Rounds and Races: Our Divine Parentage and Destiny by Gertrude W. van Pelt
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Section 2

Chapter 5: The Third Root-Race

Chapter 6: The Mystery of Sin

Chapter 7: The Third Root-Race (continued)

Chapter 8: The Fourth Root-Race

Chapter 9: Our Divine Destiny

Return to Section 1


Chapter 5

The Third Root-Race

The third root-race saw great changes. First, the "sweat-drops" of the second developed into huge eggs, which were warmed and matured by the sun — a process analogous to that of the fowls of today. In these the fetus gestated for several years. The human form also passed through a series of transformations. During this hermaphrodite period, there was a time when it was four-armed and three-eyed. But these variations of type came about very gradually, of course, covering millions of years. Finally, in the last part of this race, there occurred the division into the two sexes.

The wonderful event, the turning point which was to change the whole face of history, the great epoch in humanity's life toward which an infinite series of hierarchical beings had been working for eternities, was now at hand. Three rounds and nearly one half of the fourth had passed in preparation for the glorious awakening. Relatively speaking, it came suddenly. Those who have advanced the theory that mind evolved from the animals have not taken into account the eternities needed simply to develop the human body and lower principles.

Up to this time there had been evident but two of the streams of evolution which work through nature, viz., the physical and spiritual, the latter represented by the monadic essence, the god-spark. This is too far above the former to establish communication with it without the connecting link of mind. It is stated in The Secret Doctrine that were the spiritual monad of a Newton, grafted on that of the greatest saint on earth, to be incarnated in a perfect physical body without the middle principle of mind to unite the two, the result would be an idiot on this plane. Everything is latent even in the atom, and so was mind at this stage in the human animal; to awaken it higher gods and time were needed.

That which was due involved the destiny of those others from the preceding great manvantara — beings who, compared with the lower mankind, were gods. The lower beings from the moon-chain had done their part. They and their host of helpers had given all they had. Mind they never had. But there were now others, known as manasaputras or "sons of mind," ready to enter the temples prepared for them. And this fact implies that they belonged to them, that they were karmically related to them. Thus, beings who on the moon-chain had fully developed the principle of mind, entered the lower humanity to quicken its latent spark. And after this incarnation, seemingly miraculous changes took place.

The event has been symbolized in the myth of Prometheus. He brought the spiritual fire to mortals and was chained to the rock of matter, our human bodies, where he will remain through the ages until man himself rises to his level and liberates him. The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden has the same basis, in which, to the popular fancy, Lucifer the Light-bringer masquerades as Satan, an evil force.

This incarnation of the sons of mind brought pain and suffering to the lower ego, but also the possibility of attaining to godhood. It is stated by H. P. Blavatsky that without this help from the higher beings, we should still be but little above the beasts. From this time forward there must be two voices in man forever claiming to be heard, until the day when one absolutely dominates the other. The lower self, however, is never helpless. It is endowed with free will and conscience, the voice of the god within can always be heard by it if listened for.

It is impossible to understand this philosophy without realizing that the universe consists of consciousnesses of infinite degrees and that all growth is a growth in consciousness; also that unity in diversity exists in every part of cosmos. There is no such thing as one part being independent of any other part. All entities carry a responsibility for those below them and, after reaching the self-conscious stage, to those above them. It has often been recognized by historians that no one can transcend his race beyond a certain degree. As it is on earth, so it is in heaven. As above, so below. The great ones feel the weight of those who play with their opportunities and refuse to rise.

