Universal Brotherhood – February 1898

WHAT IS MIND? — B. C. Buchanan

Mr. Herbert Spencer, in his Principles of Psychology (Vol. 1, page 145), says that "we know nothing about it and never can know anything about it." Yet, as he himself, in the same volume, goes on to discuss "the Substance of Mind," "the Composition of Mind," and "Life and Mind as Correspondence," we need not be quite discouraged. We each of us have one of our own and we may well exercise it in the study of itself.

It may help us to arrive at a more satisfactory conclusion as to what mind is, by first considering what it is not. Says Prof. Ladd, in his Physiological-Psychology: — "However our states of consciousness may be related to the states of the brain, the two are certainly not the same. What is true of all material elements is true of those of the brain: they can do nothing but move. And so far as we know anything about the molecular activities of the central nervous system which are most directly connected with the phenomenon of consciousness, they do not differ essentially from other molecular activities of this system not thus connected with consciousness.

Suppose it were possible with the microscope to discover the exact chemical constitution of every molecule of the substance of the brain, and that by some such process as that described by THE-MAN-WHO-DID-IT, in Mr. Lloyd's wonder-book, Etidorpha, we could look into the interior of our own brains, and watch the motion of all the atoms in the phosphorized fats and the hurrying blood currents, as chemical changes take place, or as waves of nerve commotion in infinite variety move hither and thither among the countless nerve fibres and nerve cells; we should then discern but the physical functioning and product of the physical brain, the molecular activity of material particles. Strive as scientists may, to reason out consciousness as the product of the brain, they cannot identify the molecular changes continually taking place, in the work of nutrition and depletion, with the happenings of our consciousness.

The phenomena of human consciousness must be regarded as activities of some other form of Real Being than the moving molecules of the cerebrum. That the subject of the states of consciousness is a Real Being is a conclusion warranted by all the facts. Mental phenomena show what it is by what it does. The so-called mental "faculties" are only the modes of the behavior in consciousness of this Real Being. If the complexity of mental phenomena is bewilderingly great, so the unity of consciousness is striking and unique. It is the same "I" from the dawn of self-consciousness through all subsequent changes. All the different mental phenomena of an individual are but different states of the one consciousness, and the binding force of memory is dependent on this unity.

It is too late for Science to object to the assumption of the non-material nature of mind, for the whole fabric of materialism rests and is built upon the hypothetical atom, which, to say the least, is super-sensible. The best efforts of modern investigation to describe the nature of atoms is not only incomplete, but often self-contradictory. What an atom is can only be described by telling what it does; but in telling what it does, we always find ourselves implying certain relations to other atoms, involving complicated hypotheses concerning its modes of behavior as caused by the presence and mode of behavior of some form of being that binds them together and makes them work to a unity of plan. And we can form no conception of a "plan" which is not a phenomenon of mind, and no conception of a "unity" that does not depend upon the unifying actus of the mind.

To "be really" and to be the one permanent subject of changing states are but different ways of expressing the same truth. It is for this reason that modern Physical Science, which affirms the eternity of matter, regards the atoms as having a permanent reality which does not belong to composite structures — the things of our experience — into which the atoms enter. The atoms are supposed to remain with unchanged natures through all the changes of relation which they may undergo. Their reality depends on their capacity for being the subject of so-called states. They follow a law, or an idea which recalls them to the same states when the same circumstances recur. To have a variety of changing states attributed to it as the subject of them all — this is to demonstrate in consciousness a claim to Real Being.

So much for the line of thought carried out by Prof. Ladd, and it is not easy for a student of occult science to understand how he could reason so far without reaching the broader philosophy of the chapter on Gods, Monads and Atoms in the first volume of the Secret Doctrine, positing at the root of each Atom a God of life and intelligence, a god we call "the monad." Atom is one of the names of Brahma.

"States are changing, they have a transitory and phenomenal being," Prof. Ladd goes on to say. "The soul exists in reality above all other kinds of being, because it alone, so far as we know on good evidence, knows itself as the subject of its own states. And it arrives at the state or plane of self-consciousness in the mind, which is its vehicle for acquiring experience. It is a Real Being which acts, and knows itself as acting: which is acted upon, and knows itself as affected: which is the subject of states, and itself attributes these states to itself; which develops [or evolves], according to a plan, and so remembers and comprehends the significance of its past states, that it can recognize the fact of its own development" [or evolution].

