ONCE more Science at its annual convention has endeavoured to stem the rising tide of desire to know something of the Unseen World by its outspoken scepticism. No doubt a wave of superstition and excessive credulity has swept in some directions over the bare sands left by materialism at its lowest ebb, but this merely negative attitude of disbelief in the survival of Consciousness seems no more likely to solve the problem of Life than blind acceptance of the simple faiths of the Christian Church. In the meantime it does a good deal of harm to those who having no psychic experience of their own are anxious for information and consider the somewhat changeable opinion of scientists the last word in human intellect attainment. There are enormous numbers of people who do not know what to believe and are not destined in all probability to come into personal contact with any phenomena which will settle the question for them one way or another.
The information which is given here is believed to be correct. Although it can offer no proof whatever, at any rate for the present, it can and should be subjected to the criterion of reason.
Frankly we were uncertain whether so much might be written, although the information is not, strictly speaking, secret; but very grave times are menacing the European world, possibly the world generally, and it may help some when the hour has struck to feel that behind the failure of Governments and the merciless individual rapacity, which is precipitating its inevitable Nemesis, is Human Wisdom acting under Higher Direction for a definite purpose in a world in which nothing is left to chance, but all is part of a well considered plan.
For the vast majority Consciousness is limited to the reception of outside stimuli through the five termini of the nervous system which we recognise as the five senses, with a sixth sense functioning variably between individuals as the translator of these stimuli into terms of experience. This perception is usually directed to the preservation and gratification of the body, owing to the relatively low stage which our evolution has yet reached. A seventh sense, at present dormant and even unsuspected, remains in embryo awaiting the conditions accompanying the development of the sixth before it can function through physical matter. Ordinarily human beings are unaware of more subtle states of matter because the animal nature of thought, habits as to diet, and the rivalry which characterizes the struggle to live at present, do not permit the development of perceptive faculties much beyond those common to the animal kingdom.
Animals possess the same six senses. Not only are the familiar five often keener than our own, but the range of “perception”, as in the case of human sensitives, occasionally extends some distance within the Astral World. Savage man possesses an acuteness of these senses far outranging those of civilized man.
The difference between the human, animal and lower kingdoms, does not depend upon the range of these senses, for human beings may lack one or more of them and have very faulty powers of perception, but upon a more complex organization, including associated elements of Higher Worlds. Neither man nor animals are yet fully responsible, for physical evolution is still far from perfect; consequently the full results of good and evil are not yet appropriate to the stage at which we find them. It cannot be said that human consciousness evolved in any individual sense through the various kingdoms of life. Physical form is the result of physical evolution, but the intelligence which animates it enters at a stage when the form is suitable for its expression and is itself the product of evolution under other conditions.
As far back as geology can trace man was as he is now. Yet millions of years ago the forms we see today had no existence, but are the result of variation and adaptation to altogether different conditions. Millions of years hence they will have again change out of recognition. What we are apt to assume as “links” between the various kingdoms are in truth the retrograde elements of each stream, the evolutionary failures. The streams have diverged and varied within themselves over too long a period for any living links to be traced or fossil remains discovered in any stratified deposit at present above the sea.
The final object of physical evolution is the perfection of the human vehicle so as to eliminate physical life altogether from the chain of experience. That human individual whose mental activity is limited to the reception of outside stimuli translated into pleasure or pain is not only not superior to members of the animal kingdom, but certain elements of the latter who are above the average of their kind may be in advance of him. Yet although it is possible for higher animals intimately associated with humanity to bridge the gulf and enter the human stream, the Human Monad cannot retrograde into the animal kingdom. Human failures degenerate within the human stream, reincarnating into constantly more defective vehicles, often suggesting characteristics of the animal and even lower kingdoms, until the ultimate point has been reached and incarnation is no longer possible. The Higher Worlds cannot preserve their embryonic association with such an individuality owing to the grossness of its matter. Atrophy of the link is inevitable and consciousness fades out as a mere function of an ephemeral form in the lowest section of the Astral World, of if sufficiently powerful to be mischievous is sent to the scrap-heap! It surely appeals to reason that there cannot be Immortality in any experience which is wholly dependent upon the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. In this sense the British Association has some grounds for its opinion. Conversion of Perception by extension at the one end and dropping the lower nature at the other can be the only way. Both development and degeneration are slow because Nature makes no jumps; but the higher process can be accelerated by following the laws of occult training.
