A study in Human and Devic Consciousness
by PHOEBE D.BENDIT
THE BLAVATSKY LECTURE
the Annual Convention of
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY in England
at Besant Hall, London, May 23rd, 1953.
More servants wait
on man than he'll take notice of:
In every path he treads down that which doth befriend him
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
O mighty love! Man is one world, and hath another to attend him.
George Herbert, 1593 -1633
among us some who possess a deep and abiding sense of the Mystery Tradition.
We find ourselves with a nostalgic feeling that at times expresses itself
in half-forgotten memories. It is so ineradicable that it weaves a thread
of its own unique texture through all the ordinary affairs of life. Some of
us may feel exiled from the training and teaching of what we call 'the Mysteries',
others have an immediate and urgent sense that we are still part of the old
tradition, that we still belong to the hidden and inner ways of life. We possess
an unshakeable belief that we are trusted to try and thrust forward a spear-point
of consciousness in order to discover, little by little, some of the hidden
laws of nature, and reveal a little more fully the potentialities contained
in man. Of these, Madame Blavatsky was an outstanding and unfaltering example.
For the lesser of us, though the path of experience must of necessity be sometimes dark, obscure and overshadowed, the interior sense of direction is never lost. One may be almost blinded by adversity, lost amid a complexity of destruction, change and the grave difficulty of choice, but one is never quite defeated. Something within one's soul inarticulately knows the direction in which it must travel, and is aware that there is always an invisible host ready to succour one's distress and encourage us with their radiant joy and strength.
In this incarnation I have never known the time when men and angels did not belong together in a composite body. I have never seen them as unrelated, but always as working together to fulfil the purposes of natural law and human evolution. It is because I have lived all my life with, at least, a tiny part of this knowledge in my consciousness that I have chosen this subject for the Blavatsky Lecture. The Secret Doctrine abounds in brief references, broken phrases and hidden clues to this vast subject. But it is only when one laboriously tries to pull out a single thread, and patiently to unravel its most mysterious problems, that one realizes one's sublime ignorance of the great stream of angelic evolution - which nevertheless lies just beyond the confines of ordinary human consciousness. All people, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, have always had the sense of this, and show it in their myths and folklore.
In order to build a foundation for our subject we must commence with the pre-human world, the world of Nature or Natural Law. As we know from our studies, this world is based upon a vast mathematical scheme. It seems to us to function automatically, and in it the devic life is also entirely automatic. The devas carry out the evolutionary patterns and fulfil the purposes of natural law, but we cannot have law without intelligence, and the intelligence is that of the Logos, which is as remote from human intelligence as the Manvantara is remote in time from the single year.
To the human being, natural law seems unchanging and eternal because of the particular scale of time upon which he measures change. If one were capable of thinking in terms of the scale of the Logos, one would see that Natural Law was itself evolving and effecting changes all the time. New species do occur, possibly new chemical elements, and new galaxies are always being created, but so slowly that even modem science is as yet scarcely able to measure these changes.
In natural evolution
what is the role of the Deva? He is solely concerned with carrying out in
detail the scheme of natural law, on the plan already laid down in the mind
of the Logos. It is as though he took an exposed photographic plate and developed
the picture already invisibly impressed on it. This principle applies throughout
the whole hierarchy of the Deva kingdom, from the highest Arupa Deva down
to the smallest nature spirit.
The manifestations of nature may seem to us to be chaotic. The variations of the weather for instance follow no known law, but in fact it is a safe assumption that all phenomena are governed by laws of which, as yet, we have but the faintest glimmering of understanding .
On the purely devic side many obvious questions arise. Where does the fire elemental come from when a fire is lighted? Where does he go to when it dies out? What happens to the undine when the water evaporates and becomes part of the air? Then arises a further complicated question: what we call air varies considerably in its consistency. It may have more or less water vapour, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, etc. and still be called air. It is, moreover, a mixture of free gases and not a compound. What then is a sylph? Are the sylphs over London different from those over Mount Everest? Have they at any level any permanent form; or are they transitory forms which only exist at the etheric level while they serve a particular purpose?
I would suggest that one has to think in terms of a scarcely differentiated pool, in which the psychic energy of the 'elements' earth, air, fire, and water exist, mingled like the gases in the air. These elements form themselves into vortices, which become the forms of elementals and fairies when the note is sounded by the Arupa Deva, calling for the production of certain phenomena in the physical world.
Thus, suppose ice is to be brought into manifestation out of liquid water. That is to say, the alchemical 'element' of water has to be transformed into a substance belonging to the 'element' earth, which means that it must have a solid form. The same physical material is used, but it has been turned from one elemental kingdom, water, into an aspect of another element, earth. The point is, what has happened to the water undine? Has it disappeared and been replaced by gnomes or earth elementals, or has the undine itself become metamorphosed? If so, by what law?