But evolution is only one-half the equation, and herein lies the weakness of modern science. It must be balanced by involution. "Out of nothing, nothing comes," and rational minds can admit the word "creation," only in the sense of making a thing something which it was not before. In this sense man "creates" a garment, a house, a city; and higher Intelligences "create" men, worlds, universes. All that evolves in actuality on the objective plane and is known to us in phenomena, was first involved in potency on the subjective plane in the necessary correlate of noumena. So that mind and all the attributes of man are universal principles diffused throughout Kosmos, temporarily focused and individualized in man. Everything on the subjective plane is an eternal is, as everything on the objective plane is an "ever becoming."

Involution starts from the highest plane of pure spirit and descends through psychic, intellectual and animal to the lowest plane of matter, spirit becoming ever more and more concealed as it is plunged deeper and deeper into materiality; a latent, sleeping nucleus, wrapped in sheath after sheath. We pay this price for our knowledge of matter in embodiment. It is because of this Divinity which thrills in the heart of every atom that evolution takes place on the physical plane from the simple and homogeneous up to the complex and heterogeneous. Involution is an eternal cycle of becoming, and Nature never leaves an atom unused. From the beginning of the Round all in Nature tends to become man. He is held to be the highest product of the whole system of evolution and mirrors in himself every power, however wonderful or terrible, of nature: by the very fact of being such a mirror, he is man. Prof. Agassiz says:

"The progress in the succession of beings consists in an increasing similarity of the living fauna, and among the vertebrates especially, in the increasing resemblance to man. Man is the end towards which all animal creation has tended from the first appearance of the first paleozoic fishes" — -and this tendency is inherent in every atom, says the Secret Doctrine. The One Law proceeds on the same lines from one eternity (or Manvantara) to another; the "fall" of spirit into matter then redeeming it through flesh and liberating it, using for these purposes the Beings from other and higher planes, men or minds evolved in previous Manvantaras (periods of manifestation) as we are evolving now.

The Oriental teachings say: "The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a God." In Occult Science, there are no "missing links," in its unbroken, endless chain; and each of these seven planes of existence involves and evolves progressively the seven principles which have their correspondences in the colors of the rainbow, in the primary tones of the musical scale and everywhere in Nature, including man.

Let us take the plane of the invisible gases. So far as Western Science can detect with its microscopes and crucibles, they are simply diffused substance, without form, life, desire or mind as we know them. For the purpose of suggestive illustration (although not with strict accuracy from the occult point of view) they may be considered to correspond to the Breath, with only one principle manifest, namely, substance and six latent. Then when the intelligent vis a tergo which propelled from the noumenal side of Nature that which manifests on the phenomenal side of Nature as gas, has acquired all the experience of the plane of gases (an experience which is recorded and preserved in itself) it climbs or is lifted up to the mineral plane. "The Breath becomes a stone." Here it adds form to substance, evolving two principles leaving five involved, and manifests then the properties of matter known to science. It enters into metals, gems and earths, learns the secrets of crystallization and makes the round of the changes possible to the mineral cycle and then its form is sacrificed, disintegrated by a growing plant, and it is lifted up to the vegetable kingdom. Substance and form are supplemented by life, three principles evident to our senses, four yet to evolve. "The stone becomes a plant." It has now the new experiences of germination, growth, maturity, reproduction and decay with new responsiveness to sunshine and moonlight, heat and cold, rain and dew. Here is a range quite impossible to anticipate from the limited horizon of the mineral plane. Through every variety of texture, color and odor, again the sacrifice is prepared and vegetable life is transformed into animal life, and to its three principles the plane of desire adds motive. "The plant becomes an animal" — four principles manifest, three yet latent. The animal secures food when hungry, and eats until desire is satisfied, drinks when thirsty, exercises from instinct, provides a home adapted to its needs, makes defenses, cooperates with others of its kind, for mutual protection, wages war on enemies, periodically feels the attraction of the sexes, begets its kind, tenderly rears its young, nourishes, protects and trains them, and becomes attached to places and things. All these are the purely animal functions. Here is a wide outlook, a vast range of experience. On such a broad basis a magnificent superstructure can rest. What shall it be? "The animal becomes a man." How? By sacrifice as before and being lifted up to the fifth plane, evolving the fifth principle, still leaving two latent. This principle is mind, the eating of "the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