The quality which preserves the Human Monad through the whole range of physical experience is “Love” , the desire to assist or benefit some unit in the general evolutionary purpose apart from self. It is a mistake to confound this with human sentiment and preferences, although such emotions do represent “Love” in its lower aspect, and as such are something. Maternal love is shared by the animal world. Like physical attraction between sexes it is an instinct often based upon personal gratification. There is no real reason why one person should arouse our likes or dislikes more than another. It is an innate weakness of the Individual, the cause of which must be sought in the operation of attractions and repulsions originating outside of present physical experience altogether in most cases.
Love is universal Charity and Understanding.
Its converse is segregation from the Whole, the perfect Selfishness. Powerful though it can be and reaching to Worlds of Matter far beyond our normal ken, its very segregation associates it with extraordinary danger. It cannot afford to slip on a chosen path every foot of which demands watchfulness and endurance. That it has its compensations is obvious, or there would be no Left-Hand Path. The Brothers of the Shadow in this World and beyond have reached their goal by terrible paths of inconceivable peril. They, too, can overcome the need for rebirth. They are found in the Higher Worlds up to that point where Good and Evil, Past and Future, are one. They are not creatures of gross self-indulgence, of animal lusts, or petty necromancy, but the apotheosis of intense egotism fighting single-handed for Knowledge and Power, destroyers of all opposition. Lust for possessions, worldly ambition, indulgence and vice are the weak aspects of selfishness with which the Dark Brotherhood has nothing to do.
In the days of Ignorance and Superstition
into which the World drifted after the last periodical collapse of its civilization,
it was enough to pain a crude Heaven and a ferocious Hell. Today the more
advanced teachings adopted by Theosophy preach an ultimate survival of the
Monad after aeons of rebirths, while the ever flowing tide of Spiritualism
wavers between an acceptance of the Doctrine of Reincarnation and the irrational
idea of an eternal survival in Higher Spheres of Progression after this one
unequal experience of life.
The time seems to be ripe for a sterner view as to the survival of the Individuality. It is probably true that human failures are for the most part merely deflected into other evolutionary streams beyond our planet, and that Higher MOnads similarly deflected from elsewhere are being constantly recruited; but nevertheless there is a Cosmic Sink, the scrap-heap of the mischievously useless.
The ultimate survivors of a Planetary Manvantara are few! They are, as a Theosophical work puts it, the Flowers of the Tree!
The fact that the most material point in our evolutionary progress has been passed, and that the world generally is on the eve of radical changes, social and intellectual, is perhaps why information is increasing regarding the Occult Brotherhoods which, unseen and unsuspected by the great mass of humanity, control our racial and national vicissitudes.
In certain parts of this world are six great ”Lodges”, geographically distributed. Amongst many activities these ”Lodges” supervise the development of certain definite branches of the human race. ”Lodges” have always existed somewhere, more openly in archaic times, secretly in those we know as historical. It would be vain to suggest where these are, because, for reasons which will appear later, such information would not help any inquisitive investigator. It may be said, however, that over twenty years ago one ”Lodges” did exist somewhere in the Balkans and another in the Caucasus, but both were shifted owing to the approaching war and is yet uncompleted aftermath. ”Lodges” which were intimately associated with Atlantean and pre-Atlantean or, for those who prefer the term, pre-historical civilizations, still survive in activity, possessing complete records of those peoples!
The ”Lodges” are the inner circle of six Occult Brotherhoods, whose membership embraces a considerable number of resident Initiates of various grades. The ”Lodges” is a Council composed of a definite number of very advanced Initiates. It may seem incredible, but it is nevertheless true that a very High Initiate is a human being who radiates such force that undeveloped persons would be physically incapable of retaining consciousness in his presence!
Although ancient buildings of some sort form the outward and visible evidence of the locality of these ”Lodges”, the actual Council Chambers and internal organization generally are subterranean. Why it should be so we are not in a position to say. Possibly the mechanical employment of certain earth currents or the abundance of interference by etheric surface currents may have something to do with it; but this is merely conjecture. The Brotherhoods can never have been exposed to any risk from persecution owing to their control of forces as yet unfamiliar to Science They are not only furnished with remarkably perfect means for intercommunication and information undreamt of outside, but extended power of vision and movement keep them in constant touch with the progress of events for the direction of which they are responsible to still Higher Control. For the World is haphazard affair at the mercy of unscrupulous politicians or the machinations of shrewd capitalists, except in so far as these people are necessary agents for the precipitation of a certain course of events.
The scientific knowledge possessed by these Brotherhoods and periodically familiar to Civilization in general has been concealed from present day humanity because in its egotism and blindness all such powers would certainly be employed, as they were in the forgotten history of former civilizations, for purposes of destruction and personal aggrandisement, and so as a serious menace to evolutionary progress. Such indeed has been and is the corollary of scientific discovery as we commonly know it.