Not all of the human races were equally evolved, some, of course, being far behind the others. Stanza VII of The Secret Doctrine refers to this part of the history as follows:

24. THE SONS OF WISDOM, THE SONS OF NIGHT (issued from the body of Brahma when it became Night), READY FOR RE-BIRTH, CAME DOWN. THEY SAW THE (intellectually) VILE FORMS OF THE FIRST THIRD (still senseless Race). "WE CAN CHOOSE," SAID THE LORDS, "WE HAVE WISDOM." SOME ENTERED THE CHHAYAS. SOME PROJECTED A SPARK. SOME DEFERRED TILL THE FOURTH (Race). FROM THEIR OWN ESSENCE THEY FILLED (intensified) THE KAMA (the vehicle of desire). THOSE WHO RECEIVED BUT A SPARK REMAINED DESTITUTE OF (higher) KNOWLEDGE. THE SPARK BURNT LOW. THE THIRD REMAINED MINDLESS. THEIR JIVAS (Monads) WERE NOT READY. THESE WERE SET APART AMONG THE SEVEN (primitive human species). THEY (became the) NARROW-HEADED. THE THIRD WERE READY. IN THESE SHALL WE DWELL, SAID THE LORDS OF THE FLAME AND OF THE DARK WISDOM. — 2:161

These events explain the inequalities in our human kind, the relatively high and low capacities of different peoples. H. P. Blavatsky says also that they contain the whole key to the mystery of evil.

The entrance of the manasaputras into the drama of our human life perfects the human being as to his constitution. He is now equipped to move forward to his destiny. He has in his nature, ready for development, all the principles of the cosmos. This is the real meaning of the words in the Christian Bible, "Man was made in the image of his Maker." This incarnation also initiates in humanity the third stream of evolution, the intellectual; and it is at this point that the streams from above and below meet in mankind.

In the great circulations of the cosmos, spirit is eternally descending into matter, and matter is eternally ascending toward spirit. They mutually aid each other. Neither could accomplish its purpose without the other. The lower lives can expand their consciousness only by breaking shell after shell of their encasements and reaching progressively into wider realms of thought and spirit. The great spirits and gods can express the compassion which is verily their essence only by aiding their younger brothers, and they can gain in strength and power only by overcoming the resistance of matter and mental molds and assuming greater and greater responsibilities. These universal sweeping currents of life are manifest not only in the grand channels but are present everywhere — in every ebb and flow. No drop of the ocean of being but feels the sway of them both. From this time forth appear the relative tendencies in human nature known as good and evil. Out of the complicated interaction of these streams of evolution there has arisen in young and misguided humanity mistaken notions of itself. And in recent centuries, with the ancient teachings obscured, the delusion that man is "born in sin" has been taught, bringing a long trail of degrading results. Lost in the clouds of ignorance, portions of mankind have also forgotten their divinity.


Chapter 6

The Mystery of Sin

Nothing but the wisdom-religion can throw light upon this mystery, which has confounded the children of earth whenever they have lost the knowledge of their ancient teachings, their divine heritage. The man-made theories which have been built up to explain it have verily tossed the divine soul into the dust-heap. Man, the potential god without, the actual god within, has hypnotized himself into the belief that he is a worm of the dust. What sacrilege! Instead of turning their eyes within, the children of earth have looked without and beheld but the dancing shadows of illusion. They have lost their way in the labyrinth of matter and dropped the thread which might have guided them home.

Did a God create men evil? Are they indeed doomed irrevocably and helplessly to punishment? The mankind of today in increasing numbers is refusing to believe such blasphemy. And yet the mystery is not solved. Some trust to intuition, abandon a solution, and look to their god within unconsciously. Others toss consequences to the winds and live as their moods direct. Listen to the answer theosophy has to give:

That which is in line with the grand trend of evolution; that which furthers the unfolding of divine possibilities; that which is working toward greater and greater perfection, is right. The whole universe is behind effort in this direction. But that which opposes, which seeks to obstruct nature's design, is wrong and is bound, sooner or later, to be crushed. These opposing forces, however, are necessary to develop power and knowledge, but the counterforce in nature's scheme belongs normally to ignorance. In stumbling thus against obstructions, which we must find within ourselves because of our dual constitution, we learn and grow. When, however, the personal ego consciously allies itself with the lower material side of the nature, the results become more and more serious with growth and must, if persisted in, end finally in the annihilation of that personality.