The animal knows neither good nor evil. It satisfies its hunger and thirst regardless of the hunger and thirst of others or how the strength derived from food is to be expended. It protects its young, because they are its young, and not another's. It is self-seeking, but not selfish, because its self-seeking is its highest soul-expression and in it the Universal Soul works through instinct to lift the planes below it up to the animal. It is actuated by desire alone, its highest informing principle; hence it is not responsible and makes only physical Karma. Man reaches a critical point in evolution, a point where he is required to choose and where he exercises freewill. Choice always involves moral responsibility, hence moral Karma. In order that he may choose, knowledge is necessary, knowledge acquired by experience of both good and evil; and this he gains through the instrumentality of mind. And what is mind? Whence comes it?

The Sanskrit root word "man" means "to think," hence "a thinker." It is from this word very likely, that sprung the Latin "mens," — mind; the Egyptian "menes" — the "master-mind;" the Pythagorean "monas," or conscious "thinking unit," and certainly our "manas," the fifth principle in man.

The vocabulary of the English language has grown with the development and requirements of its people. The history of the English speaking peoples is essentially a history of conquest and of commerce; hence we have no lack of words for secular and materialistic nomenclature. But when we enter the realms of metaphysics and the spiritual, our poverty of terms obliges us either to coin or to borrow from foreign tongues. The comparatively few Anglo-Saxon words that may apply to these higher concepts have been so degraded and abused by lax customs that they have lost accuracy as means of expression. The devout Oriental peoples on the contrary, having a heritage of ages of contemplation, meditation and devotion, have evolved in their languages, terms conveying gradations and shades of meaning yet unsensed and unsuspected by Western peoples in those fields of knowledge which lie just beyond the physical. So that in pursuing the deeper study of science and philosophy we find it helpful to adopt some of the Sanskrit terms which have for centuries embodied with clearness a definite meaning.

We must remember clearly that an illustration is never the thing illustrated, but only a stepping stone toward it. The reality can never be illustrated; it can only be experienced; but an illustration may help us to analyze, to classify and to understand our experiences. The seven principles in man are not circles or rings, nor do they float detached one above another, but they pervade and interpenetrate each other. Moreover each principle is gathered up temporarily and continuously from a universal ocean like itself; just as the air which now produces my voice and is an essential part of my life (Prana), is separated for the moment from the atmospheric ocean about us. The seven universal planes are not sharply divided from each other like the zones on a map, nor embraced one in the other, like a nest of Chinese boxes, although they are specific degrees of differentiation from the One; they overlap and merge into each other. Strictly speaking, life and consciousness and desire are universal and all-pervading, and all manifested things depend on an astral basis for their being; it should not be misleading when, for the purpose of study, we consider them separately, as we study the anatomical systems of physical man.

While we have been building up by the processes of Nature an animal man, for man is, at base a perfected animal, through substance, form, vitality and desire, the four principles of the lower quaternary; from the opposite pole of being, a beam or ray from the Universal Sun of life and intelligence is focused in the Monad, which is the "God within" atom and man alike, the Higher Self which we name Atma. It never separates from its source. It is but a temporary loan of that which has to return to its source. It appropriates a vehicle or sheath, still spiritual, but a degree nearer the plane of materiality than itself, and comprising as its essence the highest, the purest and the most beautiful of the endowments which may be attributed to the character of the Christ, whether we look upon the Christ as an historical personage or a symbol and type divinely human in its ideal. And this principle, the sixth, we call Christos or Buddhi, Divine Wisdom. This Buddhi principle with Atma involved, again assumes a sheath or vehicle to bring it still nearer to the physical plane and this sheath is akin to it in that both are soul; and is endowed with the power of thought, — Manas, the Thinker, the Immortal Ego, man's fifth principle.