Or again, a volcano throws up a mass of molten mineral which solidifies and becomes rock. In its liquid form, does the mineral belong to the element of 'water', and in the solid form to 'earth'? Would it, therefore, have different elementals corresponding to the undine and gnome respectively, or are there entirely different elementals attached to molten and to solid minerals from those belonging to ordinary water (H2O)?
We do not know the answers to these questions, but they do throw up some of the complexities of natural phenomena from the devic angle. It can be seen from this how serious a danger there is in making statements about the devic kingdom, which though they may illustrate isolated facts, do not convey a general picture of the evolutionary principle and its changing pattern.
The transformations just outlined of water into ice, or lava into rock, depend upon changes of energy .That is, in the addition or withdrawing of 'fire'. Any change of physical or chemical state, whether in the nucleus of the atom, or the formation of a galaxy or a chemical compound, is related to change of energy .
It is not perhaps without significance that fire is equated in our scheme, at least, with Manas. For man, in applying his mind intelligently to bringing about changes in the world in which he lives uses the fire of Manas in order to direct the fire we know as energy to his own ends. The first is the human 'fire', the second is devic 'fire' and the two are intimately related.
This is exactly what the Logos does in cosmogenesis, using the Divine Mind to modify the Koïlon and create his intricate universe. Man begins to learn this when - according to Secret Doctrine chronology, the Lords of the flame kindled the latent fire of Manas in him in the middle of the Third Root Race. The Divine or Cosmic Mind, it is logical to suppose, functions on the Cosmic Mental Plane, the human mind upon the mental plane of the solar system. There is an exact correspondence between these, the macro cosmic scale of time being reflected into the human microcosmic scale - the Manvantara, or 'Day of Brahma' being equivalent to the day of man in all but size, and the qualities of the Divine Mind being, on a much larger scale precisely the same as those of the human mind. The Divine Mind works through the Arupa Devas, its instructions being in fact what we call Natural Law. From the Arupa Deva these instructions filter through the levels of the Rupa Devic hierarchy, perhaps only as far as the lower mental or emotional level, perhaps the whole way to the physical.
In short, the human being, as he learns to use and control the sacred fire of Manas gradually begins to function as an apprentice Logos within the sphere to which he belongs - i.e. the mental plane of the solar system. He brings about modifications in the field of his activity - the planet earth - in much the way the Logos brings about changes in His own field, the Macrocosm.
The material available to the Logos is the virgin matter of space, called in the Secret Doctrine, the Koïlon The material available to man is the material already partly worked by the Logos, which is what we call virgin Nature. The subhuman kingdoms are linked with nature through the earth, of which they are a part. But lacking Manas they have no power to alter Nature. The human being having as part of his heritage the fire of Manas, which at a certain level he shares with the Arupa Devas, has the key to power over Nature. It is said in Gen. I, 27-28 ...'God created man in his own image. ...And God blessed them, and God said unto them. .., Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon earth, ...' etc. The point of linkage is in the middle of the mental plane at the antahkarana, which is also the focus of action of the human will or Atma.
It is from the mental level that man effects the modifications in the etheric and physical worlds. The method he has learned in the past is through the use of his own more material bodies, leading down to the use of his hands. ' Adam delved and Eve span'. At a later stage he amplifies this by what is a more fundamentally important way of working, which is to create a mental design and give it over to the devas to implement right down into the physical world if need be.
This second method is as yet existent more in principle than in fact, and represents an ultimate consummation for the present humanity. To reach it safely and effectively means that the human being has to have complete mastery of his own mind. Not only that, he has to be completely free from instinctive bondage to nature, which as we have said, is characteristic of the subhuman kingdoms.
The average man, even if he is highly intelligent, is only learning to be conscious, and to cease from being an automatic instinctive being. This self-awareness gives him power to exert a positive influence directly on the Deva kingdom at the middle of the mental level, instead of only doing it indirectly through his manipulation of physical phenomena. At present, if we wish to manipulate a physical machine we must use physical forces, applied directly to the machine. If we were able to use the other method, we should probably be able to will and think the machine into action, instead of manipulating the switches, the devas replacing the mechanical levers or switches through which our thought still at present becomes translated into physical activity.
Science is just beginning
to feel its way towards a recognition of the direct power of mind over matter,
and calls it psychokinesis, or the p.k. factor. Even so, neither its nature
nor how it acts is as yet faintly recognized. It is permissible to suggest
that the active factor between the human being's thought and the physical
result is nothing more or less than the devic life. P.k. experiments have
been so far extremely elementary, and concerned with trying to make dice fall
so that more sixes or more ones show up than would happen by chance alone.