Before the manasaputras incarnated in mankind, there could be no sin, no moral mistakes, but the moment mind was awakened, there was knowledge of right and wrong, there was free will, and, further, there were inexperience and ignorance. The right and easy way, as said, is to work in harmony with the grand currents of evolution. One who does this has the universe behind him and meets with no obstructions in himself. The wrong is to pull the other way.

But the question must be answered as to why anyone should desire to act contrary to moral law. It is due primarily to ignorance, which belongs to an undeveloped state, and which has moreover been increased by wrong teachings. The average person at the present stage does not clearly and convincingly perceive the moral law, or definitely understand why he should follow it. When the teaching of karma has firmly gripped the human consciousness, there will be fewer transgressions of it. It is necessary here to remove the stigma of evil which has lain on the shoulders of our divine parentage.

Further, the teaching is that no beings below or above the plane on which human consciousness is now functioning have a sense of separateness. Those perfected beings who have risen above the human stage recognize in their individuality their oneness with all life. The average human being, however, lives mostly in his personality, and it is this limited and undeveloped personality that is deluded, thinking that it can seize and hold for itself alone. Selfishness is sin and folly and verily the root of so-called evil. If carried far enough, it contracts the channels through which our life-energies flow to us, and finally we drop like a withered leaf when the sap no longer reaches it. And yet, without the strength to be gained in removing this delusion, there could not be moral progress. After certain gross forms of selfishness have been outgrown or overcome, they are transformed into aspirations widening with the scale of growth, until with full understanding and the spiritual will sufficiently awakened, we cross over into the greater circle and see ourselves as part of the whole.

The complexity of human nature is no mere figure of speech. There actually are different selves within us, of different stages of growth and of different desires, claiming recognition — a mystery indeed and yet one which can be unraveled. The evolving soul in its amazing world within can and must find its place and assume lordship over the riotous forces that would usurp authority and cause chaos in the human temple. In achieving this, we become indeed gods.

But until that day it is this lower mind, in process of being created or unfolded, that sins. It uses itself in a wrong way before it has learned to work in harmony with the universal mind, of which it is a part. Pain, disease, and suffering are the offspring of this growing mind, i.e., are due to its mistakes, from which filters down into the body inharmony, which works out as disease. Physical mistakes cause physical trouble. Mental perversions cause mental and later physical torment. Through pain and suffering we learn. But it is possible to learn a little faster. Many, alas! encourage, hold, and repeat wrong thoughts until the force of them becomes terrific. Fortunate indeed is he who awakens and resolves to work with his higher nature before these become overwhelming. In Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic by Katherine Tingley are the following words, pregnant with inspiration, encouragement, and — warning:

