instead of having to turn to Oriental knowledge for an understanding [Page 16] of life, we shall know it through the development of European thought.
This item is germane to our subject, for to get anywhere with the matter in hand we cannot for a moment acknowledge that materialism and mechanism are all. We assume many things that have nothing to do with materialism in the crass sense. Formerly, the belief was that the human being was merely a machine, the heart a pump. Now we know that both heart and brain include ductless glandular tissue. Prior to this discovery the brain was regarded as a machine, highly convoluted no doubt, but just a kind of complicated noodle, after all. In those days, to a noodle all men were just noodles. Now, through the physical and biological developments, and especially some medical developments within biology, we realize there is something else present that is not mechanical nor physical. The messenger (hormone) implies a sender and a message. So, in a sense, biology is very much with us.
If now we acknowledge that there is a break between life and matter, why should there not also be some other kind of break in the universe? If science supports a [Page 17] working distinction between the living and non-living, why not a distinction between man and all other living?а Such an advance in the scientific world is possible now that psychology has almost come to the point of acknowledging that man is as much a fresh beginning from the animals as life is a fresh beginning from matter.
If we could enlist the help of anthropology the story would be more complete, but unfortunately anthropology is the science of cracked and empty skulls, and is not in a position to support us. One difficulty with this science is its vastness. Moreover, unlike psychology, anthropology has been eaten through and through with neo-Darwinian dogmatism. The result is that today anthropology is by no means as advanced as psychology in establishing mankind as a fresh departure. The time no doubt will arrive when we shall recognize this and acknowledge that our present anthropology is fitting the skulls into a theory and not moulding a theory according to the skulls. Certain humorists already recognize this, and where humorists lead science is almost bound to follow in a generation. Anthropologists may be a little laggard, but Will Cuppy put the issue clearly [Page 18] in his How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes.а He said: "The Java Man lived in Java 500,000 or 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 years ago and was lower than we are. He was Lower Pleistocene and Lower Quaternary and Knock-Kneed. He was called Pithocanthropus ('Ape-man') erectus because he walked with a slight stoop. The Java Man consisted of a calvarium, three teeth and a femur belonging to himself or two other Ape-men.а Professor Dubois made him a face which proves that he was dolichocephalic or long headed and that he was 5 feet 6╜ inches high and that Barnum was right. The Java Man was more Manlike than Apelike and more Apelike than Manlike. He had immense supra-orbital ridges of solid bone and was conscious in spots. The spiritual life of the Java Man was low because he was only a beginner.
He was just a child at heart and was perfectly satisfied with polygamy, polygyny, polyandry, ondogamy and exogamy. How he ever became extinct is beyond me. The Java Man has been called the Missing Link by those who should know."
How does it happen that there is no contemporary philosopher who has dealt [Page 19] adequately with this problem of human evolution and the anticipation of the next stage?а Only William James and H. A. Overstreet in his book УThe Enduring QuestФ have, for example, taken any account of Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness. Surely, one would think there must have been many men of genius who thought about this question. But after all we must remember that, outside of India, we have known about evolution in any adequate sense of the word only since the middle of last century. Since then we have been too much engaged in explaining how man got as far as he has to devote any time to what is going to happen next. It is only recently that biological science has attained its freedom at the hands of physics, and some progress has been made in bringing philosophy out of crass materialism. During this brief period there have not been many geniuses to scrutinize this problem.
There are numbers of controversial elements involved in the idea that man can anticipate evolution. The first of these is that no progress can be made in the study of the future of evolution unless the existence of the invisible is accepted. The second [Page 20] assumption is that the invisible is highly organized and complicated; and, further, that the invisible is extremely alive; and a high form of determinism is also presumed, as we shall see. How many are willing to accept these propositions?а Much of evolution, yet to come, is of a psychic and spiritual character; hence any anticipation of that evolution is bound to occur in the invisible. Therefore the invisible must be accepted and investigated if we are to scrutinize this next stage in evolution, and especially if we are ourselves to anticipate it.
One prime doctrine involved is that life not only has laws of its own but is one; as yet biology has not actually any clear concept of what life is. At present biology in the West is not really the science of life at all; it is still the science of the behaviour of matter in the living.
We know that underlying the phenomena of matter is one great sea of energy, which is witnessed coming out in a multitude of forms. We can transform energy, but we cannot do that with life because we do not know what life is in its unity. It was only lately decided that it is not energy. This issue is important because the development [Page 21] of the human into the demi-god involves the conquest of life, and how can we conquer what we do not know?
Further, as we have seen, this study of consciousness must be to us, on a working basis, distinct from life. Again we must believe that there is a plan for evolution if we are to anticipate it, and, if there is a plan for evolution, the future must be fixed in some sense, which is determinism. And determinism leads to a belief that nature has purpose, or teleology, than which there is nothing more old-fashioned. For if we believe that we can anticipate evolution we believe that the future is in some sense drafted out, and in that sense we must be determinists and believers in final cause.а The last is the most difficult point of all: if we believe that we can anticipate evolution, then we must believe in a very peculiar kind of God. God is to many the end, the totality, but he who acknowledges our doctrine must of necessity believe that God is not above him in an absolute sense but, in a very real way, his colleague.
Before dealing with these issues, we should first dispose of two common false assumptions as to the Men beyond mankind. In the [Page 22] unconscious cerebration of many of us is the error of attempting to interpret the Masters in terms of humanity. Yet what is most certain about the Masters is that they are not human at all in their essential nature, and therefore cannot be interpreted in terms of purely human virtues. Let us try to clear this up by looking back into the animal kingdom. I have not the least doubt that animals look upon us as bigger and better animals. Even a dog, without our help, has, I feel sure, no way to find out that we are not dogs. We may think he must wonder at the things we do, but it is not very likely. We eat and he eats too, the only difference being that instead of getting down to business with our muzzles we stupidly fiddle about with knives and forks. We read a newspaper. A dog has fun with a newspaper too Ч he tears it up, scatters it all about and hides it in a rat hole. We may get certain things out of a newspaper that he does not, but he cannot know that, because there is a great gap between him and us Ч the gap of self-consciousness.
To say of the Men beyond mankind that they are bigger and better human beings is a mistake. They are not just good men. [Page 23] They are gods. If God is omnipotent and yet admits cruelty and darkness, the latter must have purpose, and a step towards Him must be synthetic of good and evil, not merely their severance. If we could only strip our minds of all this excessive adulation of virtue and look at life candidly, we might get somewhere. At any rate, let us not follow the example of the animals and interpret these things in terms of ourselves.
There is some hope that psychology may soon help us in this direction. The old Freudian view, now being broken down by Freud and Jung themselves, was only a confirmation of neo-Darwinism telling us that the inner life is like the outer life, part and parcel of the animal kingdom. Now much hope lies in the study of high-level response, from a theosophical point of view, marking, as it does, the beginning of the recognition that man is a stage apart from animals. That recognition will not be full until two things are seen to be involved: the unique ordering power of humanity, and the manner in which consciousness functions in relation to this. An animal has, personally, no ordering power. He can respond to [Page 24] the rhythms of nature and so produce a nest when the time comes, but he cannot plan independently. This ordering power might be called a personal soul, but that is not consciousness. The sense of order is, after all, implicit in nature itself. But there is that in man which is above nature, not only the power of recognising and employing order, but the power of starting over again.
The latter of these two factors is, in every sense, the more important, because, through this, the power of consciousness, the beginnings of development in a new direction are made possible. This originating power of consciousness enables us to remake and enrich the world constantly. We can train the organism along new lines.
We may, as a child, have learned the subtle art of patting the stomach and rubbing the head at the same time. How difficult it was at first! And afterwards, though we were able to do the two things at once, we were still able only to attend to one at a time. It was consciousness that did the attending. Consciousness is that which can introduce the new; soul is that which can organize all things to ends of beauty. The [Page 25] study of consciousness, independent of soul, is the study of the gateway into the new world.
The new psychology does not yet make that distinction as clearly as it should, but it is coming along.а Jung speaks of a "world-unconscious", and now says that in each individual psyche there is a series of patternsа Ч the patterns of a human being. See his introduction to The Secret of the Golden Flower.а Engraved on these patterns, he says, are the personal peculiarities of that individual. In other words, there is a psychical world in which there are psychical patterns which are just as typical as is the human face. That is what theosophists would term the aura, on which are engraved the personal traits and feelings, the results of the operations of the individual consciousness. I have no doubt that in a short time we shall be so near to the problem of uniqueness that we can defend it in scientific terminology.
The second error we are likely to make is one of practice rather than of theory. In the West the hope has been that peace would come to humanity through free will and a moulding of the environment. [Page 26] We have a deep-rooted idea that nature can be made to bow to humanity, which is true in a sense, but not as we have followed it. We are at last learning that we shall not build Jerusalem merely by putting in good drains. If enough men are put in a Ford plant we get a splendid motor-car but not necessarily a better human being. This fallacy has been largely due to popular science. We point to the electric light and say, "How marvelous of man to make nature obey!"а When Edison made the electric light he did not invent the properties of carbon, he found them out. He obeyed, not nature. The properties of matter are its own, and all man can do is to stoop to conquer. He cannot alter those properties. He must accept the world fundamentally as it is, but he can model new forms of beauty from the old.
The sentimental Margaret Fullers exclaim: "I accept the universe!"а The realistic Carlyles add: "Gad! She'd better".а
Vanity has led us to a real peril. Because we have not recognized that we must stoop to conquer matter, we still less realize that we must also stoop to conquer life. Life is a thing of itself; it has properties and rhythms [Page 27] of its own; it is the seat of beauty and the freshener of the world. Those who turn away from life and deny its rhythms are not on their way to freedom. Life suddenly traps them and defeats them at the very time they are least aware of its existence and its powers. It is necessary for us to have a good look at what life is, so that we can see it in its essence and so learn its laws and obey them. It is when we ignore the laws of life that they operate quickly and intimately, and even more strongly than the laws of matter. This is because they operate unseen in our psyche, whereas matter impedes us only objectively. It is clear that the laws of life must be known and understood before the life process can be modulated. These laws are the laws of love, which is why the next step in human evolution is in the invisible.
There is a difference between the attitude I would recommend to you and that which is religious; though Christ is a Man beyond mankind, and Buddha, too. This path ahead of mankind is definitely laid down in nature, is there on its own divine account, if you like, and not dependent on anyone. Its laws can be known, and what the Christ or [Page 28] Buddha says are only descriptions of these laws, not moral preachments. That is, I think, very different from the religious attitude. The average person thinks that by enough faith and love for the Christ all will be made clear and secure. No doubt that is beautiful and true as far as it goes; but I believe that Jesus really made an attempt to describe that which He knew to be inevitable for those who desire to join Him. It is possible to show that the passage, "Our Father Who art in Heaven", is a complete description of energy levels (the planes of matter) and the evolution of man to godhood, in the most exact terminology, a definition of a process which, though ahead of most people and remote for some, can become an immediate reality.
We may further inquire that even if we can determine what demi-gods are, will not our efforts to be like them in any case be vain?а The answer lies in the difference which we notice between domestic and wild animals. Bringing them near to us has made a difference. In a human being there is soul and that makes him a man; but there is also consciousness, which is the beginning of godhood. In the dog there is a wolf with [Page 29] a sense of order imposed upon him and self-consciousness is being drawn out of him by the presence of a human being. The analogy brings the hope that by being near to the Masters we can somehow get a glimmering, through consciousness alone, of that which they are. This does not mean that we must propitiate intermediaries, but that it is possible to touch in contemplative study something which will quicken in fact that which dwells within.
The feeling grows that this imaginative projection of the stage beyond mankind is not imagination alone. There comes a little glint of something different, and with it an increase of power and a spreading of peace within, until at last we have, ourselves, evidence that there are Men beyond mankind. The coming stage is toward unity and brotherhood; we need to be impelled to live together in one great organization in simple friendship, without distinction of race or creed or sex or colour.
I believe that that is the greatest contribution which is being made in this matter of the future development of humanity Ч the chance is given us today to comprehend and work and live with people who stand in the [Page 30] presence of these great beings, who do not claim to carry us to them but who are organizing their own lives on that model, however feebly, tentatively and almost hopelessly, as it may sometimes seem.
These people look at life from the theosophical point of view, by which I mean that attitude towards nature and Man, universally held prior to the historical mishap, by which the neo-Platonists were driven from the church, some four centuries after Christ. This view, with its ideal of the demi-god, is still prevalent in India today and must, if we are to survive, inevitably come back to the culture of the West. [Page 31]
IN the last chapter I maintained that we interpret the Men beyond mankind in human terms, because we are ourselves in that train of waves, in the grand strategy of evolution, which is human, mainly. Backward we are rooted in the animal, the vegetable, and all that has gone before, but forward the plan has not yet revealed itself. So we constantly interpret the Masters in terms of our own limitations. Many people hope that they can come to understand them by phenomenal methods. They are always asking such questions as this: "Are not these Beings masters of life, and hence men who have lived longer than the usual span?"а If we answer yes, the question is then asked, "But how do you know a person has lived two or three hundred years if you did not live in the time of Cromwell yourself ?"а Although one may meet men of extraordinary power over nature, magicians, [Page 32] known in India as yogis, it does not follow that such men are necessarily more developed in consciousness because they have advanced knowledge of the phenomenal laws of life. After all, we see in our own scientists men who are advanced over the pigmy in Africa; yet they are not necessarily more advanced in our present sense of the term. They have developed their field of knowledge laterally, as it were: but we are speaking of a definitely directional progress.
There is a current story that illustrates this point. A certain Carolina senator had a new maid who answered the telephone one evening two or three times identically in the strangest way. She would say first, "It is", then, after a moment, "It sure is!"а Then she would hang up the receiver. Finally her master said, "Mary, what is the meaning of this strange conversation, which three times has been exactly the same?"а She replied, "Well, sir, the person calling asked, 'Is this the residence of Senator Kilgore?'а So I says, 'It is.' Then she says, 'It's a long distance from Washington to Senator Kilgore.'а And so I says, 'It sure is!' "
The long distance from the Men beyond [Page 33] mankind to the human being is not entirely one of distance, but more especially of direction. Yet the key to the situation lies in the knowledge of where we stand now and how we got here; for it will open the gate to the future.а We must grasp firmly in our consciousness the living instrument that nature has made for us, with our co-operation, and we must make it obey. With such obedience achieved we can study the world as it is, and when that study has been accomplished, advance from this point is possible. We cannot re-orient ourselves intelligently until we know where we are.
It is particularly as regards life in relation to consciousness that the first advance in knowledge must be made. At the outset we must admit that, phenomenally, life is not energy nor consciousness.а The first stage in freedom is the study of life through consciousness, so that we can modulate our lives to given ends. Within ourselves, with such knowledge, we might change one kind of living emotion into another, just as we can change friction into heat, in an energetic sense. We must find out exactly what life is, or first, if you like, what it is not.
Science has for years made a kind of [Page 34] identity between the living and the energetic, acknowledging only energy in the universe.а We have believed that the world was running down instead of building up, and in that running down we saw energy alone operating. There has not been acknowledged any kind of cosmic element which can recreate, as man obviously does recreate. The publication of Einstein's first paper started a re-survey of the situation. Now it is suggested that the universe began as a unique particle, without mass, without property, and grew through expansion. This thought of Lemaitre's represents a change in the right direction, for consciousness is very much like a particle which is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. We are coming to the perception that it is not energy which made the universe, but something else, by correlating energy-chaos, through life-order.
Still more remarkable is the current recognition of the fact that the life process has very definite categories or energy-levels at which it operates. If the universe were energy running down, it would obviously keep on convulsively decaying, and the periods would not be regular and recognized. But the pageant of evolution tells us that [Page 35] the universe must at some time have been built up into categories, in which it is obviously now developing.
We now see that the processes of life are significant. There has been a gradual re-survey of the whole cosmic development, with the idea of explaining the great stages of the evolutionary stream. Still, science does not know very much about life; its main interest is in the secondary, not the primary characteristics.а If we limit life to vegetables and animals, the result is that we regard what is most pronounced in these as the only signs of life. That will not suit my purposes at all.а Assimilation, growth and reproduction are regarded by orthodox science as the significant indicators of life. That is of little value if we are to interpret wave mechanics to mean that life is everywhere, as energy is everywhere.а These, chaos and chronos, are two sides of consciousness. Therefore we must look for a more comprehensive description of life, one which will include crystals, at the beginning.а Fritz Rinne, professor of mineralogy at Leipzig, and others, accept this view. From that point we can begin a positive study of the underlying processes of life, with [Page 36] a view to modulating it to the ends of freedom.
Let us start with a definition: Life is that which is not material nor energetic; it modulates energy to its own ends, and is therefore self-sustaining, self-perpetuating and purposeful. The question then arises as to what there is in nature that is not energy. Obviously, from the point of view of Western science it would be very difficult to identify anything of the kind. We shall therefore have to think in Oriental terms. The Oriental believes that reality is more than the phenomenal, that there is something so deep in the universe that there are stages upon stages between it and us, although reality is in phenomena too. Among those many stages there may be conditions where we can experience without a great content of energy. As one proceeds into the invisible, life makes itself more and more apparent. In that sense, life is not energetic yet very real.
Now if we study the properties of the living, as invisible life operates in ponderable matter, we come upon certain general principles.а One is that in its own nature, unimpeded by energetic environment, a living thing is [Page 37] symmetrical.а In the hot-house, where there are no winds, the little plants are symmetrical as they grow, row on row, in the calm, moist, warm atmosphere. Under conditions of control in the laboratory, a crystal will grow with a symmetry seldom found in nature, where energy struggles constantly with life.
It is the nature of the living to be symmetrical in space if there is no undue energetic strain from without. This symmetry is progressive; point in crystal, line in plant, plane (bilateral) in animal.а Man appears to have bilateral symmetry; but he has more, because his beauty and growth are inward. His animal symmetry does not matter; he goes on in inner symmetry and beauty.
It is possible to show that every living thing, without exception, is derived from the five Platonic solids.а See the works of Samuel Colman, J. Hambidge, etc.а Life is so simple, so homogeneous, that we find its multitudinous forms can be so organized that they return to the Platonic solids Ч the tetrahedron, the cube, the octohedron, the dodecahedron and the icosahedron.а With a point at one end and a sphere at the other, seven living forms of the universe are before [Page 38] us. This fact is not yet of significance to the biologist, who thinks in terms of energy and mind rather than of life and beauty.
Another important fact is that life is rhythmic in time. This, indeed, is even more significant to our study than its symmetry in space. Beauty extends its conquest in time as well as in space. This aspect of the living is important for freedom. Some of us are masters of static beauty but not of kinetic beauty, beauty in time. Music is the highest and most subtle of the arts because it is so entirely in time; the vehicle remains the same before and after the episode of beauty.а Life is rhythmically as well as spacially beautiful.а We must understand the rhythms of our lives, so that we can impose upon them, in time as well as in space, an exquisite symmetry. This is more important than physical, static beauty, for we are already conditioned in space, whereas half of our life in time is yet to come, and we therefore can do something about that.
I should like first to point out some of the rhythm in nature. In the lower orders of crystals not much rhythm can be perceived, for they are caught between life and energy, and there they remain. In vegetables, [Page 39] however, we find rhythms. For instance, there is the Tasmanian bean, whose blossom opens by days and winds up by night. However, when the bean was transplanted to Boston, it continued the same rhythm that it had in Tasmania Ч winding up its blossom in the morning and opening it at night. It did not do at sunrise in Boston what it had done at sunrise in Tasmania because it was life that governed the plant, and not the energy of the sun. Life has its own character; the rhythms in nature are due to life and not to energy, which is chaotic and dark.
As regards animals, let me use a quotation from Moore's Origins and Nature of Life (pp. 250-252) as regards certain phosphorescent animals: "It might be supposed, at first thought, that these phosphorescent organisms are not observed to emit light during the day because of the presence of sunlight, and that if taken into a dark room, such as is used for photographic purposes, they would be found to phosphoresce just as brilliantly as at night. Such is, however, not the case, not a spark can be elicited from them even by vigorous shaking, so long as there is daylight in the outer world. But if one stands by and watches in the dark room, as twilight [Page 40] is falling outside, although the organisms have not been exposed to light all day, one observes the little lamps light up and flash out one by one like coruscating diamonds in the darkness, till the whole dish is studded with flashing and disappearing light, a glorious sight in the darkness and stillness".аа They do not know, in any external sense, whether the sun has risen or set, but they have a pulse of their own.
These rhythms are deeper than we can intellectually understand.а Here is the commonly cited case of the yucca plant, which has existed for thousands of years little changed, yet can be fertilized only by a certain kind of moth. If the yucca moth did not come forth from its cocoon at the proper time there would be no yucca plant. Thus rhythms in the life-process also span and join the kingdoms of nature.
Life in space is governed by what Oriental science calls yantra, the spatial laws of vitality, or prana.а The laws of life in time are called mantra, the laws of rhythm, musical sound.а The knowledge of yantra and mantra makes the outer science of prana.а The word prana is cognate with the Latin word anima, whence animation.а So prana is that which [Page 41] breathes out; in a secondary sense, breath, that which is correlated to human life in a very wonderful way. The desire of the Indian hatha-yogin is to learn the science of breath which governs the ductless glands, so that as they derive sustenance from the blood stream they will also get the required amount of oxygen, rhythmically. By this process they achieve an inner metabolic harmony, the result of which is an harmonious organism.а Indian science has advanced beyond ours in the understanding and conquest of life, for it recognizes the symmetrical and the rhythmical.а If we will only realize that inner consciousness exists, with laws of its own, the study of life will immediately become possible in terms of those laws.
If we understand some of the rhythms of life we can understand the times.а In India the idea is that the castes take precedence in order: in the West we see that first the Catholic priests (brahmins) ruled; then came the days of the feudal lords and barons (khashattriyas); then the bankers or vaishyas, who have controlled Europe since the kings left us; and now Ч a farewell to bankers! There is one more caste left, that includes poor you and me, the ordinary shudra, [Page 41] apparently nothing and yet everything of which society is made.а These cycles are greater than even historical episodes.а Race development is just as symmetrical in time as are plants and crystals in space.а The seven great root races of occultism correspond to the Platonic solids.а Today we are in the fifth of these great races. The sixth, it is said, will be founded in the new world Ч America Ч and the seventh on a continent not yet arisen from the sea.а
When a planet finally winds up its story there is no death in the sense of chaotic interruption, but a quiet, reasoned withdrawal of the life process, which moves on to another planet, for planets also grow symmetrically in time and space.а Our mineral, plant and animal kingdoms proceed in due order on this earth because there has been practice on some other planet, where you and I were not human but part of the waves of that order which was animal. So the story goes on and on, until we come to the tremendous idea of kalpa, the last of the ideas connected with prana in the Indian point of view.а It is that the whole universe is throbbing to music unheard; not only the floor of our particular heaven "is inlaid [Page 43] with patines of bright gold", but the whole cosmos is one systematic development.а Twenty millions and more of island universes are operating in prana just as certainly as iron is in the most distant of the nebulae as seen by means of the spectroscope. The order is not apparent to astronomy on a large scale as yet, though Kepler, Bode and others suspected it in our solar system.