The operator (technically, the agent) 'wills' that sixes or ones will fall
uppermost, and controlled experiments have given significant results. Even
in so trivial a matter it seems that the will of the agent, working through
his mind, can command the Deva who, in turn, directs the fall of the dice
in the manner imposed upon him by the human experimenter. If the Deva can
be commanded to co-operate with an agent who is usually untrained and unskilled
in positive thinking, and for ends so insignificant in themselves, it opens
a horizon of vast possibilities, if and when man really learns to control
and be conscious of the power of his own latent capacities, as well as of
the responsiveness of an unseen world.
It would be a matter of great interest to compare results obtained by the average psychical researcher with those of a trained yogi - assuming one could be induced to waste his time in this way. Bulwer Lytton seems to have foreshadowed the future development of man on these lines in The Coming Race.
In the beginning primitive
man is, as we have said, to all intents and purposes, in the same position
as the animals. He is governed by instinct. Instinctive patterns are laid
down as direct mandates of the Divine Mind, expressed through the devic kingdom.
These we have called the laws of natural evolution. But the human being, no
matter how primitive, has in him a new principle which is his own, and does
not belong to the evolution of subhuman nature. This is, in the real sense,
a supernatural principle. In classical theosophical language it is spoken
of as The Third Outpouring, and comes from the First Logos. It stands for
Individuality , or the Human Spirit, and results in the creation of the Causal
Body or organized Ego - using this last word in the theosophical and not in
the psychological sense.
At first, however, individualization is more a potentiality than a fact. It is something which requires to be developed if the human being is to fulfil himself and his particular role in the evolutionary scheme. This, we may remind ourselves, is to develop freewill, and thereby acquire mastery of the world he lives in, in a certain sense to produce new potential Logoi.
Natural evolution drives all creatures, including man, forward as it were from behind, but the individuality in man seems to draw him forward, so that each human being develops his own unique path. As he progresses, not only does his individuality deepen, but he learns to use that individuality consciously and with self-direction. This at once sets him at odds with the Devic kingdom, because he begins to refuse blind obedience to instinct, but paradoxically it gives him at the same time, the beginning of his power over nature. This he exerts in the first instance by the use of his senses, remembering that there are traditionally ten senses at the physical level, five of action, as well as five of perception, the Karmendriyas and the Jnanendriyas respectively.
The occult tradition is that the earlier part of man's evolution, the path of outgoing, is outward into incarnation. Eventually, after long experience, in which he is increasingly identified with material objects and pursuits, there comes a time when he begins to detach himself from material things. At this point he starts upon the path of return and he brings with him the fruits of his experience, that is, the mastery he has acquired over the material world.
It can be stated as a principle that the driving force on the path of outgoing is desire or kama, whereas the driving power on the path of return is will or atma. These different forces determine the relationship of man to nature, and therefore to the Devic kingdom, at different stages. Both these powers, however , are shaped and guided by the thinking of man. According to whether his thoughts are filled with desire, or are influenced by will, their impact on the Deva kingdom would be of quite a different quality.
The question arises here what is the difference between a desire - filled thought form as against one inspired by a purely impersonal desireless motive? Every kamic - i.e. in some way self-interested thought-form remains in the auric field of its creator. When the thought becomes projected on to a particular object it actually moves out towards that object, as it were at the end of a thread, in an attempt to draw that object towards the thinker. The thought-form itself is eventually drawn back into the aura by the magnet-Iike pull of desire, even if it does not succeed in capturing its object. For instance, a woman sees a blue dress which she likes in a shop window. The thought-form in her aura appears to move through space on to the dress, shaping and crystallizing itself into the exact design of the frock. She cannot afford the dress, so the image becomes withdrawn into her aura. She keeps on thinking of the garment, and each time this happens, the thought-form moves outward and back again. In this way a magnetic link is woven between the person and the object, which tends to draw the two together. Eventually the pull may become so great that the woman either sacrifices something in order to buy the frock, or else she has forcibly and literally to put the thought of it out of her mind. By the act of will represented by the latter, the image becomes permanently extruded from the aura, where it quickly dissolves, because the charge of desire-energy dissipates.
As against this, an unselfish thought containing no personal demand floats out freely from the aura towards its objective, and does not return to its source of origin.
The point of this discussion is that every thought evokes a certain response from the devic world. The nature and strength of this response will exactly correspond to the quality and strength of the thought itself. Therefore an impersonal and inspired thought born at the level of Buddhi-Manas will automatically send out its call and attract a response from the Arupa Devas, but a thought animated by desire will correspondingly attract the Kama devas belonging to the Rupa levels.