These two forces: the physical dominated by the spiritual, the mind illuminated by treasures of truth and inspiration from the higher self, these two, working together, will bring about results that are unbelievable. Nor will it take all eternity to bring about these things. The very atoms of our body can be touched by the fire of divine life and brought into harmony with the mind and soul, controlled as the master musician controls his instrument by the higher self.
For life is light and light is life, and the Christos-spirit is in everything in degree. Could we sit at the feet of the Law like little children could we free our minds from misconceptions and learn from nature and listen to the Christos-voice within, what revelations would come to us! We should then be able to say: this is immortal and that is mortal; this belongs to the animal nature of man, and that to the spiritual. The power to do this is the power that we need, arousing us from the dead, so to speak, and bringing to us light and illumination.
From the time that a vow [this vow is to one's higher self] is taken the disciple has ever with him two forces: two invisible companions formed of his own essence, one evil, one divine; the secretion or objectivation of the opposite poles of his own self-consciousness, they represent his good and evil angels, the Augoeides and its counterpart, each seeking to absorb his being. One of these in the end must prevail over the other, and one or the other is strengthened by every act and thought of his life. They are his higher and lower potentialities passing slowly into potency, as the energies (both good and evil) are awakened.
Our problem is to transfer more and more of ourselves to the real battlefield. That field is one that consists of the feelings and thoughts of men; therefore, by right feeling and thought is the battle maintained. Our strength lies in keeping positive; in holding a steady joy in our hearts; in a momentary meditation on all floating great ideas till we have seized them and made them ours; in a meditation with the imagination on the life of humanity in the future, and its grandeur — in dwelling on the conception of brotherhood.
Yet never can we reach that point of spiritual discernment until we have found within our own hearts something new: a larger sympathy for all that lives, and a broader, deeper, grander conception of human life and the superb laws that govern it.
I think each is a focalization to a point of all the good and all the evil elements to which we have given conscious life in the past. At each moment, as we consciously incline toward good or evil, one or the other feeds into and fills the mind. And it is obvious that the point of connection with either is that failing or virtue to which we are most inclined. However small a point, it must, if encouraged, lead to and involve all the rest on that side of the stores of our nature and the universe. If this is true, it follows that to give our conscious volitional encouragement and backing to any fault or any failing, is an immensely pregnant move downward.
But if effort be continual, if no failures or falls discourage the aspirant and are always followed "by as many undaunted struggles upward," he has always the help and counsel of the divine "daimon," the Warrior; and victory, however far away, is certain. For this is an unconquerable power, "eternal and sure," an actual presence and inspiration, if we will but recognize it, having faith and faith and faith. — Chapter 2

Chapter 7

The Third Root-Race (Continued)

In regard to the different degrees of incarnation into the human host stated in the Stanza quoted in Chapter 5, those who received but a "spark" are our average humanity. Those who were not ready, who had not evolved to the desired point, remained mindless.

Out of this last omission grew a horrible history. During the long transition periods when humans and animals were separating into two sexes and before the lines had been tightly drawn between them, the mindless men crossed with the beasts and produced the ancestors of the simian races. They are described as crooked, hair-covered monsters — "a dumb race, to keep the shame untold." These are the exceptions previously referred to in Chapter 6 who were to enter the human family at some period after the critical midway point of this fourth round. Being partly human, it is possible that some may become wholly so in the seventh root-race on this globe D, but the majority must wait for the fifth round. The sons of mind, seeing the terrible mistake and feeling responsible, incarnated then in those mindless. Unfortunately the trouble did not end here. In certain classes the animal tendencies became intensified, the third root-race merged into the fourth, and these again, while the forms were still mobile, repeated the sin of the mindless, this time with full responsibility. As a result of their crime, we have the race of anthropoids. Then the sons of wisdom established sterility between the two kingdoms.

But there were those among the human host in whom the incarnation of the manasaputras was complete, and they became the leaders and instructors of third race humanity. No words can adequately describe the transformation which took place in human life after this happened. It burst forth in glory. The dull, dreamy, half-conscious world was being awakened — to know itself. The sleeping germ of mind was stirred by a mighty force. The spark touched that to which it was akin, and lo! the animal became human.

This race of arhats created not by union of the sexes as did those who received but a spark, but by the power of will. This is said to be a power latent in all, but not to be developed in mankind for many ages to come. The progeny of this race are known as the "Sons of Will and Yoga." They still live, are still watching over their humanity, and they form the nursery for future human adepts on this earth. They are also called the "Undying Race." It is said they could live with equal ease in water, air, or fire, for they had absolute control over the forces of nature. They were a holy race of godly strength and beauty. They became the teachers, the inspirers of nascent humanity, and are truly the spiritual parents of mankind. It is they who taught the early races, as they grew, the ancient wisdom-religion, which has appeared and re-appeared at cyclic periods all down the ages, and which now has come again under the name of theosophy.