Astrologers, however, as well as Hindu philosophers, realize that as the solar system winds its way through the cosmos, a vaster order is brought to it by the stages of cosmic energy imposed upon it. The universe can hence be called in its living sense a kalpa, literally "ritual", symmetrical in time and space, emerging in due order from a point and leading, in due order again, to its source, just as a church, a masonic or a domestic ritual unwinds itself. As human life goes from birth to death, from spring to autumn, so the whole universe is seen as one grand choral, set to incredibly beautiful, though to us unheard, music in invisible worlds. This is life, and we shall never understand how life controls us until we recognize these its properties.
The more sensitively alive, the greater is [Page 44] the beauty revealed in time rather than in space.а A leopard is lovely as he stands immobile, but when he moves he is far more lovely, for nothing is more beautiful than the moving creature. The running or walking elephant is beautiful. Uncouth, ugly, he may be, as he stands still, and in his small movements lumbering, nevertheless in totality there is one grand movement like waves on the surface of the ocean, which bespeak a stream of energy that has been brought into order by life.
So we may say that on the whole life is timeful, but energy is spaceful.а Life can be everywhere at once.а Energy is spatially bound, but the life process can inhabit hundreds of a species of creatures at the same time. The life of a species is one, for though the creatures may be thousands of miles apart they have their inner link in prana.
If we are to conquer life we must first recognize its unity in a species. For man the lesson is humanity, human brotherhood. There is one great life process which is called man, just as there is one called cats, another cabbages, another crystals. There is one life which is humanity, the grand man, the solar man, if you like, and until that brotherhood [Page 45] is recognized there is no possibility of recognition of that stage beyond human life, the Christ-species. We do not have to move from one race to another; it is within. The final art is that of living humanity, which must include every human being without distinction of race, of creed, of sex, of caste or of colour.
A further essential requirement is that we search for the beauty in an individual life even though we do not see it. In order to escape we must avoid repudiation. When a creature or an event appears ugly to us, we must be able to realize that it is alive and therefore cannot be ugly. We must be able to say, "I will see beauty; I will find the significance of life".а By that process it is possible to penetrate beneath the surface of ugliness and pain and sorrow Ч beneath the energetic side of life Ч and see more beauty than was ever thought of.
Life is a delicate, sensitive process. When we give the attention to its study that is required we perceive its incredible beauty. When a life is over in time and space, the result is a lovely symmetry of form. At the end of a given life all the people whom we have loved and hated surround us in the invisible world, [Page 46] and pour out upon us all the energies which we have balanced against each other. The forms thus thrown off from life are those found in crystals, vegetables and animals; they are the Platonic solids.а It is possible to show that at the end of every one of Shakespeare's plays there is a geometric frame which is the cross-section of a Platonic solid. Even if the play is a tragedy, full of hatred and jealousy, nevertheless the Logos, Who makes life, has not hated, and He snatches beauty even from the life of a Hamlet or a Lear.
He is also snatching beauty from our life, though we may not realize it because the actor can never see the whole. But by a practice of consciousness we draw ourselves to the point where we can see life whole.а When a musician first learns to play an instrument he performs in an insipid manner, for he is attending to form, to the notes laid down by the composer. The real musician considers within himself how best to interpret the composition, and so brings the beauty out of the form. The great difference between a young man with genius and an older man with genius is that the elder has lived longer and therefore has more [Page 47] consciousness in time. By the long application of consciousness the finished artist can evoke soul and life, and draw out the beauty that lies within.
We can draw out the beauty in life by persevering to the end. If someone hurts us we must learn to say, "I wonder what he meant by that. What meaning is there in that for me?"а This will open up a new kind of life; the life of a master of life; for evolution is inner as well as outer.а Along with the vegetable's power of assimilation is its power of emotion. Along with the animal's power of locomotion is its power of thought, one visible, the other invisible. Along with man's power to think is the inner beauty. The kind of freedom we seek is related to two changes that have transpired with us Ч the development of the power of beauty and of the power of creation, or consciousness.а With this comes a change in the outer, though not necessarily physical, sense.а In man there is a kind of stratification of the waves of the aura when seen by a clairvoyant; the emotions and the mind are arranged in levels. In the Man beyond mankind there is a new concentric arrangement Ч the aura swirls around him, and [Page 48] within that castle he is the master. It is an outer change in a psychic rather than a physical sense. The change in the aura is profound because it is the difference between freedom and captivity. The average person is like a fish swimming in the invisible sea of life, whose tide carries him where it likes, though he may swim a few feet to one side or the other. This is due to the arrangement of the aura in levels. But he is really free who goes down into the seat of consciousness and brings up a cloud of his own inner beauty, concentric globes of life through which pour great rays of energy and beauty. When external threats and frictions strike him they must pierce these several media, and he is strong because he meets them systematically, as they come. He is very different outwardly in his aura from the merely human being.а But this is result, not cause.
Those who are interested meditate upon life, not so much in terms of matter, as in terms of what beauty is, what love is, what life is, realizing that time and beauty and life and peace belong to one pattern, whereas power and matter belong to another category. The totality is consciousness, and consciousness [Page49] needs them both.а Peace and power are actually the same, but he who seeks for power in material things will be deluded because peace, as life, will always trip him. Yet a person who is tranquil, who lives without ever making an effort and looks at beauty as negative, will never grow; for to grow one must meet and conquer the strife caused by energy. He who masters strife and yet is tranquil in himself is in the end the master, because he is at once strong and peaceful. [Page 50] [Page 51][Page 52]
THE study of the essential character of life opens up the possibility of prophetic vision.а We have already seen that one of the properties of the living is that it is symmetrical and rhythmic. From this it follows that prophecy regarding the living is possible, although ordinary science today usually assumes that the living is unpredictable. It is true that within the living, when also mental, there is something which cannot be foreseen; but life, seen in itself, is broadly predictable, differing from matter in that regard.а Although the movements of an individual dog cannot be fully predicted, the growth and development of the dog species can be indicated in advance. If we recognize the origin of a particular seed, the form of life that will result from the planting of that seed can be predicted for years ahead.а One of the strange and wonderful things about the living, then, is this: because of [Page 53] their rhythms in time and their symmetries in space, prophecy is possible.
A scientific examination of the stars gives us a certain amount of general prophetic knowledge. Young stars are blue and old stars red, and our sun is therefore middle-aged. It is possible to foretell that hundreds of thousands of years hence the sun will not be golden-yellow, but some other colour. But once we know enough about the elements behind the living, prophecy becomes more accurate and more amazing. Anyone who understands the nature of water might go to the tropics, where naturally there is no ice, and meet many people who know nothing about the kind of life that forms when water is frozen. Here again prophecy is possible.
Since life is at present the master of man, it follows that races can be broadly prophesied, and the story of what is yet to be done upon this planet foreseen. The growth of an individual can also be forecast in its broad outline as the races go on, because the individual must obey laws of life yet to come. Unless we speed our growth you and I must die and return again and again according to the great law of incarnation, [Page 54] dipping over and over again into races yet unborn, and conform thereunto. As time goes on we shall experience definite and certain changes in character. Our future can therefore be forecast, and this whether we take a quick road or the slow road of wholly surrendering to the life that is to come and returning again and again to incarnation. The outline is precisely the same, the only difference being that in the case of the individual who determines upon rapid growth the outline is condensed, for in the life he leads he anticipates briefly the races that are to come, living now the kind of life that will be theirs in due course. Every individual who is born recapitulates all the life that has ever been, reproducing in his early years the primitive childhood of our race. The children of the next great race will recapitulate the mental equipment painfully acquired by our race. Therefore, anyone who hastens his psychic and spiritual evolution is bound to recapitulate all the races that are yet to come.
The steps of this process of anticipation are called initiations, and the process is called yoga; while the name used to cover both stages and process is the Path. The [Page 55] Path, then, is a scientific fact; if, that is, you take occultism as a science. The trouble we find in a word like initiation does not arise out of the unreasonableness of the subject but out of our own unreasonableness.а Many people, for example, say, "I don't want to force my evolution Ч I want to grow as the flower grows, I want to be free as the bird".а Unfortunately we are neither cabbages nor crows: the laws of human life are not those of the vegetable or animal, and for us fulfillment is something quite different. There is that in the individual which he cannot possibly deny. He must use it. The question is, will he use it for the anticipation of God's own process, forging ahead, lighting the Path that humanity must eventually follow, or will he use it little and go slowly?а That is the only difference.а We cannot refrain from being conscious, and we must be demi-gods eventually
There is one more difficulty as regards the word initiation. We often associate the term with rather noisy and worldly organizations. For most people, in fact, the word is associated with acceptance into a society with the payment of dues and some sort of mysterious ritual, which may be old and beautiful and even [Page 56] very significant, as in the case of Masonry, or new and "brash",
What I mean by the term "initiation" is not an artificial but a special and wonderful thing. These stages on the path of quickened evolution which anticipate the progress to be made by future races. If we consider the word initiation carefully we shall see that it has this sense. It is from the Latin, and has the meaning "a beginning", in the sense that we start to learn the rudiments, to be enrolled in a secondary sense, to be taught or to teach, as the case may be. It is, however, the beginning.а When we look in turn at the word beginning we come close to something which has meaning for us, because it is an Anglo-Saxon rather than a Latin root. (See The New Word, by Allen Upward, as regards Latin and Anglo-Saxon root values.)а "Ginnan", the root, means "to open", and the word initiation is equivalent to the process of opening. Going back to the Latin origin, we find that it is connected with a small source from which something wells up.а Jesus declares that those who go forward to enter the Kingdom of Heaven must reach it through "a mustard seed".а By this He meant that there is in the average individual [Page 57] something tiny and not yet sprouted which can be made to grow. That growth is the episode which is indicated in the roots of the words initiation and beginning. Life is now planting round consciousness, as if it were some germinal process, a tiny deposit of something very lovely, the quintessence of life.а If we will dig down into ourselves to that seed of consciousness which has been planted in the life process, we can make it sprout in a new world, in a new direction. That is why the first of these initiations is symbolized in Christian literature by the birth of Jesus with the star of His consciousness hanging over Him, while He is surrounded by the stones, the hay and the cattle of the manger, representing the three great Kingdoms of nature. We finally leave our humanity behind with the mineral, vegetable and animal, and start out in a new direction, the starry direction.а Compare also nirvana, literally "blown out", and the Greek term metastrophe.
Taken in that sense we are face to face with the most significant fact that through consciousness, this starry thing which is only a point of light shining within us, there is the possibility of a new beginning. That [Page 58] beginning entails pain, for we must repudiate not only our families but the race itself; for we are going ahead faster even than the races yet to come. We shall quicken our evolution so much that we become no longer national but international, and finally leave behind for a while laggard racial humanity.
The first stage is to accept all races Ч to take in every race without exception and to repudiate one's own, because nationalism means today that we think our own nation finer than any other, and implies that we must do everything possible to see that it comes out on top. "My country, right or wrong", is a terrible phrase. We cannot believe, if we take the Path, that our own country is better absolutely than any other. Every race has something to give, and those who would go forward must first step backward in order to start in the right direction, toward unity and simplicity, in brotherhood.
This is a marvelous doctrine, and we wonder why it is not taught everywhere. The reason is simply that there is no positive philosophy of the intangible. There are some philosophies of life such as Bergson's; there are Bradley and Josiah Royce, among the [Page 59] most remarkable men the West has yet produced, philosophers devoted to the transcendental, but they are negatively anti-realistic rather than positively idealistic.а It might be possible to create an entirely new psychology to go with the philosophy of the intangible if people would realize the immense difference between consciousness with self (ego) and consciousness without self, which is greater than ego. That philosophy of the conscious, beyond self and beyond nationalism, would be a philosophy of intangibles.
What, then, is the future for the race and for humanity?а The first step provides that we catch up with the completed development of the Aryan race, into which we are now born. This is not so difficult, for we are biologically and psychologically suited to this task. This first stage is called probation.а We begin by becoming interested in this whole problem of quickening growth, and from that time on we make stronger and stronger efforts towards liberating ourselves from our present limitations. By that effort to become impersonal and international we attract the attention of People who are already like that. The stage of being [Page 60] watched by them is called probation, and it must end in complete liberation from the limitations of our special, racial psychology, by its ideal fulfilment. We must qualify. We must fulfil the Aryan race, just as we have already completed the Atlantean, Lemurian and other races that have gone before.
We then begin the recapitulation of the great races yet unborn, of which there are two ahead, to make a total of seven. The recapitulation of the next, or sixth, the intuitional race is entered upon at the end of probation, after the first initiation, and that of the seventh race after the second initiation.а Then comes the third initiation, which ends the experience of anticipating the life of man on this globe.а The two great initiations which follow later have to do with life and circumstances on other planets, for they correspond to rounds, not races. The fourth initiation, Arhat, and the fifth, Asekha, deal with two other rounds, and that is the end of our conscious growth. It follows that these last two are almost incomprehensible, because we have no analogies, and the words which are used in regard to them are almost without meaning for us. I have, [Page 61] however, referred to them for the sake of completeness.
First of all, let us take the stage which begins with the first initiation and covers the next great race after the Aryan. It is called in Pali terminology Sotopanna, which means literally the process of "entering the stream".а It is so called because when probation is finished the initiate enters a stream of life which has, as yet, no forms. It is not a series of current existences, it is a stream that is pouring from the fountain-head of the life-world. It is a real event, for it is the first time we attempt to live so far ahead of humanity, and we find ourselves in a world strange in a psychological and spiritual sense. This point on the Path marks the entering of a stream of life undeveloped, unresolved, inchoate at the lower levels until, having mastered it completely, we emerge at the other end an adept.
The sixth race, whose recapitulation is begun with the first initiation, is now being born in the United States. It will have, as its characteristic, intuition, instead of mind, the Aryan quality. Americans presumably have a head start!а The first Initiation therefore involves the introduction to [Page 62] intuitional experience, with the help of the Personages who guard this great Path and who make it possible for us. Thereby we gain a taste of what is yet to come, an indescribable experience for those who really have it. After such a taste, we begin to throw off difficulties standard to all, which are fetters that prevent us from fulfilling this experience.
These fetters are three in number, all connected with the race's development.а The first is the delusion of self, and to overcome it we must be quite sure that we are not the isolated individuals we think we are. We must fully recognize that we are also everybody else, and we have to achieve that recognition without getting mixed up with them. There is a stage where people feel they know something and want to fulfil it by telling the other fellow what to do. We must find out about him from within, and when we have done that we will respect him so much we will want to let him alone.
The next of these fetters is concerned with doubt, with the feeling that the world cannot be depended upon. Before we come to the stage of intuitional experience which is [Page 63] sometimes, though wrongly, called illumination, we are not quite sure whether the world is beneficent or not, and whether there is a Path to tread. We take it all very largely on faith or belief. But after the first initiation we can know that the future is determined, without doubt, and we depend on the Law.
There is, finally, the throwing off of the fetter of dependence on works good or bad. It seems strange to advocate that the way to quicken evolution is not to depend even on good works. This means, first of all, that we must not depend on others or the action of others. We cannot depend finally on any society or church to help us, for they all belong to the past. The only dependence we can put upon good works is to use them for the sake of society.
All of these are fetters upon the individual, and when we have destroyed them we will be as those of our race who will live thousands of years from now. Think of not having to suffer from the things that surround us now! no advertising to be inflicted on us, for instance!а There are weaknesses even in the beauty of our contemporary civilization, as in the quick response and too often [Page 64] fatuous kindness so characteristic, for example, of American life.
The second initiation is called sakadagami, which means "only once returning", for he who passes this initiation is able to quicken his evolution so that he need be born only once more. He is now entering on the recapitulation of the last of the physical races, the seventh, and therefore is coming in anticipatory recapitulation to the point where even the race need not be born again. It is interesting to note that there are no fetters to be cast off after the second initiation. It is at this stage that we, as individuals, assimilate all the events that have gone before. We are now making a tremendous convulsive effort to do what the race is to do, and a rest period is needed.а Furthermore, the race that one is about to recapitulate is the last to come on the globe, one that will be strange, and wonderful, without laws. Laws now are largely intended to protect property rather than life, and since everyone will then have all he wants of wealth, there will be no necessity for such laws. It will be possible to rule the world by anarchy Ч an Irish phrase! which means no archons, no rulership.а Every man will be [Page 65] a law unto himself, but life will be so far forward by that time that laws will be unnecessary and fetters non-existent.
Then comes the third initiation, called anagami, "not born again".а The person who passes this initiation need not return unless he so desires, for he has recapitulated the seventh race, which ends the life of his humanity on this globe. Two great sections of the Path now are before him, one to the Arhat and one to the Asekha level. The first involves two fetters, and the second five. The word Arhat means "the venerable", and the word Asekha means "no more disciple" Ч of anybody.
Certain questions now arise. One might wonder why it is necessary to cast off those fetters in that order?а One reason is that those who are going to help us in the process have so determined. This Path is guarded by those who, knowing what is best, allow no other arrangement. We can grow without the help of the brotherhood of Men beyond mankind, but if their help is accepted it must be along the lines they lay down.а After the first initiation we see intuitionally that there can be no other order, although during the probationary stage we might [Page 66] imagine others possible.а There is an Indian phrase I should like to quote, for it really should be echoed by everyone who travels this Path: "N'anyah panthah vidyate yanaya", which means, "No other Path at all is there to go".а When a genius is born he must yet recapitulate the development of the race, as does every other child. Those who go forward are bound as much.
I might add here a suggestion that will help to make the notion of initiations a fact in nature, especially for the benefit of those unaware of the complete unity of Hinduism and Buddhism upon the character of these forward steps, and who have not as yet examined the Christian materials from this point of view. The suggestion is that (a determined future for the world-process granted) the principle of biogenesis or the theory of recapitulation, Haeckel's famous generalization, may reasonably be expected to apply to the future as well as to the past. That is to say, if the future of the race is fixed in broad outline by something like Platonic ideas or archetypes, as the evolutionary story to date is in fact recorded by such summary experiences in the individual, how then shall we expect the individual man [Page 67] who is forging his way ahead to escape fulfilling, at least in outline, these Ideas?а This point of view takes the strain off of a weak point in older descriptions of the Path in Western literature. For the idea that the future of mankind is in the hands of a small group of individuals for arbitrary disposal, however magnificent that group may be, presents the same defect as the notion that the world-process is ruled by an arbitrary anthropomorphic personal God.
Another question is, "Why must one be a disciple; why cannot one make this effort alone?"а There is no reason why we should not, if we are strong enough, but when this Path is taken we challenge society, and therefore will need the association of many people who know this road, to encourage and help us. What is more, intuitive development, which is involved in the early stages of the Path, requires that one must co-operate with people, and we cannot co-operate in the fullest measure of the word, with those whom we are leaving behind. We must have friends, therefore, with whom we can associate and co-operate, a group of which all the members are going along into this new world. When we know it is right we will [Page 68] take guidance; otherwise we will go our own way, obeying the broad laws which are accepted and which we have understood.
Finally, there is the problem of the recognition of the disciple. What a disciple is doing is this. He is making a conquest of life inwardly, so naturally, he may not appear outwardly to be different. He is inwardly post-Aryan, though he may appear to be a Swede or a Pole. He is anticipating a race that is to come; but he does not look like that race physically. It is life, not matter, that he is trying to mould. The way in which he differs from other people is subtle. We might look at him from a material point of view and never see that he is a disciple. Of the two conquests which offer themselves to us, that of life and that of matter, he has chosen the conquest of life, and as it is subtler, higher and inner, the peculiar differences that he displays are inner and subtle, also. Therefore he is not to be judged roughly by the world's measure, or without deep knowledge of him.
The first difference in him is that he has worked down deep into his consciousness and is going out from it. It looks as though he were attending more to his own inner life [Page 69] than to his outer life, trying to be honest first with himself, and this gives him a kind of childlike quality. As far as the outer person goes, he appears to be all sorts of things which he is not, and appears not to be all sorts of things which he is. There is a certain childlike simplicity and honesty in him, which we find, however, only when we get through the external man.
The second great difference is that his object is to recover the estate of that which caused the world, so his object is not primarily to be saintly, but Godlike. What there is in disciples of ugliness and weakness they are conscious of and honest about. They are "back-tracking through sin", going back where the world started, but they are carrying with them an incredibly beautiful experience.
Hence, the worst of them is in plain view, not inside as it is in ordinary folk, because of the laggard world's pressure. That is what Jesus meant when he said that most people are whited sepulchres. If we go to Palestine and look at the graveyards of the East, we notice that this phrase has real meaning. The body is just laid out on a bier, put in the grave, and covered with a [Page 70] white-washed stone. Above, all is white and shiny; below, corruption.
the disciple has it the other way around; the lovely
light that shines within is real. The average man has
his beauties on top and his ugliness below the diaphragm,
in the invisible aura, although he innocently imagines
himself, without deceit, to be only beautiful. Here
is the stone above the sepulcher, and death is down
beneath, in the passionate aura. In the initiate all
this latter has been uniformly put on the outside,
and in the Уmustard seedФ of his inner life
is purity and beauty. He is radiating from that. He may
outwardly appear to be much too candid and difficult,
but when we understand him fully we realize that deep
within him is incredible beauty, for he has conquered
life. He is no longer a man of faith or belief Ч one
the commitment of emotions to truth, the other of mind
to truth Ч but the occultist, who has neither faith
nor belief because he does not need them. Experience,
by the conquest of the life within, has united faith
and belief. Yoga, which means yoke or union, signifies
that these two have been brought into equilibrium. So
this individual, despite his outer appearance, gives
us power [Page
deep within him, which produces peace.