We now have the higher triad, formed by these three, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, sometimes called the Real Man, the Eternal Pilgrim, who has made the rounds in latency, during past Manvantaras, through the planes of substance, form, life and desire, recording and preserving the experiences of each plane, manifesting of its infinite potentiality on each plane, just so much as the limitations of matter would permit. Now, it would evolve on the thought plane, and mind must be its vehicle.

Mind is One — an essential unit — creative, potent and spiritual. It manifests in different degrees on the different planes of existence, and according to the capacity of the vehicle through which it manifests. The microscopic cells and molecules of man's physical body have a mind of their own. This physical mind manifests its intelligence in the organic function of digestion, in the circulation of the blood, in assimilating from the blood just such portions as the tissues need, and in setting to work to repair at once any injury done to the physical body; all of which goes on without our knowing anything about it, except in the bare demands for food, drink, air and rest. So the physical mind continually creates and preserves the substance of the body. The mind of the Astral plane, creates and preserves the form which is its special mission. The mind of the plane of pure life creates and preserves force, — the connecting link between substance and form. The mind of the Kamic plane creates and preserves the expression of will through desire unmixed with imagination or intellect. This fourth principle, Kama, is the balance principle of the whole seven. It stands in the middle, and from it the ways go up and down. It is like the sign Libra in the path of the sun through the Zodiac; when the sun (who is the real man) reaches that sign, he trembles in the balance. Should he go back, the worlds would be destroyed, he goes onward and the whole human race is lifted up to perfection. It is the basis of action and the mover of the Will.

In man, on the fourth plane, mind wells up as "I am I." Consciousness turns upon itself and distinguishes from itself everything that is not itself and recognizes its own eternal identity. It views itself both as subject and object, and analyzes its own attributes and powers. It is able to blend itself with any of the three planes below it; it is capable of rising and blending itself with the three planes above it. It creates and preserves self-consciousness, expanding until "the Universe grows I." How does this endowment of mind become the property of animal man?

The course of evolution developed the lower quaternary and produced at last the form of man with a brain of better and deeper capacity than that of any other animal. But this primeval man in form, was mindless, the Adam of the second chapter of Genesis, who was born an image of clay and into whom "the Lord God breathed the breath of life," but not of intellect and discrimination. The Monads which incarnated in those forms remained without self-consciousness for they were pure spirit and there is no potentiality for creation or self-consciousness in a pure spirit on this our plane until it is mixed with and strengthened by an essence already differentiated.

It becomes the task of the Fifth Hierarchy of Dhyan Chohans to bestow the connecting link between the Divine and the animal, to inform mindless man and make of him the Rational Man. The aggregate of all Dhyan Chohans constitutes the Universal Mind, the fifth plane of Cosmos. Those of the Fifth Hierarchy who endowed man with mind, are called Manasaputra. How did the Manasaputra get mind? Leibnitz conceived of the Monads as "elementary and indestructible units endowed with the power of giving and receiving with respect to other units, and thus of determining all spiritual and physical phenomena." The Manasaputra, countless aeons before they endowed man with mind, were Monads endowed with the power "of giving and receiving," and during their myriad incarnations in lower as well as higher worlds, they assimilated all the wisdom therefrom — becoming the reflection of Mahat, or Universal Mind. They became men as we are now becoming men and arrived at the perfection towards which we are striving. This was in a preceding Maha-Manvantara — ages of incalculable duration (about 311,040,000,000,000 years), which had rolled away in the eternity a still more incalculable time ago (a Maha-Pralaya of equal duration with its twilight and dawn). They then passed into Nirvana and are at this stage returning Nirvanees. So far then from Nirvana being annihilation, it is said in the Sacred Slokas:

"The thread of radiance which is imperishable and dissolves only in Nirvana, re-emerges from it in its integrity on the day when the Great Law calls all things back into action."