In this Undying Race was planted also the sign and evidence of its divine origin and parentage — the third eye. Before its vision the book of life lay open. The mighty past, the glorious future were as the eternal Now. It was the Golden Age in those days when the gods, the spiritual fathers of mankind, dwelt with their children. They had no sense of separateness at first. They felt in harmony with all that is. Love, reverence, joy filled their hearts. Strife had not entered human life. But this could not last. Gods are not made in such ways. This heaven on earth must be taken by violence, in order to become a permanent possession. Human beings must, through a long and weary pilgrimage, reach again the lost state of purity and bliss bringing with their spiritual power, a rich and full understanding of life in all its kingdoms, and boundless compassion for all that lives.

Little by little the clouds gathered, the sun of life was darkened. As these children of innocence and joy began to feel their power, as their latent minds were awakened by the beings above them, the animal in them grew apace. The war was on. The third eye grew dim and, in the course of ages, from being objectively one-eyed, then three-eyed, mankind became possessed of two physical eyes, while the third was withdrawn into the brain. Its witness is the pineal gland. In the great ones it still functions though not seen, and in the aeons to come it will again become active in the human race at large. Legends of all peoples, which are the memory tablets of the past, have carried in their various ways the story of the third eye. The three "one-eyed" cyclopes, recorded by Hesiod, symbolize the last three subraces of the third root-race or Lemurians. And in the myths we find one now and then whose vision knew no limits.

The gods withdrew and the Golden Age passed. Eternal spring was no more. The climate grew cold. Animals, who had been the friends of mankind, became ferocious. By degrees pain and suffering turned the current of human thoughts and an appeal for help went up from their hearts. Their spiritual parents responded. Divine dynasties were established and then followed a glorious civilization.

The continent of the third root-race, known as Lemuria, now lies beneath the Pacific Ocean, whose islands dotting its surface were once the mountain-peaks of this ancient land. It stretched from the two Americas to the shores of our present Asia and beyond. The first cities were of stone and lava, but before the life cycle of this root-race closed there arose cities of great proportions. Under their divine rulers the arts and sciences became known. Astronomy, architecture, and mathematics were learned to perfection. Indeed, so glorious, exuberant, splendid, was the civilization which commenced with this third root-race, that Greek, Roman, and even Egyptian civilizations sink into insignificance in comparison. Though rapid, even sudden, when compared with the long ages preceding it, it yet came about gradually and extended over many thousands of years and into the fourth root-race. But there were, of course, inequalities then as now. Savages and geniuses marked the extremes.

Before the close of this root-race the majority of mankind had lost their spiritual purity and had sunk into sin of one form or other; yet there were always those who followed the light within and thus formed the seed for the future. When the root-races have run their course, they are destroyed alternately by fire and by water. Not suddenly, except in localities, but slowly, stretching over hundreds of thousands of years, the work of destruction proceeds, while gradually the successor is being established. The third root-race met its fate through subterranean fires.


Chapter 8

The Fourth Root-Race

About eighteen million years ago, on the road to development, the human egos slowly passed from the third to the fourth root-race, the great Atlanteans, whose gigantic continent extended over the surface of what is now our Atlantic Ocean. This is the race whose middle point marked half of the life-term of this planet, and also the closing of the door between the animal and human kingdoms. At this time, too, matter reached its fullest development, since which period all life has been on the ascending arc toward spirit. Manifestation was on a grand scale then. Both men and beasts were enormous, the former being from twenty to twenty-seven feet in height. Their minds were as giant-like as their bodies, a hint of which greatness is given in the statement that it was their degenerate descendants who built the first pyramids.