Let us honour those few individuals who have not spared their personalities the strain of added consciousness, but have been willing to grow, no matter how badly the world might judge them. By touching here and there the outline of the approaching life of races yet to come they brighten the way for others. Let us honour them, for they can give to humanity that incredible union of beauty and strength which alone gives peace, for it comes from the centre of immobility, consciousness itself, quiet because it is not energy or life, but both. [Pages72-73] [Page 74]
WE have developed the idea that the path of human perfection must necessarily be preordained, laid down by nature and maintained by a group of individuals to whose society the initiate belongs Ч all part of a plan determined in evolution for the future.а The individual who attempts to perfect himself must take the road that the future has planned out. That Path includes the first three initiations, which anticipate the remaining two races of the globe, and then two further stages, which are beyond immediate or terrestrial experience.
Now it follows that if we are to achieve this development, and discover a world of consciousness that is both life and energy, we must not only anticipate the future but must also remember the past. This is required by several considerations. In other words, unless the universe is vain, and all a dream; unless experience is a nightmare of [Page 75] senseless struggle without benefit, it follows that we carry along with us all that we have done and been. We must therefore consider how man has come to this point in evolution and what he has experienced, so that we may be fully aware of the immensity of his destiny, which includes the past as well as the future. That past is composed of all the lives that we have lived, yes, but also of something much more. Since we, as mankind, have dwelt in the past of mankind again and again, there exists somewhere in us all mankind. How can we be aware of it?
lies hidden within the subconscious everything we have
experienced. Nothing is lost, although the memories
we have are insufficient even to recall for us the
content of this present life. Yet the whole remote
past can be touched. As we can discover the experiences
of this life (which seem to have been entirely lost)
by magnetization, hypnosis, auto-suggestion, and so
on, it is reasonable to hope to recover racial memories,
and all that man has ever been.а
We have seen that the universe is constituted of three apparently distinctive elements: (1) energy or matter, which is universal, apparently homogeneous, and therefore [Page 76] inter-changeable; (2) life (which is not energy in the ordinary sense of the word), a principle of beauty and light; and finally (3) consciousness as man, that is, self-consciousness, as unique as are the other two. These are a unity, I admit.а By the very fact that there is uniformity in nature there must be uniformity as a source. This is evident everywhere. We depend on plants to go on with their racial history, and we also depend in physical science on nature's uniformity. Therefore, unity is behind all. Scholars, who apparently know nothing of the occult point of view, recognize this fact, and constantly seek for that unity. For example, George Perrigo Conger, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, says in A World of Epitomizations:
"The universe is a vast system of systems which strikingly resemble one another in the details of their structures and processes. Among these systems, or realms, are matter, life and mind."
Mind here appears to be a mixed category of thought plus awareness, or personal consciousness.
"The structures and processes of matter, [Page 77] or the physical world, resemble those of life, or the organisms, and both matter and life resemble mind. But below or beyond the realm of matter there appear to be three other systems, also by the similarities of their structures and processes identifiable as realms. These are the realms of Logic, Number and Geometry-kinematics, constituting a great cornice sub-structure just beginning to be known as such. The universe, although it is not a mind, begins with structures and processes which are logical and culminates in structures and processes which are personal. Human personality, socially developed, is thus far the highest concentration, the most complete epitome of the universe."
The categories which he specifies are extremely interesting. They show how very near to the occult point of view philosophy has come:
"Levels in Cosmogonic Realm
Radiation (lines or tubes of force).
2. Units of electrical charge (protons, electrons, neutrons, photons).
3. Atoms (hyd. to uranium).
4. Astronomical bodies. [Page 78]
5. Astronomical systems.
6. Galaxies (spiral nebulae).
7. Clusters of galaxies.
8. Clusters of clusters.
9. The cosmogonic universe as a monad.
Levels in the Biotic Realm
Organic compounds, inc. ammo. acids.
2.а Molecular, incl. colloids.
3. Infracellulars and Unicellulars.
4. Multicellulars (plants, colonies and animals).
9. Biotic monad.
Neuroid conductions in excitation arcs.
2. Conductions in Receptor-Effector systems.
4. Pattern conductions or Reaction (chromofine, autonomic and cerebro-spinal).
5. End-reaction complexes.
8. Selves. [Page 79]
9. Individual nervous system, especially human personalities as monads.
Thus we see three great realms that resemble one another all the way through in their internal structures. These are a unity, for they must surely arise from one thing.а For man this One is consciousness, which man may know when he grows. This process is an unfolding of the universe, what the Greeks called "metastrophe", going down into oneself and starting from the Уmustard seedФ in a new direction, beyond the realm of personality. That is our goal, the Unity, recognized also, in a sense, by modern mind.
People often wonder if man is a fresh point of departure; that is to say, if it is really true that man is unique in the same sense that life is. I believe our difficulty is that we are haunted by the old-fashioned idea, learned in childhood, that life was produced from matter, and can therefore be explained in simple terminology and eventually remanufactured. Scientists have held two theories about the origin of life, both unsatisfying. One contends that life originated on this or some other planet by an [Page 80] accidental collocation of matter. Although that theory is supposed to be reasonable, it denies all facts. There is not a single laboratory instance known of life originating spontaneously from the non-living.а There is a second theory, the possibility that elements were formerly radiant, and that life arose then. However, we notice this: life does not depend on the radiant elements, but rather on those which are non-radiant — the lightest of the chemical elements. The radiant elements are too heavy, and are, in fact, inimical to life. There is not much to support either of these theories.
There is yet another proposal, namely, that when matter densified out of the nebulae, life was also there, and consciousness was behind both. This theory of the origin of life in the universe is defended by McDougall in Body and Mind, p. 223:
"The assumption of the continuity of evolution of living things from inorganic matter, in the sense which rules out the incoming of any new factor, is a very great assumption which nothing compels us to accept; it has, in fact, but the slender basis of the demand for symmetry and simplicity [Page 81] made by our minds. The gap between the organic and the inorganic in nature is an immense one; the two kinds of material phenomena present fundamental differences, and there is every appearance of the incoming of a new factor with the first living things, a teleological factor which is capable of working against or controlling the physical law of the degradation of energy, a law which seems to rule throughout the inorganic world.
"Suppose, then, that we had a full history of the evolution of organic beings from inorganic matter by slow steps of gradually increasing complexity of molecular organization; suppose that the progress of synthetic chemistry enabled us to reproduce the steps of this evolution in the chemical laboratory and to bring about the appearance of living organisms by way of abiogenesis: even that would not prove that the physical did not begin to intervene in the material processes at the point at which the increasing complexity of molecular organization rendered possible or necessary the co-operation of this new factor; a factor latent or inoperative up to that point because the conditions which permit of its co-operation were lacking. [Page 82]а For it, as all facts indicate, certain physico-chemical conditions are necessary conditions of the co-operation of the psychical factor, then that factor will have begun to cooperate only when those necessary conditions were realized."
We know that there is something which presses outward from within, as the crystal forms when the temperature of water is lowered. If life is primal there is no reason why man should not be regarded in his conscious form as primal, lying in wait for the universe to give him conditions. Why make the division between man and animals and vegetables, rather than say, for instance, that vegetables are a unique departure?а There is this great difference: that although the lower kingdoms obey laws of beauty and purpose, there is in man something strangely creative which marks a new beginning. He is original, an artist, whereas lower nature, in the individual entity, is not original. The forms in nature result from the imposition of the plan of evolution, but man has some kind of revolutionary temperament. He is originating, and that in two senses: he has the power to go back to the origin (at any rate to the realm of sub-consciousness) and [Page 83] also to go forward in a new direction, that of cosmic consciousness.
What are we in our racial and larger character?а Theosophy sees man as a continuity just as life is. Man is just as much one as energy is one, as life is one, and the stages of man are just as definite as those of life. Races come and go but man remains; you and I, who are unique because of something within us, nevertheless remain eternally the same, in consciousness. The stages of man are seven-fold, like everything else in the phenomenal world. What a grand structure he is, seen clothed in the living garments of nature!а First is cosmic man Ч man before there was a universe; next, nebular man; then, third, solar man. Fourth is racial man; fifth, sub-racial man; sixth, the various types within the sub-race, and then the seventh, the individual man. These are the categories, but humanity is all one, although appearing temporally and phenomenally. Just as life is all one pattern so man is all one unified Man, not God. God appears to us to be a goal and somewhat like ourselves, for the same reason, as Yeats pointed out, that if you are a deer you believe that God is a deer. [Page 84] God is not man, but consciousnessа in its totalityа is one humanity. Matter and life, as we see them emerging from the invisible, are one, and the power behind man is similar unity, more primal than life or matter. He can therefore unify other entities.а "╞" speaks thus of the unifying power in man:
THE GREAT BREATH
"Its edges foamed to amethyst and rose
Withers once more the old blue flower of day:
There where the other like a diamond glows
Its petals fade away.
A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air:
Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows.
The great deep thrills, for through it everywhere
The breath of Beauty blows.
I saw how all the trembling ages past
Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath,
Neared to the hour when Beauty breathes her last
And knows herself in death."
There is an immortal principle in life, and there is a unity in man that transcends this phenomenal world, and which he can impose upon nature. In that unity we may see man united with his cosmic progenitors. [Page 85]
The three appearances (matter, life and consciousness) are, in theosophical literature, called outpourings. These are great tides that set out in the sea of matter from consciousness Ч the tides of energy, life and mankind, in the grand sense Ч all coming from one source. The principal difference among the three is tempo. Energy can organize matter for its own purposes more quickly than can life, so it emerges first. Life, however, is close on the heels of energy. The moment energy produces a globe life rushes out and organizes chemical substances. Finally, man comes, just a step behind life. The moment life appears matter is seized by man, through life, for his own purposes. Questions arise: How far had life gone in the organization of physical matter before man emerged from the invisible?а What occurred between man in consciousness Ч the totality of man Ч and physical man?а What is the structure between us and the absolute, as compared with the structure between the living and the absolute?а The answers to these questions are fascinating. They state that man emerged when life was only partly organized.
Evidence, which is perhaps not ordinarily [Page 86] acceptable to science, supports the belief that man emerged long before the apes appeared. Man re-assorted the elements of nature's experimentation and built himself a body, at first shadowy in character, but later, as the densification went on, taking more and more elements from the animal kingdom. Man was at first sexless, and reproduced shadows of himself, as ectoplasm is thrown off from a medium. Then he began to divide into sexes Ч as all the scriptures try fumblingly to tell us Ч copying nature as nature experimented. But at last he grew to be so dense as to be isolated from the animal kingdom. In the early days there was a kind of primal identity between life, matter and man, hence totemism. The ancestral belief that man is descended from the animal is in that psychological sense true, because there was then a great swirling exchange between man visible and life invisible. Man was allied to nature by the very fact of his ethereal character and psychic sensitiveness. But as he became more self-conscious, more powerful, he became also more and more isolated. His inner weaknesses overcame him. It is a strange and beautiful story, [Page 87] throwing immense light on anthropology and folklore. All the old tales of magicians who turned into birds, fishes and so on actually happened at one time, though only the racial memory of primitive man has preserved the story intact for us. If the reader is revolted by the idea that folk-memory is so remote-reaching, let him recall Andrew Lang's phrase: "Tradition is as fluid as water, and as tough as steel".
The first of the great physical races was gigantic, nebulous in its early stages, but growing dense as time went on. It inhabited the continent to which Haeckel gave the name Lemuria. He correctly believed that this continent probably stretched from Madagascar into the Pacific, including Easter Island. The race erected gigantic monuments, splendid in their pristine power, which are impressive when observed, and overwhelmingly convincing in the light of the story which lies behind them. The race was one-eyed, cyclopeon and could still see, in the invisible, the descending psychic man. Out of that race developed the Atlanteans, who brought us to the densest point of our humanity, when the race became so crude that nature eventually [Page 88] had to blot it out. There is evidence for the existence of Atlantis, the continent, now sunk, which housed the race. The subject was first dealt with by Donnelly, and since then by Spence's several books, and also in theosophical literature.а The Atlanteans were a wonderful race, of incredible emotional power, whose great gift to humanity was that it endured the emotional crisis in matter and brought us out on the other side.
Finally came the Aryan race and its sub-races, each of which has had its smaller crisis of materialization, in one of which we are now living. What a splendid thing it would be if we understood the unity of humanity and could deal with our crisis in terms of intelligence, based, in turn, on experience in the past!
One of the redeeming features of these crises in ancestral races is that at least there were men at that time who understood them. There have always been men to help humanity, even if the race were on the downward road Ч men who knew, moving with mankind in the mystery schools. Even in primitive Lemuria there was a kind of childlike dependence on leadership. Is the Aryan race, on account of its mentality, to [Page 89] be denied the privilege of that help?а I shall deal with this at much length later. In all the cults of the ancient world, in every mystery school, there were men who were recognized and accepted as guides of humanity. Thus, up to the Middle Ages, the knowledge of the world process was either instinctively, intuitively, or otherwise present with humanity.
Then came the darkness of the Middle Ages, which dropped the curtain between us and our origin, hence the necessity for recovering this Ancient Wisdom for humanity.а It would be a splendid thing if we had that knowledge and could invite those men back again.
This crisis that the world is facing is the end of a long episode. The Middle Ages in Europe led up to the Great War. That was the most desperate point in the Aryan race, when science and religion were divorced and both grossly material.а I declare, as one who has seen the struggle of the world through the Great War, that theosophical teaching is our greatest point of hope in the way of light.а Are we not being put through a sort of funnel?а The Jews are going back to their own land, Jerusalem, and the Roman [Page 90] Catholics back to Rome. Simultaneously with this migration of Jews and Catholics, the Protestants are returning from the South Sea Islands to Europe and America, where they belong after all, bringing a little of the light of Christianity to the barbaric people of the West. And the spiritual child of ancient Rome is losing its grip on India, just as Rome lost its grip on Judea when Jesus was born.
There finally comes an emotional crisis, with a meeting of East and West, a strange exchange of doctrines, and all manner of faiths abroad in the land, as in the Roman world. All this means that through the great fires of humanity's suffering, we are experiencing another of these transformations of the world.а Theosophy had its light shut off in the past by the bid of the church for power in Europe.а The old knowledge will re-emerge as more and more are willing to go back to the primal source, recovering the ancestral wealth of Atlantis and Lemuria, and to anticipate the races yet to come by the process of initiation. It can only come back by the help of those people who are no longer treading on the heels of life and merely obeying nature's laws.
A point of intense interest in this matter of [Page 91] memory of the past has been dealt with in the thought of India. In what does this memory reside, and how can it be recovered Ч firstly, as individual past lives in Chaldea, in Egypt and other cultures; secondly, as the memory of Man?а It would be an undertaking quite beyond our immediate scope to deal with.а Briefly, Indian experience and the resultant philosophy have led to a description of the world process in three forms, as follows: Hindu realism (Nyaya and Vaisheshika), which exhausts logic and declares that reality is unspeakable because it is unthinkable; secondly two further attacks on reality from another point of view, the Sankhya and Yoga systems, not identifiable with any Western philosophical method; finally, two exegetical systems, the Mimamsas, of which the Vedanta is the most widely known in the West and the dominant one of India Ч although the Sankhya is the key to the situation as approached by the Western mind.а Now all these methods, or views, are experimental and pragmatic in essence, and never far from experience in details, and in consequence the conclusions as regards the nature of sensation, memory and the like are useful conclusions. Among these [Page 92] is a surprising and fruitful notion that in the sensory experiences hearing is unique, being rooted in a special ultimate. This ultimate is called the Akasha, and is analogous to the concept of an ether. In that medium every event is held available in suspense, as in a plenum of fluid glass. Sound, however, is mental first (so to say) and physical by resonance. Hence the recovery of the past involves a special discipline for the mind and the psyche generally, and the achievement is a definite mental event. The process in question is a form of the Yoga practice. Such a frontal attack is fraught with danger, however. Spirituality and virtue must be antecedent to power. [Page 93]
THE existence of worlds beyond the physical should be inquired into first on an evidential basis. It is true that the problem is so wide that the evidence is correspondingly broad. In some of its aspects, therefore, it may appear to be unlike the evidence accepted in physical research; but in no case is the evidence anywhere nearly as incomplete in substance or faulty in treatment as that which is accepted every day in law courts in the governing of matters of life and death.а The existence of invisible worlds beyond or within the physical is of such tremendous importance that the inquiry should long ago have been pursued upon a scale at least commensurate with cancer research.а But the peculiar nature of the problem, the strange lust to acquire publicity, and other human and material factors have, in the judgment of many, made this matter of psychical research and all related to it the [Page 94] most unsatisfactory of all aspects of modern knowledge.
Nevertheless, the late Lord Balfour, when Premier of England, was even then able to say, with reference to the survival of man, that there was enough evidence to convince a British jury upon any subject except this one. He had in mind the intricacy of the material. It is overwhelming in its mass, but only an intelligent and friendly approach enables the student to integrate and make sense of it.а Even so simple a matter as the breaking down of the problem into two parts is often overlooked: first, that there are invisible conditions surrounding us and interpenetrating us Ч which only a very ignorant person would deny upon the basis of pure physical science; second, that man is so constituted as to survive in this invisible world after death.а By a careful examination of the evidence it becomes possible to distinguish between the general and the particular problems, and then reintegrate the evidence in such a way as to make not only human survival certain in personal aspects, but also to meet the several philosophical issues that arise out of an admission of the reality of the invisible worlds.[Page 95]
First, a brief reference to the evidence.а It was all summarized by F. W. H. Myers in 1906 to that date, when he published his two-volume work, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death.а Mr. Myers's theories are mostly inchoate and unimportant, for a reason that I shall make clear shortly, but his collection of material is magnificent.а The literature subsequent to that date is large, but the best documented books are comparatively few in number, being those of Geley, von Schrenck-Notzing, and, of course, Lodge. Myers's difficulty is partly because of the limitations of the science of his day, and more largely because what might be called psychism in its vital aspect was not distinguished clearly from psychism in its material aspect. That is to say, upon the death of a human being no loss of weight is noticed; hence, if a person is to survive, he must survive in some conditions which, if material, has no mass. Quite evidently, if he survives in something which has mass and extension in the ordinary physical way, the withdrawal of that material would be made noticeable at death by a change in weight. No such change is noticed, and it is well known that if disintegration is [Page 96] immediately arrested the unchanging weight of the body will continue indefinitely. Since, then, there is no change in weight, survival cannot be admitted upon a basis of some kind of psychical matter. Early psychical literature could not meet this issue because of the undeveloped condition of science. In a positive way the problem can be phrased thus: Is there any kind of matter which even in considerable volume has no appreciable mass, and yet has directive influence when associated with other kinds of matter? (The term matter is here used in the modern sense as being bodies displaying mass, momentum and stress, of which the principal constituent is mass or energy.) The answer from science for this question is now in the affirmative. It is universally admitted and commonly seen that forms of energy, such as electrical energy, may be immensely effective in the movement of objects and the doing of work, though the motive masses are infinitesimal. An electrical current can hardly be said to weigh anything. The electron has immense velocity in proportion to its mass. An electrical battery does not weigh appreciably more or less before and after being discharged, but there is a world [Page 97] of difference in utility. Electricity was known in the days of Myers's Human Personality, of course, but it was still regarded as a rather special case.
The work of Thompson and Rutherford had not been advanced to that point where it could be unequivocally stated that underlying all matter is this radiant energy. That has now become generally acknowledged, and there is no reason in science to doubt that a living man is vital because of the organization of the solids, liquids and gases by a more intricate organization of radiant or psychic matter; and that upon the failure of the body at death this specialized radiant content may withdraw intact.
It is interesting to notice, in this connection, that all the evidence of seers and clairvoyants has anticipated this proposal. Normally invisible beings, such as angels and the dead, are universally regarded as more radiant than physical beings. A special word in India is employed to designate the creatures of the invisible world: deva. This term literally means "the shining ones".а This is what one would expect. Solids have three physical constants: constant mass, constant shape and constant [Page 98] volume. When we pass to the liquids we drop constant form and have only constant volume and constant mass remaining. Transference to the purely gaseous leaves constant volume behind, gases being constant only as to mass or weight.а Hence, if a man survives, withdrawing from his body of solids, liquids and gases, he must survive in a form which has none of these constants Ч constant form, constant volume or constant mass. In short, he must dwell in a radiant vehicle made of matter somewhat resembling the matter in a neon tube.
The reason why psychical research in its more official aspects has completely failed to persuade European civilization to a belief in survival and the existence of invisible worlds is that the approach to the problem has been along lines of matter and not along lines of life. We hold that life and matter, though ultimately one, nevertheless, observed from the physical world, display different properties. Matter is broadly chaotic, dark, without plan, whereas life is related to plan, order, symmetry, and so on. No proper understanding of the physical evidence is possible until a very simple assumption is made, which is as follows: We must visualize [Page 99] the physical world as being materially self-contained; that is, with our present knowledge it is impossible to transform physical matter into non-physical matter.
We can drive ice up into water and then into steam by the application of heat, but that is the dead end. Intricate chemical changes do not defeat the conservation of energy. In short, if there is any matter of which the invisible worlds are composed, we cannot add to that nor draw upon it by the processes of physical science. (The case of electrical and radiant matter is too complicated to discuss here.)а But there is reason to suppose that beyond the border of the gases there are conditions of matter which we cannot draw upon any more than the invisible can draw upon our matter. That is to say, a living being consists of matter in the psychic state and matter in several physical states. When he dies he continues in the psychic matter, the anima is still alive. In short, the mistake of psychical research has been its search for a material bridge when the bridge is the life-process. Very little advance can be made in science until laws and theories are outlined.а Science is full of examples of this: the speed with [Page 100] which chemical elements were discovered according to Mendeleyeff's prophecies (his periodic table).а Hence, with regard to clarifying the materials of psychical research, a sound theory is necessary. And that theory lies in the direction of an understanding of the life process as the bridge.
Let us take an example, which I shall here quote at full length, begging the student to be so good as to observe in it certain critical points. First, the reputed communicating entity is by no means a telepathic phantom, as he resists all suggestions made by the living around him.а Second, it is an excellent evidential case for survival.а Third, the return of the suicide to communicate is clearly in a category different from the return of people who die more normally.а There are other points which I shall bring out after the reader has covered this material.а The case is that of a Col. Gurwood, who, without previous warning, emerges as the invisible communicant in some planchette-writing done by a group of which a Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood (1838Ц98) was the principal personage. Mr. Wedgwood was the cousin and brother-in-law of Charles Darwin. (Myers' Human Personality, Vol. 11, p. 163 et seq.): [Page 101]
"Extract from Journal of Wednesday, June 26th, 1889, and copy of planchette-writing with Mr. Wedgwood:
'A spirit is here today who
we think will be able to write through the medium. Hold
very steady and he will try first to draw.'