This "thread of radiance," called the Sutratma, is in each of us the golden thread of continuous life periodically manifesting in active and passive cycles of sensuous existence on earth and super-sensuous in Devachan. On this luminous thread, like beads the various personalities are strung. It is the Higher Triad, the Reincarnating Ego, the Eternal Pilgrim. Those who had assimilated all the wisdom of their Manvantara "re-emerged" when they were "called." They overshadowed the mindless races, set on fire and expanded the latent elements of mind involved in man and refined them to the mental plane. This endowing of man with Manas is symbolized in the " Fiat Lux" of Free-Masonry, and also in a religious ceremony widely observed, by lighting many candles from one. The Manasaputra dropped a spark from the light they had, which settled and expanded within, and set aflame the unlighted brain-candles which were in readiness to burn, but could not light themselves. To construct a Thinking Man, Living Fire was needed, that fire which gives the human mind its self-perception and self-consciousness, or Manas. So I have pictured in this symbol of Manas, a flame. But this Higher Manas is yet too refined and too vast to enter wholly into an organism composed of but the four gross lower principles. So it shoots out a ray from itself and clothes it with astral matter nearer akin to the Kamic plane as now evolved than is its pure self. This astral dress, though it makes of Manas an active spiritual entity on this plane, still brings it into so close contact with matter as to entirely becloud at present its divine nature and stultify its intuitions. This ray, called the Lower Manas, is reflected directly into the plane below, Kama, and constitutes with it, Kama-Manas, giving man his brain-mind. This gives Manas during each incarnation a dual aspect and affinity. On its upper side it aspires to Atma-Buddhi, clings to it, and at death follows it to Devachan (the Heaven -World). On its lower side it gravitates to the animal passions. Right here, in Kama-Manas, is the turning point of evolution, the battle ground of the human soul. Here the struggle goes on between the higher and lower until one conquers, the choice is made and the quality and tendency of his ruling desire catalogue a man in the Great Book of Life as unerringly and as accurately as the ragweed and the fragrant jessamine are catalogued by the botanist.

Let us see what Lower Manas does for man in acquiring a knowledge of good and evil. Its function is pure intellection: alone it is colorless, calculating, incapable of affection or self-sacrifice. It confers the power to reason from premises to conclusions, and to grasp analogies: gives acuteness, subtlety, rationalized cogitation. It is tainted by each object presented to it and is altered into its shape and other characteristics. Its four peculiarities are: 1st, — to naturally fly off from any point: (the student who tries to practice concentration encounters this): 2d, — to fly to some pleasant idea: 3d, — to fly to an unpleasant idea (these three are due to memory), and 4th, — to remain passive: normally in sleep. These peculiar hindrances to the activity of Higher Manas are what it has to fight and conquer. Lower Manas retains all the impressions of a life-time and sometimes strangely exhibits them in a flash. Higher Manas stores up the essence of all incarnations and gives to each new one the results of past experience, in its tendencies and inclinations.

The special characteristics of Lower Manas are imagination — the image-making faculty — and the sense of separateness. The brute has neither. Imagination is a most potent factor in acquiring a knowledge of evil and equally so of good, when Lower Manas consummates at-one-ment with its "'Father in Heaven," the Higher Manas, and shares its immortality. But while it is attached to the purely animal functions, it robs them of the automatic impulse of necessity, and arrays them with protean kaleidoscopic attractiveness, magnifies their importance, until man comes to feel himself a god in their exercise, while he is really degrading himself into a demon. God, he is, potentially, and the demon of lust and selfish greed is, after all, only "the god inverted." In the light of this single Manasic ray, reflected downward "things are not what they seem."

Imagination's magic wand touches the animal craving for food and drink, and they become in animal man gluttony and drunkenness: healthful exercise is exaggerated into prize-fighting; the simple animal instinct of self-preservation develops miserly avarice, unscrupulous competition, swindling schemes and cunning inventions of death-dealing instruments: attachment to place yields to a vaunting patriotism that derides the cosmopolitan: the attraction of the sexes, held as a sacrament by some of the ancient nations who surrounded prospective maternity with every influence that could appeal to imagination for the bettering and ennobling of the race has gradually become licentiousness, legalized and illegal that stops at no sacrifices of others: and hand in hand with it walk criminal evading of parentage and cruelty to children and the helpless. Civilized nations have made of selfishness an ethical characteristic and of vice an art, and instead of the healthy king of animal creation which man was in the Third Race, he has become now, in the Fifth, a helpless, scrofulous being, the wealthiest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases: the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals: his vitals consumed by the eternal vulture of ever unsatisfied desire. All this through the delusion of imagination and the illusion of separateness.