The impulse sent from the human world into the devic is thus exactly balanced by the response from the Deva side. It is necessary to emphasize that this is not related to ethical questions. Good and evil, selfishness and unselfishness, are human attributes and do not exist as such in the devic hierarchy. They may have their own system of morality, but if they have it is in no way the same as the human system. In all probability the maintenance of the law of their kingdom is their only morality.
As we know, much ordinary thought is transient. The devic response to this is equally transient. But other thought-patterns are repetitive, and are constantly being met by a similar repetitive response from the devic side. This question of repetitive thought gives the clue to many puzzling experiences, and we must always bear in mind that the type of thought has no significance whatever to the Deva All that he is concerned with is responding to its impact, and filling it with the vitality of his own world. For example, some people become mentally attached to their particular environment, they hate the idea of change. The emotional intensity with which they think of themselves as being always in the same place may differ considerably, but they keep on repeating these same thoughts for years on end. There is a strong tendency here for the human thought and the devic response to become curiously interlocked. It is as if the devic life became imprisoned in a closed vessel, thereby energizing the thought-image, and making of it a more or less autonomous entity. The person who created this entity dies, but so detached and active has his thought form become that it goes on living, as it were in its own right. These thought-entities are common. They are quite often seen by clairvoyants, and sometimes by others, in the form of ghosts and haunts. There are far more harmless and innocent spectres than there are unpleasant ones. Those who are frightened when they see or sense a harmless ghost, are really afraid more of the unusualness of what they see, than of the thing itself, just as they might be scared if they met a giraffe in an English wood.
The principle involved here, is that the thought-form is animated and perpetuated by the charge of energy it has isolated out of the ocean of devic-elemental life, which, by that isolation, has acquired the temporary individuality of a separate entity. This example is only given to illustrate the mechanism of the lower forms of human-Deva relationship. It is not a digression on to another aspect of the whole subject.
On the more positive side, a scientist working on a special subject repeats the same thoughts over and over again. If he establishes unconsciously a healthy interaction between himself and the natural object with which he is concerned, the interplay between his own mind and the devic life behind his objective, leads to an unfoldment and development of his thinking. The field of his research is thereby widened and enriched, and he finds perhaps an unexpected and intuitively acquired understanding of it.
It is permissible
to suggest that such a man as Lord Rutherford was actively, though unconsciously,
taught by the devic life in the atoms he was investigating, as well as evoking
knowledge from his own higher mind. Here we are reminded of the Bhagavad Gita
triad of the knower, the knowing, and the known. The known as well as the
knower play into, and place material in, the field of knowing.
To set against this healthy co-operation between man and Deva, we have another type of relationship which occurs in people whose minds are unstable and broken by psychological conflict. Such conflict, whatever form it takes, inevitably means that some part of the mind and emotions are seeking self-gratification. It may be seeking physical pleasure or possessions, self-aggrandizement, pride, or conceit in personal achievement. No matter what its focus, the centripetal pull towards the little personal self - ahamkara, or the psychologist's ego - tends to isolate the personal ego from its spiritual self. In so doing the spiritual life is diminished, if not cut off, and the devic or elemental life is relatively strengthened. It can even happen, that the latter overwhelms and ousts the former. In that case the thought-form originating from the human mind becomes possessed and virtually ensouled by devic energy. It does not matter whether this devic life is of a high or low order. It is the overwhelming of the human element by too large an influx of energy which is important. This is a state which Dr. lung of Zurich speaks of as an invasion from the collective, using the conception to explain the nature of insanity, as well as of less serious psychopathic states.
The creation of such an automatic thought-form, uncontrolled by the spiritual elements of its creator, is in essence to have made an elemental entity, with an autonomous life of its own, running on a repetitive pattern. As the original form is the product of an individual mind, in spite of its autonomy, it remains to a large extent tied to that individual mind, and hovers in and about the aura.
If the victim becomes in any way aware of it, he feels himself to be possessed or obsessed by an evil spirit. This indeed is true, but the so-called 'spirit' is in reality, his own self.generated thought-creation, and not, except in extremely rare cases - of which I have never seen one in the West - the results of psychic attack by another person or black magician. The 'blackness' is the darkness of the self-centred, unspiritual aspects of the person's own mind, which he has never recognized, and has allowed to become hypertrophied by a weakening of the spiritual orientation of himself.