We turned the page and a sketch was made, rudely enough, of course, but with much apparent care.
'Very sorry can't do better. Was meant for test. Must write for you instead. Ч J. G.'
We do not fully understand the first drawing, taking it for two arms and hands clasped, one coming down from above.а Mr. Wedgwood asked the spirit of J. G. to try again, which he did.
Below the drawing he wrote: 'Now look.'а We did, and this time comprehended the arm and sword.
'Now I will write for you if you like.'а
Mr. W.: 'What did the drawing represent?'
'Something that was given me.'а
I said: 'Are you a man or a woman?'
'Man. John G.'
Mr. W.: 'How was it given to you?'
'On paper and other things. . . .
My [Page 102] head is bad, from an old wound I got there, when I try to write through mediums.'
Mr. W.: ' We don't know J. G.а Have you anything to do with us?'
Mr. W. said he knew a J. Giffard, and wondered if that was the name.
'Not Giffard. Gurwood.'а
Mr. W. suggested that he was killed in storming some fort.
'I killed myself on Christmas Day, years ago. I wish I had died fighting.'
Were you a soldier?
' I was in the army.'
Can you say what rank?
' No. . . . It was the pen did for me and not the sword.'
The word pen was imperfectly written, and I thought it was meant for fall. I asked if this was right?
Mr. W.: 'Is the word, pen ? '
'Yes; pen did for me.'
We suggested that he was an author who had failed, or had been maligned.
did not fail. I was not slandered.
Too much for me
after. . . pen was too much for me after the wound.' [Page
Where were you wounded and when did you die?
'Peninsula to first question.'
We were not sure about the word Peninsula, and asked him to repeat.
'I was wounded in the head in Peninsula.а It will be forty-four years next Christmas Day since.а I killed myself.а Oh, my head. . . . I killed myself, John Gurwood.'
Where did you die?
'I had my wound in 1810.а I cannot tell you more about myself.а The drawing was a test.'
We asked if the device was intended for his crest.
'I had it seal' [sic].
Had it anything to do with your wound? (I cannot remember the exact form of this question)
'It came from that and was given me.а Power fails to explain.а Remember my name.а Stop now.' "
Further extract from Mrs. R's Journal, September 27th, 1889 (three months later):
"The effort was at first incoherent, but developed into the following sentences: [Page 104]аа
'Sword . . . when I broke in, on the table with plan of fortress . . . belonged to my prisoner; I will tell you his name tonight.а It was on the table when I broke in.а He did not expect me; I took him unawares.а He was in his room looking at a plan, and the sword was on the table.а Will try and let you know how I took the sword tonight.'
In the evening after dinner:
'I fought my way in. His name was Banier.' (Three times repeated.) 'The sword was lying on the table by a written scheme of defence.а Oh, my head.а Banier had a plan written out for defence of the fortress. It was lying on the table, and his sword was by it.'
To a question:
'Yes: surprised him.'
Mr. Wedgwood thinks the name
of the Governor of the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo was
Banier; but says this would not be a test, as he knew
it. He is going to see if he can find anything in Napier's Peninsular
War corroborative of what is said about the
'Look. I have tried to tell you what you can verify.' [Page 105]
Mr. Wedgwood reports his verification as follows:
I came to verify the message of planchette I speedily
found that Colonel Gurwood, the editor of the Duke's
dispatches, led the forlorn hope at the storming of
Ciudad Rodrigo in 1812 (note error in date)а "and received a wound in the skull
from a musket ball which affected him for the remainder
of his life" Ч Annual Register, 1845.а In
recognition of the bravery shown on that occasion he
received a grant of arms in 1812, registered in the College
of Arms as having been passed
"upon the narrative that he (Captain G.) had led the
forlorn hope at Ciudad Rodrigo, and that, after the storming
of the fortress, the Earl of Wellington presented him with
the sword of the Governor, who had been taken prisoner
by Captain Gurwood."
In accordance with the assertion of planchette, Colonel Gurwood killed himself on Christmas Day, 1845, and the Annual Register of that year, after narrating the suicide, continues: "It is thought that this laborious [Page 106] undertaking (the editing of dispatches) produced a relaxation of the nervous system and consequent depression of spirits. In a fit of despondency the unfortunate gentleman terminated his life." ' "
What is noticeable about this case is the following astonishing state of affairs, if we take it on its face value.а Colonel Gurwood for thirty-three years suffered pain in the flesh from this wound, and had been dead forty-four years when he communicated. While dead he felt no pain, but on his own evidence he feels this ache when he clothes himself in matter.а What are we to conclude from this?
It seems to me incontestable that physical matter with its properties is completely left behind at death, and that the properties of psychic matter are quite different, leading to emotional stress and strain not physical pain and pleasure. But all that counts of memory and continuity remains.
Death only puts into abeyance what, during physical existence, was living, and one deduces, incidentally, that it is just as well that the memory of previous lives is shrouded by nature by some intricate device of her [Page 107] own. Everything that counts of memory and personality persists on the other side. The difference is not in the vital aspect of the dead person but in the matter which clothes that life. For Colonel Gurwood the picking up of physical matter induces habits of pain, even though that matter is not drawn from his own body.
Along these lines a complete case for the invisible worlds is possible, not along the lines of the negative mediumship of a Eusapia Palladino, nor even the spiritual seership of Joan of Arc, but the positive observation of a person like H. P. Blavatsky, the occultist.а The questions then arise, how many invisible worlds are there?а What is the condition of matter therein?а How, besides through life, do these worlds interlock with the physical?а Where is consciousness amid them?а What can one do during life to master the invisible?а What are the relative values of the physical, the psychic, the spiritual and any other possible invisible worlds? [Page 108]
So far we have indicated, firstly, that there are waves in evolution and, from the fact that there are crests in those waves, Ч namely, mineral, vegetable, animal and human Ч we deduced that either now or at some future time there will appear another crest of men who are not altogether human, men who are gods. We associated this next step then with consciousness.
Secondly, we examined life, since it is that which frames evolution, and we discovered that life is as unique as matter: that life and matter together may possibly be the explanation of consciousness. Yet it may only be possible to understand consciousness when we distinguish the properties of life from those of matter, in order to master both.
Thirdly, we discovered that the problem of the anticipation of this next step into the [Page 109] godlike world is that of the anticipation of races yet unborn, and that many an individual has gone through this process in the past. The steps summarizing those future races we called initiations, the technique yoga, and the broad process the Path.
Then we found that it was necessary not only to anticipate the future but also to redeem the past. In every individual there are latent the memories of all the races since the very beginning of mankind, and in order to perfect oneself it is necessary to redeem oneself. To achieve personal redemption it is essential to impregnate with consciousness the past, represented in us by the unconscious. This in conduct is universal brotherhood.
Finally, the subject involves the existence of the invisible. If there is a world which is the seat of races yet to come, where the path of the future is already drawn: if there is a realm in which the memory of the past is engraved and in which all the treasures of experience are stored, then that must be an invisible world. It cannot be physical, though it is material. It must be beyond normal daily experience. In short, the whole of this argument rests upon the [Page 110] invisible. One must accept the existence of realms beyond death. The evidence for these worlds I have indicated briefly.
We must now consider that these ranges of inner experience are definitely within the grasp of humanity during life, though they are not physical experience.
As to this, one common error haunts us, the assumption that if there is another world there can at least be only that one. As a result of this state of mind another follows, namely, that that further world is not material, but is in complete antithesis to this one. Here matter; there spirit.
In order to advance our argument from this point forward we shall have to abandon, to some extent, the patient, logical method we have tried our best to employ up to this point Ч not because what we have before us is unreasonable, but because the supplying of the needed materials for full documentation would swell our study beyond reasonable limits.
Therefore, however didactic and offensively dogmatic it may seem, we must proceed from this point with a little less meticulous regard to detailed justification, and we start out by saying that the invisible worlds [Page 111] are by no means pure spirit Ч whatever that may be, wherever it be found! Ч but are material.а The matter (energy) is, however, radiant, not physical, and instead of being simple it is more complex than that of the physical world. There is reason to believe that the veil which exists between this world and the very next is only the first of three great veils, which are sometimes called the veils of Isis, or the webs of life, because they have to do with nature's vital processes.а The first vital veil closes off physical matter, as it were. By piercing that veil at death we come out on the other side and find ourselves in psychic matter, which consists of vitality, emotions and lower mind.
Long after death we pass through a second veil, which leads into the world of the soul, more marvelous even than the psychic.а Here matter is so tenuous, cobweb-like and fine, that it is almost imperceptible. Yet it is matter embodying a life-process with characteristic properties, a world wholly beautiful and yet not fulfilled. It is almost impossible to describe this world beyond the second veil. However, as the psychic world is radiant Ч a world of emotions built up from within by its own internal power Ч so [Page 112] the higher world in a single phrase may be called a conceptual world, that of constant rebirth and refreshment, of quickening and life-renewal.
But that is not all.а There is a veil beyond those two, between the soul and consciousness, between the soul and the oversoul. This is the last veil of which we can have any conception at all, and it is important to us, for it is this veil which gives rise to individual consciousness.а Beyond it is the unity of all humanity. This veil is indescribably fine, a vestment of glory, exquisite, tenuous, sometimes called the auric web, related to the highest form of vitality. This is the realm of the true will, generalized vitality. Beyond is a world which shines into ours by but a single point of light, the point of consciousness. This is the world of consciousness which cannot be easily characterized as it is beyond reason, beyond language. There is, however, an ancient figure which describes it in precise terms. It is the magnificent analogy that arose from the great law, "as above so below", of macrocosm and microcosm. So, through analogy, one can describe the world of consciousness beyond the third veil. [Page 113]
In this figure the solid earth is the physical world. The psychic realm of vitality, emotion and mind corresponds to the waters of the earth, for the psychical has always been symbolized by water Ч the realm of the seas, the rivers, the lakes, the rains and the clouds that give the rain. Thus the lower atmosphere, where the average man is bound to live, can be called the psychic realm, where the vitalizing waters of the emotions fall from the heavenly sky, so to speak. Beyond is another world, not of water but of air, as above the rain-clouds there is a realm not untouched by storm but where are no passionate winds, the ordered, isolated realm of the soul. Next is the sun hanging ill heaven, which represents self-consciousness. And finally, beyond, the world of which the sun is only the aperture, the ether. This is the meaning of the medieval phrase, "earth, water, air, fire and ether." In this concept, the sun is only a tiny point of light, for the other is a glowing world, and the world we are to enter through consciousness is glowing also. It is indescribable, but if we meditate on the figure we shall find some inspiration which will lift us to a world beyond reason.
Through these correspondences, as above [Page 114] so below, there is indicated also the method of escape from this world. The lower or psychic world consists of vitality, emotions and intellect, and the higher or spiritual world is made up of the higher mind corresponding to intellect, intuitions corresponding to emotions, and the will corresponding to lower physical vitality. The correspondence of three above to three below is the ladder of escape by fulfilment, that leads to development in the other world.а The average man's principal realms of experience are in the psychic and physical worlds. The Masters dwell in the world above, and thus their activities are dominated by soul-like characters, as they have eliminated the animal.
Thus there are two worlds, mirror images the one of the other, and the trick or art of transition from the "unreal" to the "real" world is in the will.а I have already elsewhere maintained that "free will" or free choice of action, in the naive sense, is an illusion.а There is a reason.а The average individual has a curious division in the middle of his aura. Psychically, it is observed that the aura above the waist-line reflects the higher thoughts and emotions, [Page 115] and below is the passionate stratum. His psychic world is thus split into two parts. On this account, it is found that the vital (or etheric) and lower emotions go together, and the higher emotions and lower mind go together, in the average person. The significance of this is seen when we realize that the lower emotions are passionate and disorderly. They are not easily governed, and they are attached to the outer world. The higher emotions do not dwell with the lower emotions, hence they are captured and exploited by the analytical mind. Thus the average individual surrenders to his passions and lets his vitality go with them, and "spends his substance in riotous living".а Take, for instance, the kind of person who goes into a shop to buy cigarettes. For weeks and weeks he has been persuaded to choose a certain brand, not by the cigarette itself but by the picture of a beautiful lady in the advertisements. What has she to do with tobacco?а Nothing, but she has everything to do with the gentleman's emotions! The salesman prides himself on his sales talk, but it is the lady that has done the selling. The psychologist in the business office knows much more than most people in a university; [Page 116] he has to know, for his livelihood depends on it.а In a university the average psychology professor has a salary, and thus he is secure and does not need to know much. He is not paid enough to know much.
This psychic division in ourselves is the cause of much trouble. One of its results is that our consciousness dwells in our lower minds and higher emotions in our quiet moments, and we ignore our lower grossness. We walk about like dinosaurs and say how wonderful we are, but there is nothing more than a tiny brain on top of a long stem, and we do not look at the shapeless body beneath. Nevertheless, we are drawn down and fastened upon by the vitalities, and these are exploited by the world and we waste ourselves. We say we do this and that for such and such a reason, but it is not so. We are intimate witnesses to a betrayal so subtle as to elude us.
What are we to do about it?а It is simple. We must establish ourselves in the middle of the emotions, that is, in the sympathies. The sympathies are green in colour, being in the middle of the spectrum, with the rose of affection on one side and the violet of aspiration on the other end. It is necessary [Page 117] to feel sympathy for everybody, not for one person alone. When the green of emotion is beautiful in the aura, the lower and higher emotions are gradually brought together in the sympathies, and a marvelous change comes over the individual. Instead of the analytical mind preying on the higher emotions, and the lower emotions preying on the vitality, the man is "healed", in the right sense of the Christian word, "through love".а
We must accomplish this task alone, by enriching our central emotions and not allowing the lower mind to dominate. Instead of being critical, destructive and barbaric, we must become human, drawing our passions up for redemption. This does not mean that we have to be without passions. Even Jesus had passions, but he used them, and just so, must we use them, not to destroy others but to quicken life. When that happens the vitality goes back to serve the body instead of the passions, and we are then ready to enter the world of the soul. When the lower mind no longer preys upon the higher emotions, we have the higher mind at our command, and think in its terms rather than in these of the lower mind. This is the [Page 118] beginning of the new adjustment, and of awakening in ourselves the soul powers, as they are called.а Although the world beyond humanity has nothing to do with virtue, virtue is the step to it. The discovery of the soul is the first stage, and the first step in the journey of discovery is taken on the road of brotherhood.
To do that we must be with people. One way is to associate with people who are working for real brotherhood, who have sympathy not only for all the races that exist, but also for all those not yet born. One place where we can find that kind of brotherhood is in the Theosophical Society, where the only qualification for joining is a belief in the brotherhood of man, without regard for sex, race, creed or colour.
The first principle in the development of the soul is mental clairvoyance. By that I mean something real, not figurative. Normal clairvoyance is closed to most people because the glandular and nervous development necessary is beyond the power of the average individual to achieve. That being so, there is almost no use going after ordinary clairvoyance. What can be done without any danger is the adjustment of the bridge [Page 119] between the soul and the psyche, first, by developing mental clairvoyance, second, by quickening the intuitions, and third, by the development of the real will.
Mental clairvoyance is that curious insight which enables one to know the future. It is the development of the higher mind in conjunction with the lower, which conjunction follows on the process of healing described above. Mental clairvoyance can be developed by anyone who desires to do so. It is a question of pursuing knowledge impersonally. It is the attempt to know something, not because we need it desperately, but because we believe in truth, and whatever the result, we want it.
This sounds simple, but it is not. Looking at our friends, who belong to all sorts of advanced movements, we see that they are often afraid of new kinds of truth because it might change them. Our Christian friends frequently fear that their faith in Jesus might be destroyed by some new kind of truth. A man who has a highly scientific attitude toward religious problems, who is impersonal in his search, will go where the truth shines. After years of devotion to that search one acquires the strange power of [Page 120] peering out over the world beyond personal factors. This dealing with eternal values means operating in a world beyond time, where one can foresee events in this world as they are normally predetermined. That is why the neophyte, after acquiring this power, can anticipate races yet unborn; he dimly perceives what is coming. As this power develops, he perceives it more and more accurately until his whole life is spent in the conscious fulfilment of that which is yet to come. In many cases this extends to knowledge of events in his own life, though I am using the term mental clairvoyance in respect to the future of the world, not the man.
The next step is the development of the intuitions, and this can also be achieved by anyone who desires it. It means the development of the impersonal emotions. Everything personal is chaotic and disorderly; everything impersonal is orderly. Developing the intuitions means quickening the generalized emotions.
The impersonal emotions have to do with all the realms of nature, and with the redemption of mankind, because when this quickening process is induced there begins [Page 121] a high aesthetic experience. That which seemed ugly becomes beautiful. It seems unbelievable that anyone should have a sense of beauty, which can make beautiful, things, patently terrible. The power of intuition, the beginning of which can be seen in the "hunch", will be developed as the race advances.
Finally, there is the third method of development of the soul. That is in the domain of the real will. Just as the intuitions are above the emotions, the higher mind above the lower, so is the will above the vitality. There are generalized vitalities. A person who has the higher kind of vitality available is, first of all, better off himself, and is also able to give off this vitality to other people, who have, when with him, the strange feeling of being more alive. This godlike vitality is called in occult literature the auric egg. We may regard it as the calling down into oneself of more powers, as Jesus did when He performed miracles. How is it possible to develop this faculty?а It comes through service, by living for movements rather than for oneself alone.а So long as people desire money, security, and all the rest of it, they will get nothing [Page 122] else. Such people will live in their own little prison with their own little jewels; but when we love all humanity, when to us one man is as good as another in an absolute sense, then there comes this new vitality. By working for and with people who are bringing a new world into being, one becomes aware of these generalized vitalities. Hundreds of people who know nothing about occult matters are doing this all the time. These men and women may not perhaps live longer in years, but they live the lives of other people as well as their own. Hence they live more, if not longer.
When these three ranges of development have been achieved there comes still another experience. That is that the lowest (the body) and the highest (consciousness) are linked in a new, strange way, and then there comes the birth in the individual himself of a new world which begins slowly to open. A new direction has finally been taken. The sun, hanging in mid-heaven, is seen as a gateway into a world that was formerly dark. The earth seems to be all aglow, not only where the sun is, but also within ourselves. This world within is the seat of our true Being; it is beyond the pallid soul; it is [Page 123] the world of the monad itself. The development of consciousness through these impersonal procedures brings that indescribable power into the body. It is a birth and a renewal. There have been hundreds who have taken this road, and I assure you, my friends, it is a fact. Its laws are well known. They are not vague generalities, not creeds laid down by someone, nor mere pious hopes. They are truths, not the only truths, but great truths offered so that we may use them. [Page 124]
IT is a common experience for many of us to meet and know a good many Hindus, partly because the knowledge which we are studying came in its original form from India, prior to its extension and application through Western experience. Those who are not familiar with Indians find in them a strange psychological difference from Westerners, which they interpret in a way that would perhaps be different did they know Hindus better. To put it bluntly, they often suppose that the Indian, and, in general, the Oriental, is uncertain. In many cases it is charged that he does not keep his engagements, not necessarily in big things, but in small matters. For example, a lady said to me recently that an Indian, in response to an invitation to dinner, had accepted, saying he would be there. "He not only did not come" she told me, "but he had no [Page 125] intention of coming".а Out of such experiences is born the impression that, in spite of his knowledge and philosophy, there is something wrong, something lacking in the Hindu. Those of us who know Indians well put upon these facts an entirely different interpretation. The difference between the Hindu and the American as regards reliability in small and large matters is merely nominal. Even if we acknowledge that his engagements are not kept so exactly as we should like, there is, nevertheless, a way of looking at it which makes judgment less harsh.
The apparent difference in reliability between the two peoples is simply that the Hindu is more experienced in deep indwelling, for he is in the habit of studying himself from within. Because he has expertly developed the technique of self-awareness his motives are more obvious to himself. In a sense, all his action is more objective to himself and, therefore, he is more candid with himself than other people might be. So when he is conversing about anything Ч even so simple a matter as a dinner engagement Ч deep within himself he accepts the invitation on this basis, and if he does not [Page126] keep it, justifies himself. The candour of the Westerner as regards himself begins from the surface and does not go so deep. When he says he will come to dinner, doubtless you can expect him. He is giving his word, and his word is objective Ч it is outside of him somewhere, and because of this objectivity he wants to redeem that commitment. The Hindu, by reason of his indwelling life, is on a very different basis. In short, consciousness dwells more deeply in the Indian. He is, therefore, more conscious of human weaknesses. Our ignorance is our loss! We are more aware of the objective world than of our own failings, so we keep our promises. You may think that the higher moral state, but the balance is fairly even. It is just as important to be candid with ourselves. The world in which promises are kept to the last detail is capable of terrible exaggeration, because people will make all kinds of promises that cannot properly be kept Ч such as promises to salesmen. In some parts of the world there is a kind of give and take in matters of this kind, but in the West we live under pressure, having always to be on our toes, at the very limit of external possibilities. [Page 127]
Knowledge of inner things makes the Hindu more ready to experiment with his life than we are, hence his willingness to break off worldly life to seek the Truth. He dwells a little more deeply within himself, and because of that there exists in India a civilization with a certain underlying calm. Western rush and hurry are lacking. Indians do not place the same emphasis even on matters that seem important. For example, the Indian peasant is not nearly so urgent about catching trains as we are. If the train happens to come to the station when an Indian arrives, he takes it. If it is just pulling out he does not get excited. He takes the next one, or, possibly, stays over-night. The climate is calm, the evening balmy; he has his luggage with him, and, in all likelihood, his family and servants too. So to spend the night there, calmly waiting for the next day to bring the train again, is not unusual. Such an attitude leads to a kind of inner peace. Although it cannot be recommended for the Occident, there is, nevertheless, a lesson in it Ч that the inner things count just as much as the outer, and that in the search for the inner light of the personality a new world may be opened. [Page 128]
It is along these lines that experiments may be carried out. The only way to find the higher world of the Masters is by experiment. The bridge between the two worlds, theirs and ours, is this point of light which we call consciousness. Broadly speaking, the average human is more or less securely resident in his soul, but this is neither well-lighted nor active. Wisdom, intuition and will are largely slumbering; his life experience is in the psyche and the body. In the Master, on the contrary, the psyche is the lowest dwelling-place. For the Master, the soul, embracing wisdom, intuition and the higher generalized vitality we call will, is the field of triumphant experiment. To him the psyche and body are only useful vestures. The psyche has conformed to the soul already. The link between man and superman is in consciousness. In man consciousness is a point of light; in the Master it is the universe. Yet the same consciousness exists in man and Master. So the beginning of the development of consciousness will lead to the Masters' world and quicken the powers of the soul, eventually subjecting the psyche, and hence involving a gradual extension in the new world. [Page 129]
That is our goal. The method is of great practical importance for us. It is inward retreat. It is the shifting of the centre of consciousness, by withdrawing it a step, which really is not such an effort as many people think. The animal is unaware of himself. We can be aware of the psyche, or self. Looking out from the soul we can see our emotions operating, illuminated by consciousness. It is possible to withdraw consciousness one more stage Ч behind soul, and this is the critical event. One's first efforts toward it are necessarily tentative. However, it must not be regarded as a convulsion involving a tremendous amount of effort. It is a natural episode, a transition, as it were. The stage in which the Master now stands is in the same relation to ours, as ours is to that of the animal. By shifting the consciousness one stage we join them. We now look at the mind and emotions with candour. The task has begun. This first stage consists simply of examining our soul powers very carefully by means of consciousness, instead of looking out so that consciousness may enjoy the fruits of sensation in the psyche. We have seen that the powers of the soul are wisdom, intuition and will. We [Page130] increase wisdom by the impersonal search for truth, intuition by generalizing the emotions, and vitality by an increase of our spirit of service. By living for and with other people we can share in their vitality and they in ours, and that process induces the development of the real will.