Further, the third eye was active during a part of their history, and they were thus in command of many of the finer forces in nature, which are still secrets for us. Their civilization was dazzling in its splendor. The startling discoveries of our recent times are but faint reminiscences from the memory-storehouse of the racial mind of the marvels and intellectual grandeur of the fourth root-race. And these are but foreshadowings of what is to come, for, as our present fifth root-race matures, it will recover what it lost as Atlanteans, with added spiritual development and insight. H. P. Blavatsky in an article entitled "The New Cycle" writes:

We are face to face with all the glorious possibilities of the future. This is again the hour of the great cyclic return of the tide of mystical thought in Europe. On every side we are surrounded by the ocean of the universal science — the science of Life Eternal — bearing on its waves the forgotten and submerged treasures of generations now passed away, treasures still unknown to the modern civilized races. The strong current which rises from the submarine abysses, from the depths where lie the prehistoric learning and arts swallowed up with the antediluvian Giants — demigods, though with but little of mortality — that current strikes us in the face and murmurs: "That which has been exists again; that which has been forgotten, buried for aeons in the depths of the Jurassic strata may reappear to view once again. Prepare yourselves." . . . The strife will be terrible in any case between brutal materialism and blind fanaticism on the one hand, and philosophy and mysticism on the other — mysticism, that veil of more or less translucency which hides the Eternal Truth. — La Revue Theosophique, reprinted in The Theosophical Path, September 1911 (in translation)

All these transformations, which present themselves as the drama of life unfolds, show that, during the revolving of the cyclic wheels of destiny, humanity is in the process of being created. Every turn of the wheel adds something. For instance, one element, as has been said, is evolved for each round, and mankind is physiologically developed in adaptation to it. Every root-race evolves a new sense — being in the fifth at present, we have five senses. Over and over again on a higher scale every round repeats the experiences of the one before it, as does every root-race and every subrace, e. g., the fourth round has a correspondence with every fourth root-race and fourth subrace on every round.

Human beings had by this time attained sufficient knowledge and understanding to choose their course, and unhappily for themselves and the coming root-races, a large majority deliberately elected to put their power to unholy use. It is said that we are still suffering, and shall continue to do so long ages hence, for the misuse of faculties which took place in Atlantean bodies. By degrees humanity separated into parts with two distinct tendencies — those who sought to obtain self-mastery and who joined the "Sons of Light," and the others who became the slaves of lower forces and developed into sorcerers and evil magicians. While these tendencies were shaping themselves, something occurred in their history which illustrates the fact that cause and effect connect not only individualities, races, different globes of the same chain, but planets, universes or, as we say, great manvantaras. In fact, any force set in motion will never cease to act until neutralized. We have spoken of the "Sons of Light" from the holy race, ever guarding and guiding humanity, so far as humanity permits; but there were other rulers perfected, we might say, in evil. One, King Thevetat, was of this order, evidently linked to this planet from the past and biding his time. When his disciples appeared — that is, when the large body of Atlanteans turned to evil, lived in their lower natures — he was ready to guide them. Had they chosen otherwise, he would have been helpless, but this not being the case, he succeeded in producing a race of sorcerers.

When at last the time came for this race to pass, a colossal cataclysm wiped the bodies of these evildoers from off the face of the earth. The first great deluge occurred in the Miocene Age, but minor deluges, extending over 150,000 years, ended the sad history. The last island, Poseidonis, referred to by Plato, sank about 11,000 years ago. It is upon the Atlantean cataclysms that traditions of the floods in Biblical records and elsewhere are built.

The spiritual parents of mankind, however, secured the seed for the coming fifth root-race from destruction. There is a legend of a "Sacred Island" situated in middle Asia, north of the Himalayan mountains, where now are barren wastes. It was said to be of surpassing beauty, and was known as the Garden of Eden (of which there has been one for every race). It was the home of the "Undying Race," who escaped from the agony of Atlantis. And it was through them and their agents that the elect of the Atlanteans were started safely and wisely on their journey as the new root-race.

We are now in the fourth subrace of the fifth root-race, and still descending toward the midway or crucial point of this race. But, as the center of the round was passed in the fourth great race, we are on the ascending arc toward spirituality, still weighted, however, with a heavy karma, which each and every one should seek to lighten through pure thought and act.