It is common knowledge that these animated thought-forms are easily seen by clairvoyants and sensed by mediumistic people. Unfortunately these people often add to the complexity of the trouble by speaking of obsessing spirits and suggesting exorcism and other external means of dealing with it. The only basic way of coping with such situations is to get the victim to realize that what he himself has created he alone can destroy. He does this by understanding its nature and the unconscious motives which led him to producing it. This is the clue to many problems that arise in modern psychotherapy, and with which it deals successfully, provided the patient can co-operate intelligently.
Of course, all these
self-created thought forms are not necessarily unpleasant or evil. In fact,
it often happens that the usual 'spirit' of a dead person, described by a
medium in the seance room, is of this self-constructed nature, and is very
lifelike. It can be a lively automaton, arising from the repeated thought
and feeling of the sitter about some loved one who has died. This is not always
the case, but it answers the questioning of many people who are baffled by
the origin of descriptions of supposedly dead people given in the seance room
which are a jumble of images of the living as well as the dead.
An idea of the power
which can flow from the devic side into such a thought-form as has been described,
is to be gained, from the persistence of a ghost, whether pleasant or unpleasant,
perhaps through centuries. Some are so highly charged with energy that they
produce poltergeist phenomena, or burst open locked and sealed doors. It should,
however, be pointed out that in marked incidents there is usually, if not
always, an additional and immediate source of energy in the proximity of a
human medium, or of animals, from whose etheric body the 'elemental' draws
Some psychiatrists are of the opinion that some, if not all, poltergeist phenomena are caused by unconscious projection from their patients. These projections are purposive, following the hidden pattern of the person's desires. The phenomena have been known to cease when the mental situation was resolved. This suggestion is in line with the approach I am putting forward.
It may seem a new idea to suggest that the neurosis of a living person, and the haunt in a house, are connected with the same response from the Deva kingdom. Yet when one thinks that distressing ghosts are often connected with melancholia, or explosions of violent feeling such as rage or terror - or the happier form of haunt-such as an innocent apparition of the past owner of a house, or a monk in a cloister -where the operative factor has been a mental habit of attachment to a particular environment, the connection is obvious.
The mechanism is the same in all cases, i.e. the action of the human mind automatically energized from the devic world. There is, however, a marked distinction between the thought-elemental produced by a psychiatric patient whose problem is unresolved, and that of a simple ghost resulting from the mental action of people long since out of incarnation. The first may be destroyed by such actions as exorcism, but is often immediately reproduced - a matter which explains the failure of the churches and healers to help psychological patients - unless any such help can induce in them a radically different frame of mind, more intimately connected with their spiritual self.
The second, the ordinary
ghost, is in effect nothing but a dead shell of human thought, kept alive
by the elemental life which perpetuates its action. In some rather mysterious
way it seems that the evolution of the lower levels of the devic kingdom is
very much assisted by being able to identify itself with humanity, just as
humanity can benefit by association with the higher or Arupa levels of that
For practical purposes we must, however, bear in mind that the perpetuation of an outworn thought-form, while it may give experience to the Deva, is from the human point of view as illegitimate as human acts of wanton destruction of natural phenomena are illegitimate from the devic. It has to be realized, moreover, that if man in any way suffers at the hands of the devas, it is only because he has allowed or invited it.
The human mind, whether consciously or unconsciously, is the origin of any such trespass. The devic life is merely following its own dharma in flowing into the vessel provided.
In principle a ghost should be able to be exorcised quite easily by breaking up the shell-formation, and liberating the elemental life, but so strong and vivid is this life that in practice it may require many attempts before it is finally eradicated. The reason for this is that as soon as the destruction of the form is threatened the natural law of self-preservation appears to come into effect. Like the animal in danger, the elemental gathers together its reserves, thereby becoming apparently stronger than before. Finding itself at bay it may even attack the exorcist with possible dire results.
Both the power of
some haunts and their longevity raises a question to which we have, as yet,
no adequate answer. Does the thought-form contain a charge of elemental energy,
like that of electricity in a storage battery , which must at some time run
down, or is it, as it were, connected with the mains - the pool of devic-elemental
life - and therefore continually replenished until the thought-form is broken
up by some positive act?
This subject has been introduced for the purpose of shewing that on the long path of man's outgoing into the material and natural worlds, he is largely unconscious of his motives, and the results of his actions. Therefore, as has been stressed, he is largely at the mercy of what he often speaks of as the gods. His animism, understood from the psychic angle, is based on the reality of the devic life as the soul of natural phenomena. His need to propitiate the gods indicates his intuition of their strength. What he does not realize is that in making a sacrifice or a burnt offering to this life he is giving it more power over him, not only because of the offering itself, but because his thought-form is enhanced each time he thinks about the matter .