The first step, then, is to withdraw in consciousness behind the whole psyche and then behind the soul, and visualize quite candidly the amount of soul we have. We must look at ourselves and ask, how wise are we?а Are we impersonally devoted to truth?а How much do we mind losing our previous judgments and having to take up others?а The beginning of the process of reaching out for freedom is the effort to dwell behind the soul rather than in it. It means also, of course, the search for beauty in everything, for in the level of the soul all life is lovely, not only those things which bring pleasure to the psyche but also those which bring pain.
This must be accomplished along an experimental line. Study only in a broad, philosophical sense, because consciousness does not represent merely a reasonable world. What we are trying to reach is in the realm [Page 131] of experiment. Emotion is nearer to it than thought, and vitality and action are still nearer, because generalized vitality is on the very border of consciousness. Anything which might be said about this highest world is really misleading. We must experiment with our life, especially the inner life. A definite beginning is marked when the individual says, "I no longer rest content with the canons of judgment which this world accepts. My political, social and family outlook must henceforth be my own. Are the things I am now doing in accord with my deepest needs?а Have they been imposed upon me, or have I chosen them?"
The great religious teachers, without exception, have taken this road. Buddha is the foremost example of the individual experimenting with life. He had all the world could give, but it did not cast light on His burning problems. Therefore, He roused within Himself the strength to put it all aside. He left His garden, cut off His hair with His own sword, gave back His horse to the men who accompanied Him a little way, and went into the outer world to experiment with life. So many people think that after studying they will know all about life and [Page 132] can then act. But study cannot unveil the mystery because it is beyond mind. It is a question of doing.а In a science or art one might know all the theory, yet it would have no value unless practised. As I have said, it is a matter of anticipation of the future. The venture therefore must be carried out by yourself alone. The laws laid down are of the broadest, and one's own fulfilment must be a unique personal experience. The rules that have been discovered and established by the great teachers may help, but in the end the road must be traveled by oneself alone.
It may be asked, "How can we start out on this experiment unless we know the goal?а If I am willing to experiment with my life, to look at it subjectively from deep within, where am I going?а What is my objective?"а There is no goal; there is process. The goal, if any, is the fulfilment of consciousness, and as that experience is not explicable in mental terms, anything said about it in prose is bound to be misleading. The reason is simple. Consciousness has to do with unity. No mental system ever devised has established a monistic, unified world, although intuitive philosophers, such as [Page 133] Bergson, Bradley and others have come near to it; because intuition is one stage nearer unity than mind. But, in the end, all philosophy must break down. Logic cannot lead us to the given end. There must be assumptions.
We come now to the critical angular difference between Master and man.а
Let us assume unity. And let us assume that consciousness is in the nature of unity, and therefore underlies all mankind. That is not a difficult assumption, for deep in human nature there is a strong inclination to believe the world homogeneous and coordinated. This deep need has led to much atrocious metaphysics, but such errors of minds must not deter the heart. Assuming unity, then, and consciousness, the clearest aspect of this unity within us, though not final, what of consciousness?а The psyche is chaotic, disorderly and exciting; the soul conceptual, orderly and freshening in character. The question is, what of the world from which we wish to operate after the soul has been objectified by this retreat from the external world into our inner being?
If the world is a unity in consciousness, then it follows that one of the aspects of [Page 134] consciousness must be inconceivable simplicity. If there is something that underlies everything and everybody in the universe Ч board chairmen and charwomen, you and me, and, what is more, all animals, plants, minerals, the electron, and a drop of water or a bolt of lightning Ч it must be simple, because if not it would be a special statement and therefore conditioned to a certain form. If there is something that underlies everything, without exception, its simplicity must be inconceivable. Yet we can append the quality simplicity to consciousness. Consciousness is naive, very simple indeed, having no parts, dimensions or properties. Perhaps all religious teachers have preached that the childlike are nearest the kingdom of heaven, because of this essential simplicity of the new world.
Next, if something simple underlies everything, it follows that when the universe is wound up and manifestation over, that which is simple must survive. It is widely held that the insect will survive man because it is so much more simple than that other insect that we call the human being. This can be applied to the macrocosm. The structure of mountains is simple, as it is [Page 135] merely a reduplication of that of crystals. It is this that permits of its long-continued existence. Hence the unity-principle survives all manifestations and (please note) it is also that which starts the universe when the show begins again. Hence the unity-principle survives the universe and has that power of beginning over again. This is a quality which we associate with independent entities and aspects of the cosmos, and thus independence must be the second manner in which consciousness shows forth in matter.
Now if it is true that consciousness is simple and independent, it follows next that consciousness must be infinitely original, because one of the peculiar properties of the universe is that there have never been two events or two entities alike. If the causal principle is this independent, simple thing we call consciousness, then it must be behind this infinite variety. There never have been or will be two people or two events alike in the universe. Therefore we must deduce that the conscious principle is original, independent and simple.
This may not seem, in words, an impressive array of majestic powers, worthy to [Page136] mark off from man the Men beyond mankind, but a little reflection may justify the notion.
Is it not curious that the highest consciousness has nothing to do with morality?а "Goodness and virtue" are important temporarily, not finally. Attempts to bind men to goodness alone have not succeeded. Simplicity, independence and originality have nothing to do with morality. The goal is something beyond even archetypal goodness.а The road, then, is easy, for anybody can be simple and independent. Every one of us is original, nor do we require some complex structure of alien ethics.
It is obvious, however, that anybody completely simple, independent and original could not fit into modern society. That is why I shall in a later chapter describe the kind of world which would be built by such people. The economic, political and social bearings of this attitude are inconceivable in their extent and devastating in result. Nothing is more relieving than to study this doctrine, because, instead of feeling poor miserable worms, we realize, in going deep down inside ourselves, that we find the wealth of the Eternal. We discover in this exercise [Page 137] of simplicity, independence and originality our personal God, built according to our own dimensions.
It may be said that this doctrine would disintegrate society. However, it will not, for it is caviare to the general. Few are capable of understanding or acting upon it. One cannot imagine, for instance, fifty per-cent of the uncomfortable men who read this walking forth thereafter without their Western clothes, in reformed garments!а Do the Masters go their way?а When they are associated with people it is necessary to be as near them as possible in things that do not matter, but they are completely independent in the clothing of the mind!а Anyhow, there is no danger in preaching this doctrine, for most people are so embroiled in sensation that they are not going to be candidly themselves.
People achieving this attitude have come to interesting conclusions about the ultimate character of the world. Attitudes toward the nature of the universe and what we ought to do about it take two forms in the West, aside from materialism, which is practically extinct. One is that there is a divine Presence that has found humanity in such a trap that [Page 138] only by the interposition of His virtue can we get out. Here God is looked upon as an eleemosynary agency. The world is not a unity from that point of view, since He did not get us into this difficulty. For if God got us into trouble so that He might play the hero, we could not think also that He was virtuous. The dualistic attitude that God is one thing and the devil another leads to no sound doctrines. The other point of view is that the universe was made by God in this unpleasant manner so that by getting people into trouble and then rescuing them they would love Him for the relief He has given them. This is creation for gain. What are we to think of such a God?
The Indian attitude is that the universe is not made artificially, but comes into being by its own inner nature, which is neither benevolent nor gainful. The word they use to describe the process is Lila, which means sport. When you believe that the universe is made for play and not for morality, you enjoy life. If you believe that God made it full of virtue you are practically in despair about it, but when you know that it is a game in which you are a player, sharing the fun, you can start all over again. Is toothache sport? [Page 139] It is if you know, under natural law, that you yourself scored this goal on yourself. Are tennis feet or football rib fun?
In another sense of the word, a good "sport" designates a person who does everything to the best of his ability; if he knows the rules he tries to conform to them, and every good sport knows the rules before he enters the game. The word sport also has a biological connotation, the sense that things start away from the species and go in a new direction. The soul as archetype is related to the species and life conforms to the species, but consciousness has the power of starting in new directions and making new rules. Hence the word sport applies almost exactly. The same thing is true with regard to the words game and play. When we say a person is game, we mean he stands up to what is in front of him, and the word play is almost exactly the equivalent of Lila. The things that we think so desperately important Ч getting married, losing money, making a fortune Ч all these are part of the external world. When we are quite simple and independent in our point of view, we discover that the world is a scheme intended [Page 140] neither for benevolence nor artificial gain, but a field of delight into which we can enter now that we have no more man-made moral responsibilities, but can count invariably on natural law, in every relationship.
We cannot act as though we had no artificial moral responsibilities until we really know we have none. We agreed to be born and have responsibilities, and they are part of the game we are now playing. There comes a time at last when these rules no longer apply. Buddha left his family and responsibilities for something he could not otherwise have gained, for them. Just as he was the sole judge of his conduct, so you are the sole judge of yours. It is for each of us to see how much restraint by our present circumstances we are forced to acknowledge, and how much we accept because we enjoy it. There is no conflict with society, for the person who takes this road is above all ordinary laws. He would never commit a crime or be involved in unethical conduct; nor would he take part in a society like ours, built on exploitation. Only in the sense that he is a challenge to society to become honest is he a danger. And he is [Page 141] none in the absolute sense, for such a course can be pursued not by humanity at large, but only by those who have the power.
Finally, we ask ourselves, "Who makes the rules?"а According to our attitude, they are made by God, and so long as we believe in His universe we must acknowledge His rules. (For purposes of immediate convenience we may define God as life's totality.) It is well known that even the highest of the Masters dwell in bodies like our own. Even those few whose bodies have not been born by the normal process, but have been moulded imperishably from matter and life to their own ends, around their own consciousness, wear forms in appearance very much like those of ordinary human beings. They also desire to obey the rules of God. They look like men, though they are more beautiful and perfect because their bodies are archetypal in character, unmarked by the passions of an errant and disobedient psyche, being moulded upon souls entirely controlled. So also with regard to their relations with us. They accept the rules as we must, out of a conscious and deliberate desire to fulfil the tasks before them.
It is, however, impossible for us to reach [Page 142] the Masters by ordinary worldly channels. Anyone who desires to take this road must face the problem of finding a teacher. The Masters obey the rules so fully they would never think of interfering in our lives in order to bring us to them. The great distinction of Masters is that they no longer have any personal karma (action and reaction) with people. They are utterly free, independent and simple. There is no way by which we can sink hooks into them by which to claim them. The only way to reach them is to go towards them, for only in the measure in which we go to them they come to us, so that at any time the balance between Master and disciple is equal. Some know the Masters as a fact and have touched them. They have the peculiar distinction and duty of being the media of communication between the Masters and the outer world, simply because they are a little free, and so come nearer the freedom of the Masters. They uniquely inspire the world with ideals which the Masters possess, for the Masters cannot communicate directly, because humanity is unwilling to take the smallest step towards freedom. They realize their limitations and commitments to others, but [Page 143] are doing something about it, for in their intercourse with other people they keep the Masters in mind. Because they are teaching us how to teach others (and only by teaching do we learn), they are able to make the bridge that the Master himself, in his respect for freedom, cannot make.
Do you remember how Jesus stood above the sacred city and wept that there was nothing He could do to teach it, because there were no people to make the bridge?а Yet, knowing that, He was unwilling to come down and disturb the life they were living. Knowing independence, He cherished it for others.
Let us lead our own lives and move amongst people with the desire to be of what little help we can. By keeping always in mind the idea of the Masters, we can slowly make a link between the independent world above and the world down here. By that constant indwelling in the midst of the life of outward going, we can make the bridge to consciousness. What we want of the Master is not so much intellectual instruction as friendship, that he may be near us vitally and so induce in us a sufficient simplicity and independence that this consciousness may permeate the [Page 144] whole of our being. Fortunately, for this we do not require the physical presence of the Masters. The link will be made by inward reaching out, not by claims. By obeying the rules we discover those who know them better than ourselves.
What would the world be like if everybody knew this?а What would it be like if these divine kings came back to society?а It is almost inconceivable. Yet, strangely enough, there have been civilizations like that in the past, when races were young. All our myths are memories of the days when the divine kings moved amongst men. The myths of the American Indians and the Chinese are memories of days when Atlantis was a glorious civilization led by these beings.а Now, instead of ruling society in a patriarchal manner, it will become possible for them to rule more idealistically. In those days there was not the leisure possible now; although machines existed they were not what they are today. What society should we try to create to welcome them?а That is the question of burning necessity to the world. The thing that makes the world so chaotic is lack of leadership; there is no one who is simple, independent and original. [Page 145] Humanity is playing a game already obsolete Ч capitalism Ч holding to rules of an age long gone by, leading to power over others.а Suppose leaders come who want power over none, but who, by their example, can induce in humanity the type of world I have described, beyond even virtue?а What will they be like?а That kind of society we must now examine.[Page 146]
THERE is only one treatise, as far as I know, produced in modern times which is thoroughly occult in character. With this work fortunately everyone is familiar: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The beings in these books are constantly undergoing transformation, which is characteristic of life, especially when we see it from the point of view of the psyche. Those who pass as human beings, the various cards in the pack, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the two footmen, one like a frog and the other like a fish, possess, or are possessed by, the subtle animal characteristic underlying humanity. They are not a little mad.а There are several other features which make this work distinctly occult; for example, the one reasonable person in the book is the child, that is, the being who represents the gods is a childlike character, with the power [Page 147] of making herself, as they say in Sanskrit, "greater than the great and smaller than the small".а She is simple and independent.а Furthermore, the book is a description of the world we have been living in of late. Instead of "Alice in Wonderland", our times have become a display of "Malice in Blunderland".а The Queen of Hearts becomes so insane that she tries to chop the head off the cat, but the cat has no body from which to chop the head!а It is much like that today.The people who run society are trying to get from people that which they do not possess.
In the midst of this astonishing setting, when they send to the pepper-filled kitchen for the Duchess, Alice remembers the scene with her in the kitchen, and, moralizing on what makes people's temper vary so much, says: "When I am a Duchess I won't have any pepper in my kitchen at all. Maybe it's always pepper that makes people hot-tempered and vinegar that makes them sour Ч and camomile that makes them bitter Ч and Ч and barley sugar and such things that make children sweet-tempered. I only wish people knew that; then they would not be so stingy about it". [Page 148]
It seems so simple that we look down on it as childishness. Yet the world is very much like Alice's Wonderland, administered by people who don't know what it is all about, playing at games where things won't stay put, like the arches in the famous croquet match that got up and walked away at inconvenient moments. Now and then, however, people like Alice descend into the world, with simple, direct powers, and try their best to transmit the light of reason to it.а Such people are in an interesting but difficult position. They are not merely physical beings; they have come from a world above, and are animated very largely by experiences of an inner character.
We have already seen that there is a series of invisible worlds, beginning just over the border of the physical: first, a group that we call the psyche, made up of vitality, emotion and lower mind; next, a group made up of higher mind, intuition and will, the latter corresponding to vitality; and finally, another world beyond all that, into which consciousness leads. We suggested that this last world corresponds to the physical, so that consciousness is in a special way revealed by physical life. Hence, those [Page 149] who want to live physically correctly must somehow penetrate into that world.а The distinction, then, of the free man in society is that he has entered that world. To him the spiritual realm, just below the world of consciousness Ч that is, generalized vitality (called in Christian literature the vesture of glory), intuition and wisdom Ч is objective, whereas those who dwell in the ego are surrounded by cloudy spirituality. He is behind spirituality and so to him it is a kind of show, an outward display, which he looks upon objectively.
The strange experience of having even the spiritual world objective makes him a realist. One is apt to think of the Masters as idealists, dreamers, but, in fact, their power of realistic action is much greater than ours, because they belong largely to that world beyond the spirit which is the key to the physical. They are above time, for time in the ordinary human sense, ends with spiritual experience. Hence, being beyond the archetypal world, they look down on the plan of the inevitable future, and do not waste their energies on idealism that cannot be realized.
Many beautiful characters waste themselves in the attempt to alter society because [Page 150] they do not know the direction in which society must go.
The knowledge which the theosophical literature offers of what is to happen in the ensuing periods of history is unique. The Masters, of course, know what will result from the world crisis. They understand the significance of the machine, and foresee the future of humanity. So with them we can throw our weight, even though it be but small and personal, where it counts. The knowledge which they have makes them reformers of a special kind. Not only have they an eye to what actually exists in modern times Ч as modernists, understanding today, but they are also futurists in that they know to what the machine, literary and other developments lead. Therefore, they strike where it counts and nowhere else.
Let us first limit ourselves to persons who have been merely touched by that tongue of flame from the highest realm. We cannot expect to understand these people and their conduct by merely observing them objectively. They have a baffling, mask-like personality, though the psyche and the body make them resemble normal, ordinary human beings in many ways. Hence, [Page 151] undeveloped people would not perceive their higher powers. Moreover, they know that humanity can only live and grow in beauty and power if it is free, and so they never impose their insight on other people. In political life or social action, therefore, they often do not appear as powerful as in fact they are.
How, then, does the man act who is not yet fully organized, but newly oriented to freedom in the light of his new experiences?
The touch of the conscious world has many effects. One is the realization of unity. What kind of conduct would result from such an experience?а We have already seen that all mankind would be alike. Hence no national feelings, nothing like the recent amusing predicament, for example, of the London G.P.O.а Having adopted a cancellation stamp for letters reading "Buy British", it was discovered that the machine was made in America!а Another amusing story is told of the naturalization of a group of people in an American city. There was a gathering of the patriotic clans, including, of course, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Legion and several other distinguished patriotic bodies, to [Page152] welcome the new citizens. The new nationals were all given American flag buttons to wear, and counseled to "Buy American". Unfortunately, one of them examined the button and found it stamped "Made in Japan".а Imagine the surprise of the Daughters!а But imagine still more the surprise of a group of Chinese peasants who have gone to war, equally patriotically, and have been blown up by munitions bought by the Japanese in America, to find a card in the shambles reading, "This program sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Killem Powder Works".а There is, in short, another view of nationalism!а That is a side of the picture our patriots do not see. They are keen on their own virtue, for they are lost in their own spiritual world. They may be individually desirable but innocent people, living in Alice's Wonderland, as white queens, red queens, Duchesses, or "Daughters".а Those who have touched that higher world of consciousness are people who have given themselves to brotherhood without any pretence. There is no pious mockery about it. There is something simple and independent about such people, so that they are [Page 153] honestly, freely fraternal. It is impossible for them to mask under an artificial spirituality the selfish purposes or mixed motives we have so constantly in our world.
I have another example before me. The other day I noticed in the Press some headlines regarding a well-known banker, which read something like this: " Ч makes national appeal for the relief of home owners".а The headlines were written, of course, by men in the newspaper office, not by the banker. Such a display of humanity! Further on came a second series of longer headlines, which read, "Existing rates are a menace both to owner and to mortgagee".а In other words, the kindness to the owner was only by the way. The words of the banker himself revealed his intent, as chairman of a financial group, to support the sound mortgages, the others having fallen by the way Ч that is, to skim the cream. He says, "The sacredness of the contractual financial obligations is especially impressive to all the members".а Since when has a debt or mortgage been a sacrament?а This reminds one of the use of the word "sanctions" a while ago in connection with going into Germany with arms. All this [Page 154] pseudo-brotherhood is part of that mixture of human and divine which we find in individuals not wholly of that other world.а Are these the highest ethics of mankind?
If we call volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and so on, "acts of God", ethics must play a part in them. There is no doubt that the sinking of continents, the striking of lightning and every other natural phenomenon are all beneficial in the end. Although individuals may be killed, benefit ensues in the increased richness that comes to life. When a continent sinks with a deplorable race, nature has sat in judgment, and it is not for us to challenge her. When we observe the jungle, for instance, because the strong prey on the weak we read cruelty into the law of the jungle, and say it is unmoral. But life, after all, proceeds only by one creature living on another.
Nature appears careless of individual and even of type, only because we do not understand her larger purposes. But we must look to our own conduct, not seek to excuse ourselves by blaming nature.а Consider this case. The other day, whilst traveling, I sat in the dining-car, opposite a lady who had a cat in a basket, and we talked principally [Page 155] about the cat. She complained bitterly of the needless cruelty of the animal, which would not be satisfied with mice, but insisted on killing birds. All the time she was deploring the cruelty of animals, she sat eating chicken!а To her it was all right to eat a dead bird because the butcher, not she, had killed it. She had rationalized her thoughts and actions. Although she was filled with good intentions and was probably very kind hearted, when it came to rigorously reasonable conduct in physical life, that corresponds with Atman, she failed.а So much for nature's ethics.а Now, how about Man's?