Members of the Brotherhood are capable of attaining an do attain to ages which may be reckoned in thousands of years. Although physical immortality is impracticable, yet Knowledge permits the renewal of the body in the first instance and its preservation subsequently to enormous periods of time. The process need not be confused with glandular grafting or the experiments of Steinach and others, which may or may not effect changes of a temporary nature upon a body suffering from self-indulgence (and in all probability exact their price). Occult processes are essentially distinct, based, it is believed, upon complete replacement and the eradication at once of all those atavistic tendencies which lead to senility and death.
The activities of the ”Lodges” extend beyond the Physical World into the Astral Worlds. They do not all work on the same system or necessarily with any co-ordination of detail, but they are all under the authority of a Supreme Lodge consisting of fifteen very advanced Initiates, known as the ”Council of Fifteen”. The Chief of this Council, for a number of reasons into which we cannot venture to go, utilizes three Physical bodies, geographically distributed. The very deep mysteries which surround the physical functions of the Astral and Mental Vehicles are secrets of initiation associated with a certain degree extremely difficult to acquire.
All great social movements which stir Humanity to its depths are inspired by the ”Lodges”. This operates generally as the Shaping of Ideas, direct interference with Free-will being apparently avoided. The Theosophical movement, credited to the inspiration of the Aryan Lodge, has, in spite of the opprobrium heaped upon its apparent founder and its varying vicissitudes (fully anticipated), taken root within the Aryan race. The Spiritualistic movement, now in all probability the greatest religious movement in the World, is believed to be the inspiration of an older ”Lodges”. So far as modern history is concerned the movement started in the U.S.A., and it has reached its greatest development on the American continents and amongst people of Celtic origin!
There is some reason to anticipate a co-operation of purpose between these two ”Lodges” and possibly others, working towards the unification of Theosophy and Spiritualism with the basic teachings of all the great Religions, after an approaching period of very drastic change. Although definite information on this point is naturally difficult to obtain, yet signs are not wanting as to the probability of a world catastrophe altogether dwarfing the circumstances and aftermath of the late war 1914-1918.
Apart from the great Brotherhoods, but in touch with them, are a number of Occult Schools under the direction of Initiates of the earlier degrees. There are a considerable number of these Initiates scattered over the world and to be found, by those who can recognise them. in every race and many walks in life. Apart from these, again, are the Neophytes and Aspirants, some in touch with an Initiate, others undergoing the often long test of unrecognized preparation. Agents acting consciously and unconsciously, are spread like a network over the face of the Earth. Followers of special cults, devotees of so-called systems of occult training, some Yogis, fakirs galore, and mere phenomena hunters, are the rag-tag and bobtail which screen the reality from the vision of the illusioned mass of humanity. Apart from all is the organization of the Brothers of the Shadow, the followers of the Left-Hand Path. Can it be surprising that we sometimes entertain an angel in disguise?
Human Governments and institutions generally are the unconscious paws of these foci of Human Wisdom, which periodically direct an ignorant Humanity into a Golden Age or plunge it into the confusion which marks the close of the materialistic age of Iron and the Age of Gold alike, in the spiral progress of Man towards the evolutionary goal.
The Great Lodges are unapproachable by the explorer, or even by clairvoyant faculty. For a considerable distance around the immediate locality has been established a wall of Mental Matter, impenetrable by physical and astral visitor or extended perception alike. Its effect is to create mental confusion. The ”Lodges” are fully aware of all outside human movement in their locality, and are quite able to discourage inquisitiveness by apparently “unfortunate incidents”. We could tell curious tales, and may perhaps later, of attempts to penetrate these sanctuaries and of an occasional approach permitted for some purpose we can only surmise!
By land and by air they are inviolate without their own volition!
Above these great Human Lodges are appropriate supra-physical organizations. Not one of the evolutionary streams which share our planet, or in infinite number populate the Unseen World, but has its controlling system. Nothing seen or unseen exists haphazard; to imagine otherwise were foolishness. In that dreadful World which is denser than our matter, our evolutionary scrap-heap, the confusion and abuses which may attend human relationship, cruelty and selfishness in their most awful guise, reach their utmost possible development, for its grim denizens are the personification of all that is undesirable in the factory of Nature!
