Short address given to his students by G. de P., June 13, 1937, in the Temple, at Point Loma, California, at the conclusion of the usual lodge study-program.
The holy mysteries are never publicized: never, never, never. You have to earn them and fit yourselves for them. It is obvious that if you are not fit to receive them, they never come to you. It would be a crime to attempt to do otherwise. It is the easiest thing in the world for a man or a woman to incur loss of the soul by following any other method of occult training than that of the Masters, taught as they themselves in their turn are by the Dhyani-Chohans, the bright and blessed gods. I mean it. If you want truth you must come to the Temple for it, and you must come in the proper spirit; you must work upon yourself so that you will train yourself to be fit to learn, to be receptive. Otherwise you just can't receive it. You won't take it in. You can't take it in until you make an opening in which to put it — to use very plain, simple language. If your mind is set against it, like a closed door, it does not open to receive. You must train yourselves first. But if you do train yourselves, and, as we say, live the life, there is absolutely no barrier which can or will prevent your going indefinitely forwards. It is exactly like a growing child. He cannot take in the world's wisdom even, even the wisdom of this world, until his mind has developed to the point where it can receive it and retain it; until it is trained to do it. Simple! It is exactly the same thing with occultism, with esotericism, with the mysteries. They are indeed in the Theosophical Movement, both the Greater and the Less. They can be had by anyone, but such a one must prepare himself, train himself, must be in deadly earnest. Then he can receive them.
The chief or fundamental rule of this training or discipline is the becoming receptive to the inner and higher part of one's own constitution, whose whisperings of truth and intimations of cosmic verities find no lodgment in minds wilfully or ignorantly closed against their entrance. There is the whole, or at least the fundamental, rule of occult teaching and learning in a nutshell, and the reason for all the safeguards that have been thrown around it. I have myself known hapless students of Theosophy who have literally gone crazy, temporarily at least, but nevertheless have gone crazy, have been crazed, from an unwise and unguided study of some of the more recondite teachings. It is pathetic; for the pathos lies in their yearning to learn and to become greater than their lower selves. The pathos likewise lies in the fact that they tried to scale the peaks before they had disciplined themselves to traverse the foothills of morals, of learning and self-control. It is one of the perils that the Masters and H. P. B. and the Theosophical Leaders have had to watch out for, and to contend with. It is a very difficult situation. I have known men and women barely escaping the loss of health in merely brain-mind overstudy without the healing, saving power of selfless devotion: a most beautiful thing in a way; one's heart warms to them in admiration for their courage, for their insistence on getting truth; but it has been unwisely done. That is why we insist upon the all-round, balanced growth, a wise, shapely growing into knowledge and wisdom, instead of the distortions and ungainly malformations, mentally and even psychically, that come from unwise study of occult things.
It is for this reason that in our own T. S. the inner, the secret, the occult, the esoteric, is so very carefully guarded and watched over and never publicized. Our Masters have no desire to have their students incur risks of soul-loss, or mind-loss, or even of physical deterioration, or any other human tragedy. But otherwise, having stated these things, just remember how beautiful and simple the rules of occultism are. Nothing in our deeper and more occult studies will ever interfere with your family duties, never; for those duties are duties; and it is one of the first obligations of a Theosophist to fulfil every duty. He is no occultist if he neglects one, no matter what his temptations are. No matter if he tries to grasp the sun, if he neglects a duty he is a coward by that much. Being a coward and a weakling, he is no occultist. No injury should ever be done to another. If you do it you are beginning to descend, and you may walk into black magic. But there is a way and a chance to rescue yourself and to return to the strait and beautiful path. For it is a truly glorious path, and it brings a sense of the realization that man is akin to the gods and that the gods are present amongst us. Yes, I mean it: the gods even now walk the earth. But few are the sons of men who have trained themselves to realize it.
Now, the gods will associate with us, self-consciously to us, when we shall have learned first to know that they are there; then to make their approach to us mutually desirable. Let it, however, suffice for the main thought to carry home that the gods walk amongst us even now, as they did in far past ages, in the childhood of man, when he was still innocent and not so sophisticated that he thought he contained all the knowledge of the universe in his puny, little brain.
Let us, then, make ourselves presentable, and let us make our lives so attractive and interesting to the divinities, that they in their turn may be glad and happy to associate with us, self-consciously. I will go this far and then stop: There is a place, a geographical place on this earth, where not only is it common for the highest men that the race has produced to associate with the gods companionably, freely, friendly; but where the same relations of teachers and taught exist between gods and men, that exist today in our schools of learning. I wonder if you grasp what that means.
And at the heart — like this omphalos, or navel, or center, in the Temple, this little pillar in the center of this auditorium — in the holiest place there, what we call the sanctum sanctorum, there is an invisible presence, the highest spiritual presence of this earth. Make of it what you can.
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