Most of us have not penetrated behind our own vital processes. We are afraid that if we do we will die of discouragement. Death is unfamiliar to us. We have not touched the generalized world. Life and death seem such insoluble problems, that we have never tried to go beyond, and thus never understood ourselves fully. Jesus made a perfectly clear statement as to human ethics, the ordinary conduct required of human beings. He said, "Love thy neighbour as thyself".а Jesus was aware of how much we love ourselves, and He knew if He could only get us to love our neighbours as much, everything [Page156] would be all right. The outcome of this would mean thinking in social terms Ч a state of society where nobody is of more value than anyone else, and everyone acknowledges the fact quite simply, as any spiritual person would.
The ethics of a demi-god are now those of another world. They are, first of all, those of a person who sees the whole of beauty. His sense of ethics is based on the supreme achievement of having viewed the whole scene from a very high point. Besides being an artist in the fullest sense of the world, he is a sportsman. That is, in his social conduct he always allows the other fellow to have the fullest chance and complete freedom. Because he has been independent in his own experience, he wants everyone else to grow, to live, to learn, to have the fullest opportunity of expression. If that expression involves his own death he is likely to accept it as Jesus did, because his death might mean more to the world than his life. It is clear to me that the violent death of Jesus meant simply this: He had taught all He could to the people around Him by living; they could learn no more from that. Yet one last lesson He might teach them Ч how to die. [Page 157] So He died, although He might have escaped if He wished.
In what category of ethics, of the three above-mentioned, shall we place this recent item from the American Press?а In 1929 there was a group of gentlemen who owned an automobile business. This group sold out its common stock at $25 a share Ч today it is worth about 50 cents. It is said they made $ 18,000,000 by the sale. After the crisis came, the company fell on hard times, and for two years could not pay its quarterly preferred dividends. This group continued to hold the control of the preferred stock. When the company could no longer pay on the preferred stock, they stepped in (according to law!) and took control without paying any more, having already made $18,000,000 from the sale of the common stock. Now they are "rebuilding the company." The company's current debts were only $1,500,000. If they would pay that amount they would rescue the company; there would be no need for receivership, but then they would not come in as owners. Instead they have kept the $18,000,000 and the company too, and now they are posing as protecting it. [Page 158]
When people hear this they say they know that the Stock Exchange or Wall Street is a gamble. But it is more than a gamble Ч it is a racket.а In gambling the other person at least has a chance. If you buy a ticket for the Irish Sweepstakes, for instance, you have a chance to draw a horse. The chance that you draw the winning horse is about one in a million, but you know the odds from the first. When you go into the stock and share market you have no idea what you are doing, although you are probably safe in expecting the worst.
The society of enlightened men is based upon the principle that everyone shall have a chance to live, to grow, to become himself in the fullest sense of the word. To humans, to acquire the ethical outlook of demigods means simply to assume their point of view, which we must try to see. They are wholly brotherly, whereas we merely accept brotherhood theoretically, and go on buying stocks and bonds. What are we to do?а We should take no interest on money, have nothing to do with the kind of business that exploits others. Everything we do should be honest, candid and simple. If there is anything we can do to help build up a [Page 159] society which gives the other fellow at least an equal chance, that we should do.
Let me take as a final example the psychological garbage that disgraces the popular newspaper press on both sides of the Atlantic. If we were really independent we would say that this is a greater crime against humanity than the physical and financial exploitation we have above examined. What chance has a child into whose home comes stuff of this kind, day after day?а The free man in society turns away from it in horror, for it is heavy with the misery of human beings. The dregs of society furnish the cream of the news.
All this belongs to a dying age. Our world-crisis will end these horrors. The free man has his own deep feelings, and he sees this crisis broadly, as part of a plan. Like crises have been the cause of great changes in the past, with always the advent of a new culture, indescribably beautiful. As he knows the plan and the inevitability of the law, he is not impassioned about these changes, but determined. This supreme attitude, which can be understood and acquired by growth, encourages action in the right direction and produces larger [Page 160] centres of people who act in the way, along which nature is going, so that they throw their weight in the right direction and do not waste their energy in vain idealism. If ever social guidance was needed it is now. The light that the Masters can cast upon the scene is the only one that will pierce the storm and stress of the era through which we are passing. They are not dreamers, but persons of action. A consideration of this may not only bring us peace, but may cast a little light on the problems that perplex and harass us. [Page 161]
FOR the first time in generations multitudes of people are awake to the fact that this rich world, with all its vast resources, has been for a long time without intelligent leadership, social in its outlook.а In a sense, this situation marks the transition from the old world to the new.а Thousands of people realize that a new order of society is about to appear.а Two worlds are now clearly visualized, even by the uncultured and ignorant, and although they do not know how the new order of things is to be brought about, they are determined that it shall transpire.
How can we contrast simply the attitude of the old world with that of this other world that is to come?а I might quote a few words from two men who are both of the old order, yet one of whom belongs also to the new in his activities and peculiarly individual [Page 162] outlook. I have selected, for my example of the old age, the revered Dr. Frank Crane. His outlook, now that we have passed it, is a kind of object lesson to all who once drifted with the world to which he belongs, whose dead remains lie now about us awaiting decent burial Ч a world in which the attitude of individualism was on a selfish rather than an ethical or spiritual basis. That selfish individual outlook made the giants of industry and capitalism, and Dr. Crane was a watchdog for that kind of society. In some of his writings, although it comes out incidentally, we see this curious, anti-social individualism. For example, in 1928, he wrote of the case of a boy who was arrested in New York for sleeping in the subway. It appears that the boy was not poor. He had been able to save several hundred dollars to give his mother by working by day, and, in order to save the cost of lodging, sleeping by night in the trains, just shuttling back and forth. He was arrested for this and was to be put in jail, but was later released and fined $3.00.а Then Dr. Crane moralized as follows: "He ought to have been given a prize. He may have technically violated the law by sleeping in the subway, but the [Page 163] value of his general actions far outweighs his wrongdoing. He had learned the first lesson that a boy ought to learn, and that is to save money."а That, in short, was the esteemed first lesson of this old world: to save money by putting it in a bank.
Now let me quote a recent single sentence, published over the name of Henry Ford: "Things must bow to life, for life is plainly notifying us that she will no longer bow to things".а This may not be Mr. Ford's conscious philosophy, yet his conduct has been in that direction. He has not made machines to govern people, although no doubt his factory has resulted in this, but has striven to build a new world that man may be free to live in nature, doing his job with the help of a machine.
It is this new world of life which we wish to examine.а One of its characteristics, we may be sure, is leisure. It is a debatable question how leisure will come. Some think there must first be violence, a revolt of the suffering elements, the lower strata of society against the upper, producing confusion for a time and finally bringing about a new social and political constitution. Others say it can come only by some type of supervised authority, [Page 164] which will take over the machinery of government by declaring that a public emergency exists, in that society has broken down, and therefore that the constitution gives those in public authority an extension of power not normally theirs. (This course of action, in fact, was taken recently in political America.)а I think, however, that something much more striking will occur the emergence of leadership of a kind that we have never known before, not purely political or social in the economic sense, but leadership that has to do with cultural values that we shall desperately need in the age that is to come. If we are going to have leadership of only a fascistic or revolutionary kind to bring us leisure without telling us how to use it, before we are sufficiently organized or developed to employ it rightly, it would be almost better to struggle on as we are.
Let us first examine the whole question of leisure.а Instead of a society like the Greek or Egyptian, where leisure was only for the cultured classes, who therefore produced a civilization which they handed out to the lowly, we are coming to a stage of development where everyone will have leisure equally, and with it, equality of income. [Page165] Many believe this inevitable, though perhaps not immediate. The secret of how it is to transpire lies in the machine and in freedom from the debt structure, and in nothing else. It will not come from the rescue of the banks, or international adjustments, or even total disarmament. No amount of public works, artificially taking up the slack of labour on a large scale, will give it to us. The plain fact is that interest on the enormous, complicated, internal debt structure at rates anywhere from five to even two-hundred per-cent has been the crushing burden!а As long as new needs could be created Ч and society was not yet satiated with the excitement of new toys Ч it was possible to keep people busy paying on that structure, but now that technique and technology have developed to a point where it is clear that fundamental necessities are more than provided, and that society is a little satiated with toys, that operation can be carried on no longer. It really came to an end when we inaugurated the partial payment system and mortgaged the future with regard to things that were not essential.
We now know that the machine can produce enough for all, and the only question is the kind of society that will come to fit the [Page 166] machine. That means, of course, a society where the product of the machine returns to the producer. Stuart Chase, in reviewing a book on economics by Frederick Soddy, the eminent physicist, said: "Money has evolved on a basis of scarcity economy; the threat of not enough to go round ever furnishing its dominating drive. The industrial revolution, culminating in the marvels of modern technology, has achieved a surplus economy Ч more than enough to go round if the engineers were granted a free hand. The two systems do not interlock; money puts the engineer on half-time. Capacity production of industrial America is twice the normal output of consumable goods. There is no more important problem than that of dragging money out of dreamland and forcing it to correlate with the curve of physical production, as governed by the technical arts."а
In terms of reality, the new era means that all this money which is privately owned must gradually become public property, no matter at what price we buyout the former owners. It is even now proposed that we buy the railroads so that their revenue will go back to the state to refresh eternally the [Page 167] resources of the country. That policy one presumes will be gradually extended until at last there will be no place where any man can put his money privately, in the old sense. The machines will bring about this change, with the revision of the debt structure.а We may have to cut our capital to half or one-quarter of what it is at present, or abolish it altogether, which means that in effect all economic wealth Ч petroleum, mines, forestry, etc., all of which are public welfare institutions Ч will be gradually bought in or confiscated by the government.а The banking system will be revised accordingly.а No doubt in time the post office will become the banker, for already many are putting what little they have in the postal savings bank.
Through all this kind of enterprise, we are gradually approaching an era in which the fundamental necessities of human life will be guarded by society for society.а That, of course, is sensible as well as necessary. Imagine a country putting its forestry into private hands! All that competition can do is to cut down the trees. It will seldom put them in again, because it cannot afford to wait, but the government can, for it is there always. The same with petroleum. When a [Page 168] field is discovered, men will no longer come and destroy 50 per-cent of that wealth. The government will claim all these fields for society, and will develop one at a time, getting out 80 per-cent of the oil and using all the by-products for the benefit and protection of the people as a whole.а Such an order of society has long been anticipated.а Money owned privately will later receive no interest, no matter where it is kept. And the longer we keep it the less it will become, since money is energy and must obey the thermal laws.
The question which people now raise is: when we have such a state of affairs, what about humanity?а Greece and Egypt had security, more or less, between wars, with a leisure class to keep the lower classes busy, but when there is leisure and security for everyone, what will happen?а The problem of what we are to do with our spare time is very real. The lower classes are undeveloped Ч whatever we mean by "lower classes"!а Aldous Huxley, about three years ago, aptly said: "For these people, existence on the lower, animal level is perfectly satisfactory. Given food, drink, the company of their fellows, sexual enjoyment, and plenty of noisy distractions from without, they are [Page 169] happy. They enjoy bodily, but hate mental, exercise. They cannot bear to be alone, or to think. Contemporary urban life, with its jazz bands, its negroid dancing, its movies, theatres, football matches, newspapers, and the like, is for them ideal. They can live out their lives without once being solitary, without once making a serious mental effort (for the work which most of these people do is mainly mechanical and requires little or no thought), without once being out of sight or sound of some ready-made distraction. The notion that one can derive pleasure from arduous intellectual occupations is to such people merely absurd. More leisure and more prosperity mean for them more dancing, more parties, more movies, more distractions in general. Most of the inhabitants of ancient Rome belonged to this type; so probably do most of the inhabitants of modern New York and London. And unless some system of eugenics is practised in the interval, there is no reason to suppose that the inhabitants of the great Cities in the year A.D. 3000 will be radically different."а
This takes no account of nature's trump card Ч children, the fresheners of earth. With a system of education that teaches children to [Page 170] be free of authority, even of the school teacher (who ought to teach hidden in the closet so that the pupil could not be modeled after him!), we would have a society that was independent, simple and original, and therefore able to make the right use of leisure. It is unmistakable that children by nature love things worth while Ч the out-of-doors, nature, games, etc.а To evoke from children a feeling of independence, simplicity, originality, we have to organize society on the basis of a new kind of leadership. In this new age they are not supposed to obey their leaders, or to believe anything unless it is an established fact.а As for social policy, if they are to fit into the society that is coming, as they grow up it will be their business to question it at every step.
That society will cherish individualism.а Most people believe that when society organizes itself it will stamp out individualism.а But it is our society that destroys individualism, not the future society.а We of today either live on others or for others. People who have no jobs live on somebody else, and that applies to many house-wives, whose job at home does not fill their lives because machinery now gives them so much [Page 171] leisure. Thousands of men live on others also Ч psychically and in other ways. What we want badly is a form of society where, from childhood, people will be trained to be unselfish individualists. Genius comes only from people who are highly individualistic.а Now we take people and compel them to earn a living, which, though precarious, is necessary for those they love. So they are bound. On the other hand, those who depend on that living want to do nothing whatever to interrupt it, and consequently come to the point where they will not for any consideration interfere with that precarious security. They thus betray themselves. But when we have the kind of society where nobody depends on anyone else, because there is enough to go around, we shall all be free and independent.а If the bookkeeper finds he should have been a poet, and the man who has written poetry for twelve years discovers that nobody wants to read it and that his real bent is mathematics, he and the book-keeper exchange vocations. Today this is impossible to the book-keeper on account of paying the balance on the furniture.
Besides this coming socialization, which [Page 172] will produce that special freedom, individualism, and leave room for originality, independence and the rest of it, there will come inevitably out of that leisure a new culture, for life is rhythmic procedure. We shall have a new outlook toward art, humanity and religion. We have seen it already in past cycles in architecture. Gothic architecture was the product of people who lived for the emotions. The vast cathedral in the midst of a town that otherwise, except for its palaces, was squalid, was the one place where people could find relief in high emotions. So the buildings were emotional spires rushing up to heaven, with rose windows disguising the real light of day; and in the dim beauty inside one could shut oneself off from one's misery. So, also, the Greek temple was simple, sunlit and cheerful, as befitted a Greek. Already our own architecture has been stripped of all its ornaments, and we are now about to build on the basis of the bones a style that will fit the coming society. Modern economics have made the office building Ч there was no money for ornament, everything had to be stripped to the bone, to bare steel and stone, to get the utmost in rents. But in future we [Page 173] shall put new flesh and blood on those bones.
Finally, we shall see the return of the guidance of those cultured people, the Masters, that we need so badly, for in a free society this is possible. In the centuries that go by we shall see the Masters coming to guide the people, not as kings ruling on thrones, but as kings of culture, giving society guidance, living amongst mankind when society is fitted to receive them, and thus crowning the arts, both social and individual, with their genius Ч for the Masters are artistic as well as humanitarian. Indeed, these are linked characteristics.
This matter of the redemption of leisure with culture has also been anticipated in the teachings of religion, as in the case of Jesus.а The devil suggested, in a famous passage, that Jesus should arrange with Deity that man should live without labour, but that he should be held accountable for his sins. Jesus declined on the ground that if man had only leisure his sins would increase so fast that even Deity could not take care of them. He said, in effect: What people need is soul. Rather than redeem them physically by bread alone I will give them my beauty, and that will redeem them.а If humanity [Page 174] has both beauty and leisure, beauty will redeem leisure.
Nature will give us the needed factors for change. India is one. The Indian treasures the science of individual self-sufficiency, which gives us poets and artists of all kinds as well as leaders in public welfare. Society will be organized with the help of Oriental thought, which is redemption, because it holds the inner as important as the outer. Genius arises from the invisible worlds. Hence, unless we have a culture in which nations explore the invisible, we cannot have genius. India will point the way, as she will provide us with philosophy, and supply us with teachers who will come in the right circumstances. Then we shall have that knowledge of the vital structures of the invisible and the effect of the invisible on the visible to give us a new order and outlook. In India this has been achieved through knowledge such as that of mantram and yantram. The caste system, ideally, is also based on the archetypes of nature. China will give us knowledge, too, but India more especially, for she is our Aryan cousin, thinking in terms intelligible to the Aryan mind. [Page 175]
Second, there is Russia. The occult point of view about Russia is most interesting. Russia thus far has been in reserve, as a runner-up to fulfil the function that has been America's destiny should she fail. And now that the time has come when America is about to accept her destiny, Russia is no longer kept in shackles, but rushes forward to quicken her own and America's development. When new races appear some country has to give them birth. It is America's destiny to produce, with Australia and New Zealand, the intuitional race that will follow the Aryan. Nature cannot afford mistakes, and so she always has a second line of defence, another wave coming on to take the leader's place should there be some failure. In the eventuality that certain souls should decline to incarnate in America to make this new effort, and nature thus be frustrated there, she keeps another nation in reserve. That nation has been Russia. This has been known in esoteric circles since long before the Russian revolution. Having the technical genius, America, in accepting her destiny, will no doubt make that transition in her own way; and, I trust, without the bloodshed and turmoil there was in Russia. [Page 176] Thus Russia, India, Britain and America have in their hands the destiny of the new race and the new age, the freshest contributions coming from Russia, America and India, the stable frame from England. All this, which is the occult teaching, will work out in due course.
When this has come to pass and a great world-empire or commonwealth has been set up, with India, the English-speaking peoples and Russia the dominating factors, there will come at long last a new race in America. That hour is near at hand, only a few centuries away. And with the coming of that new race the hour will strike when the Masters must live physically amongst us again. This race will be physically, psychically and spiritually different from the Aryans of Europe as these were in turn different from the Atlanteans. It is to be a race of intuition, and the Masters will live amongst men to evoke this quality in humanity. The kind of religions and rituals which will be developed by them, the kind of society which they will have Ч all this will be fascinating to see and experience.
Before this can transpire the profound shake-up which we are at present experiencing [Page 177] is necessary, and we are by no means through it. There have yet to be more astonishing changes. These will be brought about by agitators.а But what of spiritual and philosophical agitators?а These are a little different from the usual kind, but also persons who will not bow to unworthy authority, people who have outstripped authority. They are not more Christian then they are Buddhist, not more Buddhist than Hindu, and, in India, not more Hindu than Christian. These people do not believe in nationalism in a narrow sense, and are therefore, by their independence, agitators. There cannot be too many of these. We are coming to see their value more and more.а Some years ago Blatchfordа wrote, in Merrie England (1893): "The agitator is not a nice man. He disturbs the general calm; he shakes old and rotten institutions with a rude hand; he drags into the light of day some loathsome and dangerous abuse which respectable rascality or cowardly conservatism has carefully covered up and concealed under a film of humbug. He tramples upon venerable shame; he injures old-established reputations; he bawls out shameful truths from the house-tops; he is fierce and noisy; uses [Page 178] strong language; and very often in his rage against wrong, or in the heat of his grief over unmerited suffering, he mixes his own truth with error and carries his righteous denunciations to the point of injustice. The privileged classes hate him; the oppressed classes do not understand him; the lazy classes shun him as a pest. He finds himself standing, like Ishmael, with every man's hand against him."а
The agitator along occult and theosophical lines is, however, a new sort, being of the kind who knows the plan and does not protest only because he has a grievance, but because he knows that tomorrow will produce a new culture centering around England as a national unit, in which American and all English-speaking countries will have a great future, a tomorrow that will produce leisure and security for all.а He realizes that this can only be accomplished by leveling out the present world-economy, in which people dwell without security. He knows that of that leisure and that culture will be born the newest baby of all the races, the New American, and that in America will be produced a civilization in which the inner and outer will be joined. The American, [Page 179] with his sensitiveness, his simplicity, his generosity, his love of beauty, which has gone almost to the extreme of loving luxury beyond honour, will give birth to a race where the invisible will be studied as a living structure, interlocking with the visible. His effect may not be felt so much on society in its economic aspect as his influence will be more subtle, but his changes will be all the more effective because of that.
Progress is commensurate to the degree in which earnest people associate themselves, form groups that advocate intelligently something that is inevitable in any case, and shake up men's thoughts as well as their lives. For, however feeble they may feel themselves to be, they are strong because they have the Masters behind them. The glory and power of nature's ordination of a new society will be with them, and invested with this power their delight is sure, since they are working with that which must inevitably be. Such labour is a reward in itself; neither security nor glory in a physical sense, but the inward peace that comes from moving intelligently with that which directs nature and common man as well. [Page 180]
IN the foregoing chapter we tried to examine the state of a man who is independent, original and simple, with regard to his duty to society, not only as an isolated individual with a unique experience, but as a person with a high social sense, such as the Masters are. Unquestionably, such a man would believe in a greater democracy, one with forms unknown to us today except by such meaningless terms as Socialism, Communism Ч or even an anarchy, in which every individual is a law unto himself, because he knows the eternal laws, and therefore lives at a better and much more useful level in society than could a man of good intention who is without a knowledge of nature's laws.
Let us now examine the principal development in this new world, which will be signalized by leisure with security. Leisure, we found, is the only characteristic of the new [Page 181] society upon which all agree. We have discussed the fact that the coming of leisure might not be wholly happy or beneficial if, with it, we did not gain some new attitude toward life, humanity and nature Ч a new sense of the duty of the individual both toward that which is outside himself and that which is within. If life in that era of leisure is to be just an endless series of cross-word or jig-saw puzzles, and nothing else, leisure has no meaning. Used only for pleasure it destroys humanity.
It is a truism that the world has grown so small that, in certain directions, discovery has practically ceased. Both poles have been trodden and flown over. We know most corners of the planet, except part of the Himalayas and some of the fastnesses of the Amazonian basin. We know a great deal about the constitution of matter, and have reached the stage where its further study must proceed insecurely and slowly because of the difficulty of making instruments with a sufficiently fine reaction. We have extended our knowledge of the external universe until, at last, we realize the homogeneity of the system. On every side, as it were, our knowledge has reached out to the [Page 182] physical borderland. We now ask ourselves what we shall do next. There is, of course, a tremendous territory yet to be explored in the arts, but that is not enough. Everyone must realize that if the world were reduced to a monotony of leisure, with only the things we now know available, there would be no bite to existence, but only a terrible ennui. This we can see already affecting many young people.
From that unhappy fate, however, nature will preserve us. We can anticipate that there will be an immense increase in the exploration of the invisible world as a vital territory. As we have seen in previous chapters, we can only hope to understand the invisible by approaching it as something living, surrounding and interpenetrating this world. Humanity will desperately need to know the invisible as the source and the goal of its life, and there will therefore result an enormous increase of knowledge in that direction. To this end, more and more people capable of guiding humanity in this field will be needed, until eventually the Masters themselves will find it possible to return amongst men, to give by their personal presence and guidance a knowledge of the [Page 183] invisible to the world at large. The technique is dreamed of only by a few, and known to a still smaller number. When once the goal is shown, and the method to some extent explained, hundreds of thousands, at present lost in the desert of grossly materialistic science, will transfer their leisure and activities to the new study. Life will then be strikingly different.