The turning point in his subjection to the gods is when he begins to believe that certain traditional acts are mere superstitions, and refuses to conform. There is ample evidence here that among primitive people, the one who defies the tribal gods may sometimes suffer severe punishments from agencies which are certainly not human. The reason for this is that he is not entirely convinced of his superiority to the Rupa levels of the devic world. When he is convinced of this he can safely, as Bernard Shaw is said to have done in a Victorian gathering, defy God to blast him as an unbeliever. The story is told that many of those present cowered against the walls in case something happened; a sign that even civilized humanity is not free of superstition.
On the Path of Outgoing the human being only stumbles along, insofar as he uses his intellect in relation to nature. Instinct is really still his best guide, but when he has turned the corner on to the path of return, the surest guide is the spiritual intuition, of which the first act made him defy the gods and assert his own will. He naturally makes a tremendous number of mistakes, and is still making them, owing to the flickering of the intuitional light. But step by step he learns to guide himself self-consciously, and therefore freely through the intricate maze of natural law, using the very laws which once enslaved him as his servants in helping him to achieve his ends.
The keynote of the Path of Return is increasingly conscious living, and a
growing sense of direction in the light of that consciousness. This means
that the mind used creatively becomes more and more the instrument of the
will, of alma, and far less that of kama or desire.
The turning-point between the paths of outgoing and return is one of the climacterics on the long path of human evolution. It is represented by the various myths of initiation in every religion. It lies at the back of the Christian idea of conversion. This turning-point is actually the most tricky and dangerous in the whole cycle, as is realized by intuitive philosophers such as Nietzsche. The reason for this is that the human being at this point is like a train going round a curve: the guard's van may still be approaching the near end of the curve, when the engine is on the straight beyond. This means that, while his 'head' may be already on the path of return, other aspects of him are still on that of outgoing, and the pull of nature is exceedingly strong, and still drags on the afterparts of his character .
The result is that there is great stress on the personality, which, if it be too strong, may cause the kind of disintegration which has already been touched upon. It is only as evolution proceeds that a human being becomes entirely free from servitude to instinct, and therefore from the possibility of being, in some unguarded moment, dragged back wholly, or in part, along the evolutionary path. This must not be taken to imply that the spiritual person has destroyed his instincts. On the contrary, true spirituality includes all the results of past evolution, including instinctive life; but this is now given its proper place in subservience to the spiritual ends of evolution. It has to be the servant, no longer the master of the human mind.
The relationship of the spiritualized man to the devic kingdom is intrinsically without danger provided he is fully spiritualized, that is, when he has reached a point of experience considerably in advance of the majority of mankind today. The pattern of the interrelationship between man and Deva is then transformed from one involving a certain degree of struggle and resistance, to one of swift co-operation as between equals. The Daimon is then no longer the demon, equated with Satan, who is so often depicted with the same attributes as Nature or Pan, but is seen in very truth as the spirit which creates.
True creation is a prerogative of the Logos and of man. The devas themselves are not original creators but angels - literally, messengers or agents of the creative being. In Nature they serve only the Logos, but when man develops his spiritual side, he begins to acquire some of the qualities of the Logos of whom he is a small-scale reflection. Hence the devas -or, to be more exact and also more humble, certain orders of them - become at least potentially the servants of man as well as of the Logos. It is worth coupling man and the Logos in this manner because it indicates that the only legitimate way for man to command the devas is when he is functioning consciously in line with the Divine Mind-i.e. as a spiritual, not as a natural and instinctive being. It is certainly possible for man directly to command and control the more material orders of devas and elementals at the lower mental, emotional, and etheric levels. But to do so deliberately is what is called black or at least grey magic, when the operator does consciously and wilfully the kind of thing the neurotic or the insane person does unconsciously. The true point of conscious contact or influence, however, should be through the antahkarana on to the Arupa Devas of the Buddhi-Manasic levels. For, as I have said, the Daimonic energies of the Deva kingdom then serve to fill out and expand the mental images created in the human mind, while keeping within the framework of those images.
We may take as an example of this the work of a creative artist. If he is a true artist he evokes from the Arupa Devas a certain inspirational fire which infuses his perception of maybe a purely mundane object, and enables him to turn the vision of a chair, a bowl of fruit, or a tramp into a genuine work of art. This is a very different matter from being a painter who may be very skilled, and also very idealistic, but whose inspiration derives more from the emotional level than from spiritual understanding. His pictures are soon forgotten, whereas the works of the true artist who is inwardly able to make contact with spiritual values, and hence with the Arupa Devas, endure. The first may please people for a time, the latter have a quality of timelessness, so that a painting of 'Spiritual Love' may quickly bore the observer, while the picture of the peasant or bourgeoise woman who was Mona Lisa, or Renoir's 'Parapluies', still thrill those who see them long after they were painted. The key to the difference is in the level of thought resulting from the painter's perceptions, hence of the nature of the response evoked from the devic world.