No doubt the following statement will further tax the credulity of those who are unaware of this occult organization. There are certain men and women in all periods of history who play a dominant part in national and world changes, or are the leaders in far-reaching revolutions of thought or political actions. Such incarnations occur usually under the definite control ”Lodges”, through Higher Instruction, for predetermined purposes. The Individual reincarnated in this manner is not necessarily advanced in an occult sense, but he has during previous lives specialized along those lines upon which his particular aptitude is needed. His specialization makes him a dominating personality in his particular sphere of activity. Sometimes we call it genius. The past, present and future of these individuals is not only perfectly familiar to the ”Lodges”, but is recorded in black and white, and may be and actually has been inspected by those who can obtain access of the archives! For the great movements, social, intellectual, or political, which accompany world changes are considered and precipitated, not in the luxurious salons of an international jealous conference or amidst the element surroundings of offices of state, but in an atmosphere of Wisdom and Foresight where there are no veils over the future and no vested interests weight against the ultimate benefits to the evolutionary plan.
The spread of Theosophy and Spiritualism has, so it is hinted, already modified to some extent the sweeping character of the approaching changes, but unfortunately spiritual aspiration too often falls to the enthralling pursuit of material comfort and the overwhelming desire for power or possessions.
And now a word regarding the degrees of Initiation to which we have alluded and about which little information is available to the layman. These must, of course, not be mixed up with that charitable and useful institution known as Free Masonry. The latter is but a shadow of Ancient Wisdom, and though familiar once with the lesser mysteries, retains in its empty solemnities nothing unknown to Science an unavailable to ordinary research.
Initiates of the First and Second
Degrees of Occult Science are dwellers in human society. There need be no
abandonment of profession. To be father of a family needs be no insuperable
obstacle, although the final period of training for the First Ordeal and
all subsequent life demands physical and moral strength, abstention from
alcohol in any form, certain rules as to diet and exercise, and absolute
chastity. Above all there must be an end to all desire for self-indulgence
along these lines.
The Second Initiation follows the First at a comparatively short interval. Failure in either case implies physical death or madness, or, during the many tests preceding the first ordeal, moral degeneracy. For in this quest there can be no turning back! Usually Initiates of these Degrees, the First and Second stages of Eastern doctrine, rest satisfied with this attainment, not caring to risk the extremely difficult trials of the Third Degree without the more favourable circumstances attached to an artificially rapid reincarnation with a more perfect adaptation of the physical cell groupings to the desired end.
An Initiate of the Third Degree need incur no more physical death, for he has passed the “turning point ”; but below this the First and Second Stages must be re-attained in a following incarnation, with all the trials and effort incidental thereto. Readers of The Light of Asia will recall the stanza: —
Who standeth at the Second Stage, made free
From doubts, delusions, and the inward strife,
Lord of all lusts, quit of the Priests and books,
Shall lead but one more life.
The Third stage permits the possession of no personal property, useless encumbrance under the circumstances; the Fourth compels withdrawal from ordinary human society, as we understand it. Such withdrawal is no sacrifice. It does not require an Initiate or even an advanced Neophyte to be alive to the futility of those toys and experiences which the various strata of Society enthrone as the object of life. Enjoyment of harmless social diversions, delight in works of art and the hobbies of an active personality, are entirely worthy and wholly desirable to us, but they are the merest vanity to those whose eyes have been opened to the treasures of the invisible World. Life should be enjoyed and not be made a penance, but vision widens as to the character of life as we shed the animal nature and its purely outward perception. After all, riches fail to satisfy, and the most celebrated man passes out of society to be immediately forgotten!
On the Higher Degrees it is useless to surmise anything.
It may be reasonably asked: How is so much known, or where are the proofs?
The answer is: There are no proofs except for those well advanced on the Path, but the Night of Waiting is illumined at certain intervals.
What we have written must be subjected to the light of reason by those who are treading with uncertain footsteps the threshold of the occult world. There is no need to credit a word of it. No Initiate would give such information to a laymen, yet this much has been obtainable. Some truth, which may not be the whole truth, is perhaps permitted to leak out here and there in order to encourage that wave of spirituality which is lapping the shores of the ocean of selfish materialism bringing the Age of Iron to a close.
Let us add one word of encouragement. The man or woman who preserves human affection, be it only for a dog, is still swimming in the evolutionary stream. Persistence of individuality can be best found in assisting Evolution by carrying out the well-known precept of duty towards one's neighbour in that state of life to which it has pleased the laws of the universe to appoint us.
That man or woman who has learnt something of the meaning of Charity is secure. Action is of little importance except for harm wrought; thought and intention are everything. There is no need to accept any doctrine, to preserve any particular faith which is contrary to reason, or to cling to any recognized religion. In the earlier stages it is even desirable to be harassed by doubt. Charity in its true sense will alone sooner or later unlock many doors and disclose the way, for it is the master key to the Universe, Seen and Unseen.
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