Life will be much more hopeful, especially for children, who, because they come so recently from the invisible and bring with them so much that is new, are in every sense of the word the hope of humanity. Children will be understood at least a little better than they are now. They will not be judged merely as the products of certain environments. They will be regarded as strange beings, coming to our world with dreams warm and radiant within them. By an understanding of the invisible, whence all children arise, we shall understand them better, and help them to make their dreams the substance of our life. Nothing is more wonderful than to see teachers crying out for a new society.
There are, moreover, certain guiding principles for a study of the invisible. [Page 184]а Occultists are aware of the experiments of spiritualism, of psychical research and of medical science in so far as the latter bears on the invisible, as well as of the explorations of physics and chemistry and speculation as regards electricity, but their attitude is strangely different from that of men and women working in those fields in the following respects:
First, their attitude is that there is close at hand an inner existence in every individual and anybody who wants to can know it by objectifying his psyche and his soul-life before his own consciousness.а Second, they recognize that the invisible is incredibly complex, but that as a human being experiences within himself, in summary form, everything in the invisible, he can understand it, however complex, if he looks within himself.а Third, they believe that the inner corresponds to the outer: not only do we possess inner bodies, but they, within themselves, correspond to one another very beautifully. Indeed, there is no physical thing possible throughout nature except it be an accumulation guided and moulded by the invisible. So we may say with regard to forms in space and the relation of forms Ча [Page 185] indeed, the whole external world Ч that the inner is the compelling factor and the directing intelligence.а Fourth, because of this it is the inner we seek.
Hence is derived a new point of view on many matters of moment. Take, for instance, the mystery of the relationship between man and woman. One of the most baffling items in modern knowledge and in universal experience is the psychology of the sexes Ч we might say of the several sexes, for there is a third, children. The sexes remain the problem they are today for the reason that they are quite evidently wholly alike in some respects and wholly different in others. The point is that the nearer we come to the physical, the more striking the differences, so that in the body we see the development of the glandular and soft tissues in woman, as contrasted with the muscular and bony system in man. Because of the excessive emphasis upon physical life we find the adjustment of these different manifestations difficult. That is one problem the future will face. The outline of the inquiry is available in theosophical literature, though, so far, little has been done in the investigation of the psychic evolution of sex. On examining [Page 186] the relationship between the sexes in the inner, vital sense, we see immediately that the differences diminish as we retreat into the invisible until at last, on reaching the soul, the distinction is dropped entirely. There is a new relationship; humanity as a whole becomes masculine and a parallel order of evolution, the angelic hosts become feminine; so that positive and negative remain, as I imagine they do to the end of the universe. To understand and employ the differences of sex one only needs to examine the vital and necessary differences in the physical bodies, in the emotions, and in the lower mind. At that point the distinction vanishes, since there we enter the realm of the soul, and between the sexes there is no difference in growth of soul.
When studied in this way the distinction becomes a genuine source of enlightenment. We see how natural is the excess activity of emotion in the glandular tissues and short-fibred muscles, whereas in the long-fibred muscles there is an excess of will pouring through mind, and we understand the consequent distinction between character through emotions and character through mind, of the two sexes. Therefore, we look [Page 187] for the embodiment of emotions in one sex and of mind in the other, because the forces of the soul are flowing just a little differently. Yet we also look for complete unity; for, after all, the bodies are homogeneous all the way through, with the differences merely temporary, and when the soul is reached these differences vanish.
Still more important is it that we realize the function of the intermediate sex, children. In children the soul can be seen because sex is not specialized. The particularity is neither vitality and emotion, nor mind nor matter. In the era to come children will be venerated because of their power, their strange prophetic vision, their incredible union by neutral purity with the soul. Children will indeed be set apart as gods, young and beautiful, from whom adults can learn. We shall see in the future a return to the conception of the symbolic identity of man with God, the Father, and woman with the Virgin Mary, Maya, the feminine aspect, while the child will be recognized as the real intercessor, the Christ, the son aspect. We shall have a new accent in religion, in which it will be recognized that Christ is born in every family that has a [Page 188] child, and we shall worship children because of their purity, simplicity and gentleness, because of their close link with the soul. Out of that new understanding and veneration of children, which can be achieved only by the study of the invisible, will come further help to humanity.
The interlocking between the invisible and the visible gives reality to both. Within the last fifty years our medical friends have discovered the ductless glands, and have learned of another form of control of the body besides the brain. The endocrine glandular system exercises a so-called chemical control, manufacturing from the blood, and returning to it, substances which formerly were called hormones but are now more generally known as the autocoids, a term that is applicable to the positive and negative (or inhibitory) ductless glandular secretions.
We have seen that the principal glands correspond to the Oriental chakras Ч the pineal corresponding to the crown chakram, the pituitary to the brow, and so on. The medical attitude in the past was that when these glands secreted they produced sensations. That is, if a dog runs at you, the [Page 189] sensorium reports to the mind and on to the glands, and the body, through the lower portion of the brain, makes its adjustments, which include the release of special autocoids, with the result that the blood drains away from the skin and you blanch. There would also be muscle tension owing to special changes and so on. The point of view was that the perception of the dog automatically produced certain glandular secretions, the whole thing being mechanical. Therefore, there were no emotions, and even falling in love was only a matter of glandular disturbance, confusedly perceived.
Very few now hold such a crassly materialistic attitude. But there is a danger, in that when we discover that the emotions are really separable from the body and, indeed, leave it temporarily in sleep and completely at death, we may fall into the equal and opposite error of believing that the invisible is wholly responsible for the external. Occultists need never make that mistake, but it is quite common in some groups of students, who believe vaguely that it is possible to ignore the body, and yet if they arouse the right glands these will set up some kind of activity of their own, and the [Page 190] resultant exaltation will be so marvelous that they will be irresistible. There is no doubt that mind and emotion have their own powerful functions, but, as we have seen, the physical world is materially self-contained, and the psychic world is also materially self-contained. So naturally, any relationship between the physical body and the emotions must be harmonic. The bridge is life, not matter. When we feel emotions, what happens is that the matter of the mind does not affect the matter of the body directly, but that the life of the mind alters the life of the body. The common causal principle goes back to the soul and beyond. Our mind and emotions are part of that causal principle, and though we may alter in one world we have not necessarily altered in another. Therefore we have to do battle at both levels Ч physical as well as emotional. This view leads to a doctrine of elegant precision and the reality of both worlds. It is not a doctrine of division but of unity, though, of course, the sciences of both worlds must be studied. Our attitude towards emotion, and mind, and the body is perfectly realistic. No matter how beautifully exalted our emotions may be, if we go on eating [Page 191] pork chops we must take the physical consequences. There is the seed-bed of physical evil, no matter how beautiful the flowers above the rank soil. Once we have that point of view the whole relationship of inner to outer becomes reasonable.
That rational point of view India holds. She knew about the glands centuries ago, and the Indian has conceded the need to lead the physical life necessary to sublimate the desires of the body Ч hunger, thirst, desire for self-reproduction, rest, etc.. He understands those laws of life and of the matter in which they operate. He likewise understands the laws of mind and emotion, and by that correspondence in harmonic unity of the realms of psyche and body he has been able to prevision that which we are now just beginning to discover through our chemical analysis. Transcending psyche and soul is consciousness. Its nature is impossible to describe in a few words, but analogy is found in chemistry which recognizes that certain reactions proceed more rapidly in the presence of particular kinds of entities that do not themselves react Ч catalytic agents. Consciousness may be said to operate as a catalytic agent on matter, itself never [Page 192] changing. It is outside the world of psyche Ч beyond space; and outside the world of the soul Ч beyond time. How, then, can it change?а Yet it is consciousness, not soul or psyche, that has entered into everything that has ever transpired. It has called out all the increasing activity of matter, building up all the hundreds of millions of forms through the centuries, yet it has remained unchanged from primordial states. Every great teacher of humanity known to us has testified to the presence of this eternal, changeless entity within himself. We see it also in the most ordinary people; for, indeed, it is all humanity. It has existed since the dawn of time and will remain while there is a universe in which it may operate. The Indian people visualize this as a lame man with sight riding on the shoulders of a blind man. The blind man is the material world; on his shoulders sits consciousness, watchful and observant. But matter wearies of carrying consciousness and is finally overcome by the pressure. Then consciousness remains, bereft of mobility, awaiting the evocation of some other carrier from the ashes of the first. The combination of the two, carried and carrier, is life. This [Page 193] eternal and unchanging entity is beyond death and indifferent to death. Nothing exhausts tissues so much as concentration of attention.
If this unifying element is the supreme principle, we may wonder that everything is not uniform. If, in itself, it is unity, how can it give rise to such diversity?а The Indian declares that the answer is in the matter that encases it. When consciousness ensouls matter and a world begins, its first veilings are of very fine matter, which become coarser and coarser, until after many changes we reach the physical. The reason that there is not uniformity in the physical is that it is the last of the worlds, and changes and variety without come from the changes within it. In the very beginning the first veiling of matter which is projected is, like the entity which made it, more uniform.а The highest and most celestial worlds are so like consciousness, though made of matter, that no words can possibly explain them. But even here are the inherent properties of matter, the three universal gunas, seen below as the generalizations of mass, momentum and stress. There Gods exist that are so near to the thing beyond, consciousness, [Page 194] that they are Gods from the start. These Gods in turn fashion the lower worlds according to their own personalities, recalled from ages gone by, moulding the psychic and physical worlds in an infinite variety. That is the way in which this diversity arises. In the invisible worlds, both psychical and spiritual, there is variety of life and of form inherent in the matter whereof they are built.
Humanity is consequently in a curious position. We are different from other entities because of the kind of God that gave birth to us Ч the human causal principle. Unlike other creatures in the physical world, we must attain the highest worth, while still remaining physical. We are unique in that. There are other lines of evolution on this earth, but they are quite different. For instance, when fishes reach a certain point they cease embodiment in physical life and become psychic and finally spiritual, first fairies, then angels. Just what an angel-from-fish would be like I am unprepared to venture!а Humanity, on the other hand, remains within the physical world until quite free. We reincarnate over and over in physical bodies until perfection ensues, [Page 195] and then at last we may surrender the psychic with the physical, going over to the realm of consciousness once and for all. When we compare man with other vital entities around him we see how strange he is. Compare him, for instance, with the primitive gods, these beings that existed when time was not. Homer and the Greeks believed that there is a kind of god which does not have our moral sense because he has never been born physically. The laws of the physical world, the requirements of impartible matter, are without meaning for such beings, because they dwell in radiant energy, because they have not lived in the physical world. So we see the gods interfering in human affairs, fighting with the strong and with the weak, making sport with humanity. Here, again, we see consciousness as "lila" Ч sport, not moral, in our sense. We can only be one with the gods in that respect when we are indifferent to life and death.
It is interesting, also, to compare the dead with the living. It is often said that the dead change very little Ч Uncle Jake is still your Uncle Jake! but there is, of course, a difference. Essentially, in his inner nature, he is the same, but he is no longer clothed in [Page 196] physical matter. The radiant energy in which he now dwells makes him increasingly indifferent to the world, a little like the gods, though not so intelligent nor so beautiful. He is out of the world of three-dimensional space, and he can move as never before. It is a great mistake to regard the dead as omniscient, as they do in spiritualistic circles. When a man is dead he may know more, but it does not necessarily follow, the dead do experience a life very different from the physical. When a man dies there is a curious adjustment of the matter of the bodies. In physical life the bulk of the aura is locked up in, or interpenetrates, the physical form. The aura outside of the body is tenuous and thin, extending to about eighteen inches on all sides, but that part which is enclosed within the body is coarse and dense. When passing out of the body in sleep into the psychic or emotional world, it is seen by clairvoyants that the portion of the aura, which is the counterpart of the physical body, is so dense that the remaining extension of the aura is hardly noticeable by comparison. When death occurs, however, this dense matter, after a few weeks, is redistributed to the edges of the aura, and the [Page 197] inner now is much finer than before. The purpose of the psychic life is to increase the scope of the emotions and mind, not physical reactions. This state persists for centuries, until another birth.
The dead can do for us and to us many things that were not possible when they were alive, because the psyche is now so powerful. So the dead person is to be respected, or feared, as the case may be. This fact, no doubt, is behind ancestor worship, and it is no wonder that the Chinese Ч an old and wise people Ч worship ancestors, as all animistic people do, knowing the ancestor is much stronger dead than alive. So even do Christians, on the Day of All Souls.
There are other prime factors of the invisible to be explored in the future. The invisible world contains not only human beings, living and dead. It also contains what correspond to animals and amorphous matter in this world. These are fairies and elemental matter, the latter sometimes called in theosophical terminology elementals, and sometimes called the elementaries, corresponding to our solids, liquids and gases. In the invisible worlds the elementals exchange with us by thought and feeling Ч not by [Page 198] bumping into us, but by absorption, so that there is a direct exchange. They are, so to speak, the by-products of the psychic life, and are produced by other entities as well, but strongly by man. The invisible world is crowded with them. Human beings digest psychic matter and throw it off. Fairies also live on psychic matter and cast off forms, the by-products of fairy life. The fairy is important even though directly he has little to do with humanity. The elemental life he passes off is to us a kind of healing influence, a surcease from our own elementals, much as plants give off for us oxygen and absorb from us carbon dioxide. Knowledge of this will in the future spell the death of cities. We live only with the off-scouring of our own society. Cities are saturated with elemental stuff thrown off by the dregs of humanity. It is like living in an eternal celestial cemetery. We live and prey on each other all the time. That is a terror we shall escape when we understand the invisible as a vital process, the fairies as facts.
Each of us has a duty and a privilege. The duty is to tell our friends about the reality of the invisible worlds; the privilege is that [Page 199] of working with those who know this fact and are making the new world in those terms. It is quite true that the new world will come in any case. But the question is, are we going to have the fun of helping usher it in?а If we adjust ourselves to the invisible we can make this new world in our own little environment. This will redeem leisure as nothing else could, passing from the individual to society. If leisure is to come alone, then, in the soil of gross physical life, let humanity perish; but if leisure comes redeemed by the invisible, in that quick soil humanity shall flourish. Much rests with us, who know. [Page 200]
THERE is a curious phenomenon in history which at first seems paradoxical. It is that nature constantly compensates her own exaggerations and the willfulness of mankind.а During the last several centuries Europe, for instance, has had a religion that is the antithesis of the European character Ч for we are, as a whole, factual, scientific and rather hard-headed. The religion of Europeans compensates for their nature, for, if I may say so without being disrespectful, it appears, at a lower level of observation, to be almost wholly unreasonable. The race is logical and the religion is illogical, or, if you prefer, super-logical. Such compensation is true, not only of Europe, but of the world. In India was founded a religion so wholly reasonable that it should content the people of Europe exceedingly, but they have never received it. Moreover, it has gone from its [Page 201] homeland, India, which is in possession of a race of logical and reasonable people, to China and Japan. For Buddhism is dead in India. Indeed, the only Aryans who now have any of the religion of Buddha are the people of Ceylon, who have in many ways a strong admixture of the emotional in the mental. The religion, reasonable as it is, has gone elsewhere Ч to China, where it served a race which was then more emotional and mystical than reasonable. So, also, the religion of the people who formerly inhabited Judea is one of power, the race having been denied power for many centuries. Nature has thus compensated every race by the faith, or attitude, which it supplies for culture.
That is true in other ways, as we observe in the case of evolution and revolution. The revolutionary movement proclaims every man to be as good as his fellows. At the same time that nature released revolution she released also the idea of evolution, to stand beside revolutionary democracy, the one the corrective of the other. Evolution tells us that individuals are not all the same, but very different, and that the whole story of the development of the universe is a [Page 202] revelation of inequalities.а When properly applied the idea of evolution would give revolutionary society an understanding of evolutionary differences in humanity, so that in democracy we could have reverence for cultural leadership. Then with this challenge of equal opportunity there would be some recognition of inner, relative capacities.
If we accept all this, it comes as no surprise that this paradox is to go on in history. We are entering a stage where, indeed, I hold, it will be even more prominent, for along with the increase of democracy will come the emergence of divine kings. In short, my argument is that the Masters may emerge just because of democracy, for we shall need them badly. The present democracy is the recognition of the counting of heads Ч most of them empty Ч and we desperately need among those heads a few that are full.а Therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect this return as part of the beneficence of nature. The term "kings" may sound out of date, I acknowledge, since kings have more or less gone. But the new society will reverence leadership, in an inner sense, so much more surely than it reverences forms of democracy that these men, by their obvious [Page 203] capacity, will become the counselors of society.
How will these people return to us?а How will they emerge, and why?а In my judgment they will come only if asked. Leisure will demand of people a study of the invisible through which they will discover the existence of super-human beings, and when we all know of the Masters I think we shall quite naturally ask them to come forth from seclusion. An intelligent and sincere invitation will bring them to us.а It may be said that we are even now constantly asking for spiritual guidance. True, Congress continually invokes divine guidance, but it is really only asking for approval of its deeds.а If the Great Jehovah introduced a bill to increase production and send the increase to starving people all over the world, Senator Wilblah N. Borem, of Hootah, would prove it unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court would uphold him.а Our little national prejudices eat away our ideals. The invitation I am contemplating is not of that Congressional character. It is one imbued with the knowledge that the invisible worlds are so constituted that we can develop ourselves in them successfully only by the help [Page 204] of those who are strong in them already. Such an attitude would appeal to the Masters, and in a world in which they might live quietly and peaceably with man, a world which is bound to come Ч they would emerge.
Many feel that the Masters' apparent lack of interest in practical affairs is an obstacle to their emergence. Why should they come and teach us how to live our daily life?а Cannot they, by pressure on the soul or psyche, teach us all that is necessary?а Why a physical presence?а The answer lies in the correspondence between the physical and consciousness. The physical itself is the direct mirrored image of the lowest form of atma, consciousness, and therefore the physical presence of the Masters is of great importance. Their bodily presence has a kind of magical power which, under the proper conditions, would effect an evolution of the physical that would be of incredible value to society. The Masters are much interested in physical society. Otherwise, why should many of them remain on the planet and take pupils in physical incarnation?а When bodies are such a burden, why do they wear them, if it is not for some good [Page 205] end?а They do it because the physical world and all its operations Ч nightmare though it be for some Ч is for them of great beauty. So through living with us they can help us with problems that otherwise could not be solved.
As long ago as the 1880'S, a Personage, whom we may call a Master of Masters, was asked by one of the Masters to pronounce upon the western world. He did so, and the document may be found in the Letters of the Masters of Wisdom, First Series, page 7. The words of this Personage, recorded by a pupil, are astonishing to some. He said (in the 1880'S) that nothing could be done with the western world until everybody was freed from the nightmare of earning a living.а He said this because the Masters know how much of an obstacle the physical can be to higher things. If we continually worry about a livelihood, living for people who live on us, we cannot be happy, we cannot be independent; things are not simple, they can never be original. So we find in the words of this seer a definition of progress in terms of physical life. His interest in our economic system shows us how very glad, indeed how eager, the Masters would be to [Page 206] live amongst us and give us the benefit of their knowledge. Their coming is altogether a reasonable thing, if it is desirable from their point of view as well as from ours.
The question is what is the nature of the obstacles to their emergence?а What keeps them from coming to us when they so much want to help and when so many need them?а One of the difficulties is that so few people really accept the existence of the Masters. You cannot very well sincerely invite an illusion or a dream to come and live with you! There must be conviction; better than that, there must be knowledge, by some at least. People will not take action because they are not quite sure. One of the functions of a book like this is to convince a few people, or make their conviction more profound, that the Masters do exist and can be invited. That invitation can be issued by anyone. There are so few who understand that when a person knows and acts, the Masters see it and are rejoiced. It is not a question of our level of formal education; it is a question of inner life, attitude and actions Ч whether we are trying to make a world suitable to them. That is all that is [Page 207] involved in this particular obstacle. All we need to do is to mould our life to that end, and to increase the understanding and expectations of the people around us. Then we can call out to them and they will come to us.
In the past in Egypt and India and other lands the Masters were understood and served in many ways. No doubt they retired from them from time to time, and no doubt they will so retire from our civilization when they have fulfilled their work, but the responsibility for that retirement will be ours. The Masters would be content to dwell with us always if conditions were right, but they can live with us only if there are intelligent and cultured souls to receive them. So they approach with culture, and retire as new humanity comes in on a lower level to exploit the culture.
Examine, for instance, the case of Count de St. Germain, a familiar figure in French history; he was willing to move in society, and for a time did so, trying to guide the French revolution along non-violent lines. There is no questioning of this historical fact. Here was a man who was known by many ordinary people to have extraordinary [Page 208] powers. He was driven away only by the increase of violence in the political life of Europe. Finally he retired, by death it seemed, but he left under conditions which, rightly studied, show death was simulated. There are other cases of this kind. In the history of India there are countless names, going back to times prehistoric, of Masters who have dwelt quite simply with the Indian people, because that people understood the character of these beings. Buddha lived many years, whereas Jesus died violently at an early age. A fascinating book on this subject is the Return of the Magi, by Magrщ. From the repeated retirements of these people, lessons can be learned about their re-invitation. We can call them back if we understand why they left us. Pythagoras is an illustration. He not only taught the people himself, but he sent out disciples and helped rule the land. All around his settlement in southern Italy, called the Sodality of Crotona, were cities and villages benefiting by the political and social wisdom derived from him through his disciples. In the end the reaction against this group was so great that they had to flee the country. It is said that Pythagoras died in the turmoil of the [Page 209] time, but in fact he, like the Count de St. Germain, retired to his island birthplace, Samos, in the Aegean, where he lived until very old and ended his incarnation very peaceably, after a life both politically and scientifically far ahead of his time. We are unwilling to accept such people's guidance in physical affairs, believing they want to have nothing to do with them. We think: "Let us invite them on the basis of spiritual inspiration alone; while we do as we like physically."а But if we want them we must be prepared to have our lives changed by their conduct and their rulership. In short, for us they must be Truth.
case much nearer to us is the Poet called Shakespeare.