The fifth root-race as a whole will, before its close, develop the mind principle beyond the Atlantean highest point. But it is not until the fifth round that the manas or mind will be fully evolved. When this time arrives, will come the great moment of choice, a choice which has been prepared for through the ages — verily a judgment day — only man himself will be his own judge. That is to say, a time must come to all to choose finally and decisively whether they will follow on the path of spirituality, upwards into their own higher natures — or whether they will turn toward the other pole, which must end in final extinction, after ages of slow disintegration; for such is the fate of nature's failures in evolution.

The brief history here given is to be found fully elaborated in The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky, and represents one phase of the effort made in this age by the masters of wisdom, who are agents of the "Undying Race," to awaken the children of earth to a knowledge of their divine parentage and destiny. This history could not be known without their aid, as our own records, besides being often untrustworthy and incomplete, extend back only a few thousand years into a family race whose life period is about 30,000 years.


Chapter 9

Our Divine Destiny

Our glance into the past makes more possible a look into the future. We can perceive that our journey is endless; that it stretches back and forward into eternity; that we become by degrees and in turn, as the deathless cycles roll, all that the universes hold, ever expanding in consciousness and ever in company with the gods. They are within, about, above us. As the veil woven by our personalities hides the glory, so it is only by rising above them that we find the clouds vanish. But there is a narrow path, which every religion has more or less completely described, which is recognized by all mystics, and upon which the light shines eternally.

"When this Path is beheld . . . whether one sets out to the bloom of the east or to the chambers of the west, without moving, O holder of the bow, is the traveling in this road. In this path, to whatever place one would go, that place one's own self becomes." — The Voice of the Silence, Note No. 32

It is indeed the path leading to one's own inner god; always open, easy of access, though so seldom entered. Down its luminous way speeds the voice of conscience more rapidly than the lightning traverses space, quicker than thought, to one who listens for it.

The journey through earth's winding roads is but a traveling toward one's inner god; a casting aside of the soiled garments as they are outgrown; a reaching up into an ever purer atmosphere, bringing a constantly clearer understanding, a broader and richer sympathy, and a growing capacity for real service to all that lives. We speak of traveling toward one's inner god, and yet, paradox as it seems, this is in reality one's self. When we reach its splendor, we find ourselves. How shall we reach it? This is for each one to discover after his own manner. Katherine Tingley says:

Man's only way to win his great hope and to know the truth is to seize hold on himself, assert and realize his potentially all-dominating soul-existence. Making his mind and memory register beyond all future cavil or doubt what he then knows to be true, holding himself at his true dignity, guiding into right conduct all the elements of his nature — his body, mind, and emotions — he will maintain from that moment strength and joy in life. That once done, could he but stand in that attitude for a few weeks or months, he would have made of his mind a willing instrument of service, harnessed it to the chariot of the soul, and dissolved away its limitations. -- Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic, chapter 2

Dr. G. de Purucker, in Questions We All Ask, Series II, v, asks:

Would you like to find the pathway to your own inner god — your spiritual Self? There is a preliminary preparation, however, required of all — a preparation for this sublimest of adventures in the journey of the human soul. Do you know what it is? It will sound so familiar to you: Learn to forgive your fellows, for this means developing strength, the exercise of the spiritual part of you, and it is bringing into manifestation your higher manhood. Learn to love, for this is the voice of divinity within you; and when you can learn to love, the sun within is already beginning to break through the clouds of your lower surrounding selfhood. To love is divine; because it is a universal energy in your heart. The very sun which shines in the heavens is compact of that divinest of energies.
Be self-forgetful, because when you are self-forgetful the veils of personality and selfishness fall from your eyes. You are then no longer blinded by selfishness. You then see. Become impersonal; for then you are no longer gripped by personal desires, held in bondage as serfs and slaves by your own lower being.
There is the truth — the beginning of truth; and if ye follow faithfully this pathway, ancient, familiar to your hearts, ye will have put your feet on that Road which leads to the Heart of the Universe.