The same principle applies to the scientist. It is interesting to note how many of the greatest mathematicians and physicists, who at first sight might be thought to be dealing with cut-and-dried material, from an intellectual standpoint, fly to the most abstract form of art, music, for their recreation. It is quite probable that their genius is due as much to the inspiration they derive from music, as to their scientific knowledge, because the marriage of their feelings with their intellect is the field where enlightened intuition can be born.
In the same way the true healer consciously or unconsciously calls upon the Arupa devas to help him in his work. As Canon H. Anson, the Master of the Temple, has so ably pointed out, the spiritual healer may be a layeron of hands, a surgeon, a dentist, a nurse, or a veterinary surgeon; but in every case it is not so much what he does, but the significant fact that he evokes the flow of devic life. At the Buddhi-Manasic level there is an immediate human-Deva co-operation, insofar as the healer is selfless and impersonal. This is quite a different matter from the man or woman who has a personal and ardent wish to heal. He may indeed achieve results, but their permanency or validity will depend upon the degree to which he is working from his spiritual centre, as well as from a more emotional level. As we know, the personal element often stands in the way of the spiritual. This vitiates the processes of genuine healing, since these may involve results such as release from the physical body which, from the spiritual and long-term viewpoint, are right, whereas immediate results, such as temporary restoration to health may be, from the same point of view, delaying the development of the patient's inner life.
These are only illustrations to indicate the one thing I have in mind, i.e. the exact balance of the reciprocal movement between the human mind and the angelic kingdom. Every wish, every thought, every prayer is answered, though the answers, because they have to follow an intricate pattern of laws, may be very astonishing to the person from whom the petitions originate. The response is nevertheless there to the one who is capable of understanding it, and the more perceptive the individual, the more intelligently he will learn to use the power of his mind in such a way as to direct the devas towards carrying out his purposes.
Certain mechanisms aimed at invoking angelic help have always been practised throughout human history in the rituals of ceremonial and magic, and in the use of mantrams. Such ceremonies are, however, intrinsically unnecessary, and in fact, when they become stereotyped and their inner meaning is lost, they become sterile. Even if they remain effective in calling the devas to take part, they may fail to achieve their original purpose because that purpose has been forgotten or distorted. On the other hand, increasingly intelligent appreciation of ritual forms eventually leads to a realization that the ritual itself can finally be eliminated. It serves, or has served, as an intermediary, an indirect means to communicate human intentions to the angels. But such communication can become direct, from mind to mind, as it were, when the human mind learns to function at the unitary or' Arupa' level of the Buddhi-Manasic plane.
Looking at the matter from another angle, that of religious history and mythology , one repeatedly finds stories of the overthrow of the old gods and their replacement by a new hierarchy. The Secret Doctrine suggests that this is a memory of actual events taking place in the occult or psychic spheres in the prehistoric past. But myths also often represent movements taking place in human consciousness. It seems likely, therefore, that there is a psychological as well as historical key to these legends. Thus, when, in Greek mythology, we hear of the Titans - the earth gods - being overthrown in battle with the Olympian hierarchy, with its very human qualities and failings; or the overthrow in a later age of the pagan deities themselves by the Christian personifications of God, we have a symbol of a shift in contemporary human consciousness. To the Greeks the Titans would be the Rupa Deva hierarchy, the Olympians the Arupa; in the early Christian conception, the Olympian gods have come to be regarded as equivalent to the Rupa levels, the nine orders of angels and, some of the saints being, in effect, Arupa devas of various degree and standing.
The student of occultism often does not realize that the human and devic life are in constant touch. They are in fact as closely interwoven and interdependent as the weft and warp of a piece of material. People sometimes speak of trying to get into touch with the devas. In practice the first necessary step is to break what one might term possession by the devic kingdom. The justification of scientific materialism is that it is one way of doing this. It shuts the consciousness of the individual into a box or chrysalis in which the flow of devic life is reduced to a minimum, and the human element is predominant. As we know, the attempt to preserve the germ of human individuality in this way, particularly if persisted in too long, turns the chrysalis into a coffin.