Was the poet Bacon or not?а Not
Shakespeare, I hold.а The poet had a tragedy of kingly
proportions in his life in the refusal of society to
accept him as a man capable of ruling. Looking at his
plays with dispassionate gaze, we see the author revealed
as a man of giant stature. All his life he seems to have
been fascinated by rulership. The histories, running
through his works from beginning to end of his development,
are studies that he himself made into the problem of
kingship, as much as to say, "By [Page
analyses of history I shall examine the weakness of ordinary
kingship and then I shall be fit, and they ready to receive
His plays throughout indicate as clearly as any biography
could what the man was and how his early years were those
of genius in ungoverned ascent. First comes a period signalized
by his tossing off dramatic effects like Romeo and Juliet Ч the
exaltation of passionate, youthful, romantic love. But
the Poet is not yet himself, and this first period comes
to an end with a play The Merchant,
in which tragedy and comedy are equally balanced.а The
second period was marked by his own recognition of his
power, and the simultaneous discovery (if we for the moment
accept the Baconian theory) that he was the Son of Queen
Elizabeth. Even if illegitimate, he had the hope that he
might rule. Thus the dramas now centre round expectations
of power. This period is, perhaps, the most important,
because it reveals a man whose ambitions were touched,
yet a man illuminated with godlike power. He is happy to
look forward to ruling England, and, through her, eventually
all the world. But at the close of this period he comes
to know that he is not to rule anyone but himself and that [Page
incarnation was to be a form of crucifixion, that he might
fulfil himself. This sorrow, to know that he was of the
royal blood, but so circumstanced by his birth that he
would never be acknowledged, brings us to the third period.
Now the plays are heartbreaking, Hamlet and King
Lear, dramas of unstable minds, the former sensitive
and beautiful, the latter breaking down through the passions.
Rulers, in both cases, denied power. These indicate that
he himself went through similar experiences. There is a
crisis, with plays mad, obscene, wild. Then suddenly, out
of this tempest and turmoil, he comes into the quiet waters
of the last period, when he wrote plays like Cymbeline and
the final and last drama of this epoch, The Tempest,
which should really be called 'The Tranquillity'.а Now
he realizes his own powers as a Master and is indifferent
to external rulership. He is satisfied to live on an island
and govern nature, where his own little circle know him
as a Master of the secrets of life and death. The events
which I have described are his crucifixion, leading to
Attainment. His life is the story of a person who came
into the world and was repudiated by the world, and, if
we are to [Page 212] believe
the Baconians, even by his own mother.
Madame Blavatsky has put our duty magnificently in that famous passage of The Golden Stairs.
"A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, and unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science (Gupta Vidya) depicts Ч these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom."а
To effect this end there must be complete freedom of soul. There is now quite a good deal of freedom in the world. We no longer have slavery; and although as yet we are not free to live, we are usually free to die when we like. But freedom is not only of body but of psyche, and of soul. If we desire to achieve this we must live without reference to external appearances. Jesus was willing to live with all kinds of people, publicans and sinners, men and women, repudiated by society. He was free in His own soul and they were trying to be free in [Page 214] theirs, in spite of the difficulties of personality, so He was willing to live with them, and live with them He did, in spite of His family and others.
And there must be privacy. Privacy is absolutely necessary, but the right of private life in the intermediate stages of democracy is impossible. We can see that democracy in Russia produces the violation of private life. We must recognize that for the Masters privacy is absolutely essential. They are so different from others that their conduct toward even the people they are teaching is bound to seem strange. If they were exposed to the multitude they would never be understood. The Masters must necessarily have places where they can work with people of higher levels of development quite privately, and this might not be interpreted rightly by many. There is a kind of prying attitude in our society at large. All these curious epi-phenomena of advertising and the rest of it, that sink hooks into us all the time, must be mitigated extensively before we can have a considerable group of truly spiritual people amongst us.
There must also be a great diminution of incidental violence. Consider the case of [Page 215] advertising by radio. The advertisers try to make us responsive with music that they may pounce on us with Ovaltine!а Think of our attitude toward the glands, and think of what the Masters know. They are aware that the physical body is the focus of different worlds, the psychic, spiritual, etc., coming in from various angles, and that the ductless glands are, so to speak, a cross-section of part of those worlds. There are some seven groups of ductless glands altogether, representing the seven aspects of nature. Hence, all the other worlds are partially focused in the ductless glands, from the higher point of view, if not from the doctor's point of view.а What if, after the Masters emerge, someone decides everyone has to be vaccinated or have thyroid or something?а They could not accede to that.а First we must create a non-violent society. When we stop practicing violence on our children, for instance, by not having them vaccinated, and so on, then only will there be a chance for these beings to emerge.а The world will then be a place of beauty, filled with people who have a desire to learn, and not a crass democracy where everyone thinks himself theoretically as [Page 216] good as his fellow, and, in fact, just a little better.
What can the Men beyond mankind give us by their physical presence?а May it not be a sense of simplicity and harmony resulting from a complete understanding of the fundamental pattern of life. As analogy, take our units of measurement. The foot, the inch, and all such units of measure have come to us from divine sources, the people who built the pyramids ordained the cubit. Where did they get it?а From celestial sources. The cubit, about the length of the forearm, is composed of digits and palms in Egypt and elsewhere. We speak of the foot not because a person's foot is twelve inches long, but because in the old style of calculation it was an integer. The divine kings taught natural measures; arbitrary measures were ordained by Napoleon. They laid down their measurements by divine and natural law; hence the cubit, the palm, the digit, the foot, in the original form, do no violence to the aesthetics of nature and yet satisfy the needs of science.
We must ask ourselves if we could endure the Masters if they came. It would mean being willing to live with people who are [Page 217] always right, not because they think they are, but because they cannot be anything else. The torture would be unendurable unless we were developed enough to endure the experience. The Masters touch people infrequently simply because they know we cannot endure the contrast between those who know the laws of nature and our ignorant selves. The answer to this problem lies in the very fact of historical development.а The birth of the intuitive race in the new age is one of the things that will make the return of the Masters possible. We shall not be better than others, but we shall be so conditioned biologically and psychologically that even if we cannot understand the Masters we shall, through feeling, know they are right.а
Finally, how shall we know them?а Was it not Thomas who said to Jesus, "How shall we know the way, when we don't know where you are going?"а And Jesus replied, "I am the way".а The Masters by their works shall be known. There are many who have gained a knowledge of occultism, only to exploit it for their own ends. How could we distinguish the Masters except by watching their lives?а The only test of what is in people's hearts can be made by watching [Page 218] their lives and seeing whether that which they claim as their ideal is followed and achieved by them in some measure. That same test will be applied to the Masters. They will not come with a rush of power. They will infiltrate society.а Suddenly some of us will be aware that the new culture has been born, and that the new race is imminent. We shall look to these Masters, who by their lives have justified this description, and shall realize that we are face to face, in every sense of the word, with the return of the divine kings, the Men beyond mankind. [Page 219]
IN 1907 the Federal government of the United States received the final report of one of those commissions sometimes set up by democracies in bursts of intelligent idealism Ч and upon which the aforesaid democracies almost never act with finality. This one was headed by Dr. Franz Boas, the celebrated anthropologist of Columbia University, and functioned for the United States Immigration Commission. The report is Document No. 208, of the second session of the 61st Congress, dated 1911. So the report was four years getting to Congress and has since been some twenty-odd years getting nowhere. It is a startling, courageous and factual document. Professor Boas himself brought the findings to light in his books, Race and Nationality, etc., but here again the full import was lost.
I first quote his own words, The Mind of Primitive Man (1916), page 53: [Page 220]
"It has been my good fortune to be able to demonstrate the existence of a direct influence of environment upon the bodily form of man by a comparison of immigrants born in Europe and their descendants born in New York. I have investigated four groups of people Ч the South Italians . . . the Central European type . . . the Northwest European type and an extended series of East European Hebrews. . . . The traits I have selected for examination are head measurements, stature, weight and hair colour.
The results of our inquiry have led to the unexpected result that the American-born descendants of these types differ from their parents; and that these differences develop in early childhood and persist throughout life. It is furthermore remarkable that each type changes in a peculiar way."
1. Head of American-born Sicilian becomes rounder than the foreign-born. Face becomes narrower, stature and weight decrease.
2. Head of American-born Central European loses in length and width, more so in [Page 221] width, thus becomes more elongated. Face decreases very much in width; stature and weight increase.
3. American-born Hebrew:
(a) Head longer and narrower, considerably elongated therefore.
(b) Face narrower.
(c) Stature and weight increased.
"Investigations of Hebrews show very clearly that the cephalic index of foreign born is practically the same, no matter how old the individual at the time of immigration. This might be expected when the immigrants are adults or nearly mature; but it is of interest to note that even children who come here when one year or a few years old develop the cephalic index characteristic of the foreign born. . . . The effect of American environment makes itself felt immediately (i.e. on children born here, of course) and increases slowly with the increase of time elapsed between the immigration of the parents and the birth of the child.
The conditions among the Sicilians and Neapolitans are quite similar to those observed among the Hebrews. The cephalic index of the foreign born remains throughout [Page 222] on almost the same level. Those born in America immediately after the arrival of their parents show an increase of the cephalic index. In this case, the transition, although rapid, is not quite so sudden as among the Hebrews, probably because among those born a year before or after immigration there is some doubt as to the place of their birth."а
But that is not all that is amazing, for as Boas points out in the Report itself (page 5), bodily changes are intimately locked into psychical, emotional and mental changes: "We are compelled to conclude that when these features of the body change, the whole bodily and mental make-up of the immigrant may change".а Again, page 76 of the Report: "From these facts we must conclude that the fundamental traits of the mind, which are closely related with the physical condition of the body and whose development continues over many years after physical growth has ceased, are the more subject to far-reaching changes. It is true that this is a conclusion by inference, but if we have succeeded in proving changes in the form of the body, the burden of proof will rest on those who, notwithstanding those [Page 223] changes, continue to claim the absolute permanence of other forms and functions of the body."а
Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, rather more conservative than Dr. Boas, in my opinion, and more concerned with anthropology in its narrower sense of skulls, both dead and living, has himself exploded the Nordic myth and to that extent confirms the notion of a new race type in America, appearing with what is, in a geologic sense, astonishing speed. In the Smithsonian Bulletin, 69, 1921, page 456, he speaks of a definite type, "the Old Americans" Ч by which, in his backward leaning manner, he means the New Race type in America. "The affinity of the Old American with the Nordic blonde is seen from this to be rather secondary". And Hrdlicka himself says somewhere in effect that physical changes are last and most stubborn.
Until hostile and conservative critics have contraverted these findings by examining the whole subject and measurements over thousands of cases, we must adjust ourselves to a fact of prime importance, namely, that a new type is present in the world. And those of us who have been studying history [Page 224] in terms of the rhythmic laws of prana (the life principle, recognized in India) can fairly hold that the crest of a new wave in human types is appearing in America (and Australia and New Zealand, etc.,) and that this fact, as it is to us, please, means that we need a new educational outlook toward whatever is the essential racial-psychology of the new type.
But what, then, is the new-race-type psychological advance?а In what way does the new child differ from the Aryan, as the Aryan differs from the races that preceded? Or is it a change only within the Aryan general mental field, making the new child different from the Teuton-Saxon, as he is different from the Latin-Celt, or from the Slav?
The occultists' answer has to be given bluntly, here, as there is no time to argue it out. It is that the new race involves both changes, one after the other in time. That is to say, first of all a new sub-race difference is appearing, with a comparatively small differentiation from the European, but that from this is to grow a new root-race, with a contrast to the Aryan in general just as he is different (being mental) from the Atlantean [Page 225] (who was largely emotional) or the Lemurian (who was essentially physical).
This new departure, in psychological terms, may be put thus: in its branch-race, first development, the new type will display the hunch, and in its root-race, final form, it will display the intuition. The differences may be summed up roughly by saying that the first form will be inventive, the second will display genius. Or, to revive an outmoded differentiation of the Romantic poets, the first will display fancy and the second imagination, or the hunch will be applied to mechanics and to matter, the true intuition to life and to art.
Now, what concerns us here is the cruelty which is being practised on those souls sent by nature into bodies to create the new type from the body-material incidentally supplied by parents. What a brutal business, this forcing of children whose glory is the hunch into musty old moulds of mind Ч and what is more, analytical mind!а For while the Aryan race, as it comes to its grand fulfillment later on, will display a splendid philosophical aspect to compensate the early critical developments (a change we see proceeding with great rapidity even now [Page 226] among the British, Germans, Scandinavians, Dutch and Flemish); at this stage the mind of the Aryan in Europe is of a lower order. When India is freed to live her own life, she will increase incredibly rapidly the philosophical development of the Aryan people. She is destined to that. But meantime the poor miserable American and Australian child is brought up by lower mental methods, outmoded even among Aryans!
The whole system must be recast from the start. An intelligent study of the hunch and the intuitive powers must be made. It is well known that European philosophy is still mathematical, logical, Cartesian in spirit. A few rebels like Einstein will insist on playing the violin between thoughts, and thus get an intuitive insight: an occasional Lemaitre brings religion to bear on the matter in hand. But these are personal rebels against the model-making Teuton mind. "Count it; construct it of bits of hay-wire, putty and string; muddle along with the lower mind", are the watch-words of a defunct, exclusively critical intellectualism.
But where is beauty, and poetic insight into life?а Life, we have seen, has laws of its [Page 227] own, and life is the supreme kingdom of intuition. Logic has its place; but so has the organizing flash of a Mendeleyeff, the prescience of a Leonardo, the cosmic wonderments and atomic guesses of a Heisenberg. аAnd the American child, in his tender new impulses of body and mind, is offering unnoted the beginnings of organized intuition. Nothing fills one with more despair than the stupendous folly of a nation which cannot see consciously a simple fact like this, and accept its immense consequences. One wants to advance upon all centres of learning and smoke them out with some new brand of physically harmless bomb, so that educators will come pouring out of antiquated monuments erected to a development which is dead and gone even among mental Europeans, and which are, to the new race type, cold tombs in which to immure the fresh young soul life of the incoming race. If we could only drive the university mind out of these strongholds, perhaps the teacher in the grades would have some chance to attend to the young flutterings of intuitive wings, without regard to the learned gentry upstairs.
The question, however, after all, is also [Page 228] one of economics. The new leisure and the new intra-urban metropolises are coming along to the rescue of the new children. For intuition must have flowers and fields as its soil, and as mind must have its laboratories, so intuition must have leisure for dreams and visions. Its matrix is in personal freedom as much as in love and beauty. Even the best of mankind can hardly sit down by the clock and say, "Now I shall intuit for a few hours."а The singular allegiance of this soul function to rhythm means that times and seasons must be respected as they occur.
From some considerable examination of these new race individuals a type has emerged for me. For one thing, the new child is amazingly impersonal even in his domestic relations. This is assisting the break-up of the old-style family. For another, he is humane but not necessarily charitable. In consequence we shall be spared the astonishing sight of rich idlers creating a pauper class and then trying to relieve the distress they have made in their ignorant and selfish folly by opening kitchens and the like where, as honorary shopkeepers, they compete with honest shopkeepers and increase pauperization. This sort of thing [Page 229] is perfectly possible among otherwise reasonable people, but becomes ridiculous when intuition of even the lowest order is brought to bear. Again, there is a love of beauty as contrasted with art. We must expect to see, then, a marvelous state of affairs presently, when the mighty mental genius of the Aryan (become philosophical) is supplemented by the intuitive creative power of the New Age. Further, as the intuitions are generalized emotions, as the higher mind is abstract thought, and as the will is a glory in which vitality is generalized for social ends, there will be, in consequence, a splendid development of energetic, clean emotions. The gulf between that state of affairs and musty furtiveness will, fortunately, be complete.
Ruskin employed, in the fourth volume of Modern Painters, an interesting word and an interesting figure with which I might summarize this matter of the intuitions which the new race is bound to display. He speaks of "Theoria", in the true Greek sense of "viewing", as contrasted with the modern meaning of theory, or speculation. (This is precisely equivalent to the Sanskrit darsana, seeing things as a whole, or a vision of truth.) [Page 230]а I like the word. The example he offers is even more delightful. He says, in effect, that if we could conceive of a painter who could be prevailed upon to alter a painting by another man, such as a landscape by introducing a tree, the job could be gone about in two ways. First, a tree might be built into the scene by considering intellectually the colouring, the masses, the light, the structure, and so on. Then, experimentally, quite a good tree could be set up, lopping off a branch here, and adding thickness there. This, says Ruskin, would be the work of a carpenter and joiner. But, he goes on, suppose that one had the capacity to enter the scene through contemplation, until through ecstasy of union one could feel what winds blew over that landscape, how cold the winters were, how hot the summers, what rains slanted into the earth, what creatures needed shelter in what boughs; then, says he, a creative fever would suddenly seize the man, and he would with one stroke paint there and then on that spot the tree and the only tree that could grow there. He would be incarnate God for that deed.
What is this power?а This I have declared to you to be the command of ideal beauty [Page 231] from above and from within. In short, not spiritual experience as a subject thereof, but a command of spiritual experience. This is the important distinction. I think that even Plato fails to make it in explicit terms, though as an initiate he must have known of it. Great as the Greek genius was, form remained important; even to them there were moral values. The Oriental sees it differently. "Vakyam rasatmakam kavyam: Art is a statement informed by ideal beauty," according to the Sahitya Darpana, I, 3. As Ananda Coomaraswamy has pointed out (Int. to the Art of Eastern Asia, p. 6): "The nature of the statement is immaterial, for all conceivable statements about God must be true. It is only essential that a necessity for a particular statement should have existed, that the artist should have been identified with the theme".а Our cheering football and baseball multitudes may seem far from all this, but note that they are "identified with the theme", and when the theme is something grander still, the effect shall be correspondingly impressive.
This matter of a new race type emerging with such rapidity in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, forms an [Page 232] interesting example of the manner in which the prophetic knowledge of the Men beyond mankind may be made to serve the most practical purposes. If we accept the anthropological indications with which I opened my remarks, there arises at once a need for a philosophy with which to put so extraordinary a fact in its proper place. A philosophy for this purpose is at hand. The precious distillation which comes to us from the experiences of those who have forged ahead of humanity in its slow evolutionary progress comprises just such a philosophy. From the high vantage ground the Masters have achieved, such matters as the emergence of new races becomes systematic, symmetrical; the whole world-process becomes in its majestic entirety, a kalpa, a cosmic ritual. The mental system which results from the attainment of that vantage ground has been available to mankind throughout the centuries, except for the brief period which historians call the Dark Ages in Europe.
What is still more important is that the method of attaining that point of vantage is also available. The process, we have seen, must be regarded primarily from the [Page 233] vital aspect rather than the material; for the material worlds of the past have dissolved and those of ages yet to come for human perfection are as yet but vital archetypes, awaiting their hour in a realm of soul only tenuously material. Hence for the rounding of the man, the making of him Master, the outline anticipation of the future as well as the recovery of the past is a vital process which welds past and future into the eternal now. That past and that future exist in the many and curiously related invisible worlds, and hence the process of self-discovery must be experimental as regards inner life as well as outer conduct. Surprisingly, virtue leads to a realm beyond virtue (formal morality) to another realm simple and pervasive, independent and causal, original and originating. The result of the achievement of the realm of the light from which consciousness shines forth is, first, to put current human society in a new relation to the Experimenter. This age of transition becomes a sort of Alice-in-Wonderland dream of mad nationalism, of mixed motives that end by becoming pretended virtue, a seeking for security which culminates in blind greed, of self-defence and [Page 234] self-justification ending in false values. But the same elevation permits of seeing a new era of culture just beyond the current confusion. In this era leisure will demand the return of the Magi. Man, by recovering the invisible for exploration, through the development of a reasonable religion, and by the rediscovery of the world-plan in the archetypal aspect of those invisible worlds, will be able to make an intelligent invitation to the Spiritual Lords to emerge from their retreats.
It must be fully acknowledged that, for the attainment of the angular change of vision from that of mere man to that of superman, in practice the presence of the higher being is necessary. It is the pressure of consciousness through linked forms that has evoked dog from wolf; and, similarly, modesty demands the admission that the next stage, man become Master, demands the focusing of world-consciousness through the personal consciousness of the Master, that the bud may become blossom.
For man, says the ancient figure, is like the lotus. His roots are in the mud of physical life, the lightless depths which are the seat of decay and at the same time the origin of nourishment. The waving stems [Page 235] of his psyche pass upward through the dim-lighted waters of personal vitality, emotion and critical mind. There, half within the waters and half without, surrounded by the broad green leaves of his meritorious deeds to act as chlorophyll-conductors of the sunlight to the roots below, is the scaly bud of personal consciousness, the ego. It is turned upward into the air, the realm of soul, upon it shines the warm sun. Then begins that mysterious alchemy of direct radiance. Through the broad leaves go down those messages from a higher world to the roots in the darkness; upon the blossom beats the almost unendurable light of summer. The whole waters of the psyche are still and warm. The mud settles to the earth below, and a special clarity comes to the surrounding stream of life. Slowly the bud breaks, and the selfish brown-green shows delicate sympathetic tints. With amazing speed, the work once begun, the blossom opens to show to a delighted world above the delicate colouring, the spotless purity of the ray-petalled flower with the golden heart. The hard, mud-spotted, insect-bitten bud of ego is turned inside out, by that metastrophe which is the [Page 236] rule in every energy vortex, every monad Ч thus Nirvana (literally blown out), the extinction of ego and by the same stroke the emergence of radiant loveliness.
What determines this moment for the man?а He himself, or nature, or both conjoined?а Who is to say?а This much, however, must be true. Each must give his own consent, and do his own growing. Above the turbid waters of psyche the sun rises and sets in ceaseless rhythm for all alike. There is no partiality, no chance. The good Law reaches into every atom of mud, of water, and into the vitals of every growing creature.The pulse of the life-process brings forth the heart-beat, the swing of day and night, the seasons and the centuries, nations and races, planets and their rhythmic rounds, in one grand orchestration of kalpa. When and where each shall throw the thread of his own life struggling into the upper air is for him to determine. Enough to know that the golden blossom dwells within the heart, and that in its own proper time it will cast its fragrance abroad freely in the world of the light.
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Canadian Theosophical Association (a regional association of the Theosophical Society in Adyar)
89 Promenade Riverside,
St-Lambert, QC J4R 1A3
To reach the President - Pierre Laflamme dial 450-672-8577
or Toll Free - from all of Canada 866-277-0074
or you can telephone the national secretary at 905-455-7325