It would be folly to deceive oneself — the task before humanity, individually and collectively, is not light. But the courageous soul rejoices in difficulties. And these increase; for as the higher elements grow in power, so do the lower, as they are all a part of the same nature. There must be antagonism until, by a mighty grip, the master of the temple holds himself at his true dignity and uses his servants honorably instead of being used by them. In doing this and in leading his host with him to the glorious destiny in store, he becomes a veritable titan. When he completes the seventh turn on the planet which has mothered him, his earth will hold no longer a secret he may not know. His mind will transcend any problem she can offer and his compassion will embrace the world. With the crown of victory upon his brow:

He standeth now like a white pillar to the west, upon whose face the rising Sun of thought eternal poureth forth its first most glorious waves. His mind, like a becalmed and boundless ocean, spreadeth out in shoreless space. He holdeth life and death in his strong hand. -- The Voice of the Silence, p. 65, orig. ed.
Will ye go to the moon, my brothers, or is your pathway set towards the Sun? Children of the Sun, Sons of the Sun as ye all are, I call upon you to come to your spiritual parent! Be great! Ascend, take, be! Be the god within each one of you — which god is your own impersonal, immanent Christos, your own inner god, the inner Buddha within you, the root and fountain-head of your own spiritual individuality. Becoming allied with this, then all powers will be yours; all inner faculties will open and blossom. All spiritual and intellectual energy will become your servant; and when this is achieved then the psychic faculties and powers will develop naturally and safely within you, will open naturally and safely, like the enclosing petals of the unblown bud. This is the spiritual road, the road of safety, because your heart will have previously recognised its kinship with the sun-god within you: your inner light itself will be strengthened by the streams of the irradiating splendor within, and ye shall then stand a Master of Life because consciously linked with the very heart of the Universe. Being such as this, you will obtain and control successfully all psychical powers and faculties whatsoever. -- Questions We All Ask, Series II, vi

Such is our divine destiny on earth. But shall it end here? The curtain drops but to rise again. After sleep there is waking. The celestial hosts in space, the rulers of the suns, have in the eternities past been human.

The world is filled full with gods, with gods and demigods, and beings who are even higher than what men call gods — all of them spiritual beings, cosmic entities, call them by what name you may like; and we human beings are but one class of them, at the present time passing through this section or phase of a long evolutionary journey from inferior to better, from better to still better, and so on forever on the ascending arc of growth and development; and our temporary sojourn in this our physical world occurs only because we have reached here as we pass along that ascending arc. Further, this evolutionary path, said the Teachers of this Ancient Wisdom, proceeds in cycles, spirals, each turn of the spiral bringing out new manifestations of the inherent life of the evolving entity. — Questions We All Ask, Series II, xiv

Yet must one wait for the seventh turn of the wheel of destiny to reach the plateau disclosing new horizons; to gain the power of saving the many who might otherwise weaken or lose their way? Can a mountainside be scaled without following the spiral path leading to the summit? Yes, there is a shorter road, revealed by a light within the heart and opened up by following the injunction given to the aspirant:

Love is the cement of the Universe. Learn to forgive. Learn to love. Each one of you is an incarnate god. Be it!

Then this road, when revealed, leads to the pathway of initiations, for:

Truth is for all men. All men have a power within them which can be self-consciously attained only by each man for himself. This is a power of consciousness; and as ye open yourself to this consciousness and pass the threshold of it into a more secret chamber of your inner being, you will see there a beauty, a vision of truth; and then after a time you will see another portal and you will realize that that other portal that now you begin to see is also within you, within your consciousness; and you will move towards it and open the new door, giving entrance into a world still more beautiful, still more sublime; and thus you can follow the path of the spiritual Self, of the essential selfhood, of the divine selfhood within, ever more and more inwards. And that path of beauty and peace and achievement is endless; for it is you and you are the Universe — each one of you. -- Questions We All Ask, Series II, xv

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