There are other ways in which the desired result, mental objectivity, can be developed, but in any case the requisite factor is that there should be a space between the human mind and the angelic world, across which man can learn to recognize the existence of such a kingdom. Kama-Manas alone will never do this, the quality of Buddhi, the intuition, is required. In order to make this effective in action Buddhi must be supported by the power of will, Atma. We know, as yet, extremely little about the use of the will. It is perhaps significant that philosophers such as Bertrand Russell can go no further than to see the mind as the highest function of man, and even the occultist has so far only a glimmering of understanding of what Atma implies. Hence we can only speculate as to how it is likely to influence the pattern of life and the relationship between men and devas. Yet such speculation is useful because in the evolution of this humanity we now appear to have reached the point where the action of the will is becoming important.
It has already been pointed out that it was in the middle of the Third Root Race that man became endowed with mind, and that we are now in the middle of the Fifth Root Race, or two-thirds of the way through the span of this humanity. In retrospect it can be said that the first age was that of earth and nature, the second age that of Manas, in which fire - i.e. various forms of energy - were coupled in the assertion of man's power over natural phenomena. This is a period of conflict and strife between man and the gods of nature - the Kali-yuga or age of shadow.
We now seem to be nearing the end of this age. Manas has become so powerful that many people have a realization that it, and the science it has created, are threatening to run away with us. The awful prospects held out to us by such people as H. G. Wells and Aldous Huxley contain a horrid reality, but they are only a partial intuition. For, despite many lapses, a new consciousness is making itself felt in the world, which is that of unity, bringing with it conviction that abstractions such as morality and beauty are essential to the continued existence of our species. It is further realized that man has the freedom to choose whether he will go on to his fruition or destroy himself. This implies the germination of another aspect of man's being, as important and as critical as that of the germination of mind. The new factor can be no other than that of the will. We are entering the age of Atma, and, as fire was the instrument in the age of the mind, so will a new form of energy become the instrument through which Atma influences nature. In addition to fire, which is energy, related to the field between atoms and molecules, we are likely to use increasingly subtle energies derived from within the atom itself, on the one hand, and on the other, energies derived directly from the macrocosm itself.
We have only the merest glimmering about the latter, but science is already recognizing that the impact of the cosmic rays on the earth may be of tremendous importance in the life-processes of nature. This may be only the first step towards man's learning to handle and canalize these energies, as he has already learned to canalize fire-energies. There is a possibility that instead of having to make physical apparatus first and to release the energies through that apparatus afterwards, the first step will be to focus the energies by an act of will, after which, through the agency of the devas, they themselves will produce any physical apparatus which is required. This is an almost inconceivable extension of present-day science, yet it is foreshadowed already, not only in occult writings, where there is mention of Kriyashakti, or the act of direct creation through the action of the mind directed by the will, but in the researches of one or two scarcely known scientists of whom one - Keeley - is mentioned in the Secret Doctrine. Moreover, if - as has already been said - man is learning to become a Logos, it must follow that, at some stage, he will have to become not only an original creator , but to carry out that creation through the technique of the Logos himself. And this, as we are told, consists in the first instance of the direct impact of Fohat on the Koïlon, making 'holes' or vacua into which that same Fohat, modified and conditioned by the Cosmic Mind, flows and creates the universe.
How does this apply to us, here and now? What are we capable, as ordinary people, of doing to help the transition and to bring this new consciousness nearer? There may be many methods used to achieve this end, but the one that concerns me today is that of learning consciously to co-operate with that other side of ourselves, for it is no less intimate than that, which we speak of as the devas. This intimate connection is hinted at over and over again in the Secret Doctrine, and the concept of the Dhyani Buddha and Dhyani Choan which, as Mr. E. L. Gardner has pointed out, can only be understood in terms of the identity between man and angel.
We have to learn that the rivalry between man and nature served its purpose only so long as man was divided against himself. The integrated, spiritualized man knows that he and nature are one, but that by virtue of his humanity, and the essential quality of that humanity, he can transform objective nature by the use of his will in precisely the same way that he can transform his own character .
Increasing awareness is the key to the whole problem. For awareness of self is impossible without awareness also of what the lower mind calls not-self. For the higher mind knows that all is self, that the whole universe is one Being, and that each one of us, apparently separate and discrete - Deva or man-god or animal -is, in a paradoxical way, that Being.
We have no need to seek far and wide for the Mysteries, we need have no nostalgic longing. The Mysteries are always present, and unfold before the eyes of those who dare to look and to see. Each discovery is already known to us, but veiled. It is for us to learn to use our own skill and draw aside each veil that hides the splendour of the Sacred Flame, which is the Mystery of Man and Angel made One.
Publications by Phoebe D.Bendit:
A Study of Extra-Sensory Perception
The Reality of Christmas
Easter: The Myth of Man's Regeneration
By Phoebe D. and Laurence J.Bendit:
Introduction to the Study of Analytical Psychology
The Psychic Sense.
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