A metaphor in the Katho-panishad says: — "The senses are the horses, body is the chariot, mind (Kama-Manas) is the reins, and intellect (or free-will) the Charioteer." And St. James says: — "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body." III-3. That is exactly what we need — to "turn about their whole body." Up to the evolution of animal man the ethics of tooth and claw has prevailed, establishing the survival of the fittest as the means of perfecting man's physical organism. But from this point, "rightabout-face" is the command issued for onward progress. The involuntary sacrifice of the lower planes must now be voluntary. Self-seeking must yield to altruism. THIS IS THE LAW, and mind must be its executor. Every thought we think either aids our fellow-men or retards them: yes, — and all the planes below man.

"For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
Are swifter than carrier doves.
They follow the law of the Universe —
Each thing must create its kind:
And they speed o'er the track to bring you back
Whatever went out from your mind."

We are daily creators of not only our own future, but the future of that humanity of which we are a part; and just as humanity rises in the scale of being, the lower planes are lifted toward the human. The sage who said, "My mind to me a kingdom is," might well have said, "My mind to me a universe is" — the only universe we shall ever know. The form, the color, the sound, the beauty of Nature are creations of the mind. Two men view a ripening field of wheat. One sees what distance apart the stalks are on the ground, the size and fullness of the heads, and estimates the number of bushels the harvest will yield and how many dollars they will represent. The other sees a theme for verse and tuneful song, the poetry of its waving billows, the glint of the sunshine on its russet gold, and in all the expression of the tender and bountiful love of the All-Father. It is the same wheat field. Why such different views of it? The difference exists in the quality of the two minds. Vibrations and contacts are all that exist in Nature. Our minds, which are the reality, create all the rest in sensation and feeling. The mind sees no objects whatsoever, but only their idea. The ancients held that all things whatsoever existed in fact solely in the idea, and therefore the practitioner of Yoga was taught and soon discovered that sun, moon and stars were in himself.

It is desire (Kama) that leads and propels to creation, — of worlds — cosmic children — as well as their pigmy inhabitants. It is the bond between entity and non-entity. Desire leads to knowledge; first along paths familiar through the animal instincts, where imagination leads us ever in a childish quest for the treasure that lies where the rainbow rests. Desire leads to knowledge and may be directed by mind to higher planes, where knowledge joined with truth and justice becomes Wisdom, and where creation reaches out into the Infinite. Job says, "Where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?" XXVIII, 12. In another chapter he gives the answer, "With the Ancient is Wisdom"; (the "Ancient" is man's Higher Ego) "and in the length of days" (that is, in the number of its re-incarnations) "is understanding." XII. 12. St. James says, "The Wisdom that is from above" (from Higher Manas) "is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." III. 17. How different from the worldly-wisdom of today!

But this Higher Manas, the source of pure Wisdom, is yet asleep in all of us. Some of us show the restlessness of sleepers near their awakening, perchance disturbed by dreams. The sleeping faculties of the mineral realm dream of growth; the vegetable world swayed by sighing or shrieking winds, dreams of independent locomotion and voluntary voice; animals tamed by man, who dominates the globe, look wistfully into his eyes and dream of his wonderful powers. And we too, dream; of immortality — the cherished dream of all mankind; we dream of love which brings completeness, pure, unselfish and free from passion; we dream of justice and brotherhood and omniscience. Shall not our dreams come true? When Lower Manas shall project itself up toward Higher Manas, it will form the Antahkarana, the connecting link between the two, and then genius and prophecy and spiritual inspiration can flow from their source above down into the brain mind.

Those who have traveled this unknown way send messages back, and this is one of the messages: "Higher Manas is unconditionally omniscient on its own plane." Think of it! Omniscience your heritage, and mine, when we have learned to cross this little bridge; never again to falter through ignorance, never to go astray through delusion. The very desire to do and to become is the promise and potency of attainment; for desire is the mover of the Will, and in the realm of thought, the real world, Will rules supreme. The world of thought is a sphere whose radii proceed from one's self in every direction and extend out into space, opening up boundless vistas all around — " the centre which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere."

We hardly know the meaning of the word "Will." It suggests to us the arbitrary or the despotic, while in fact the highest exercise of Will comes from a knowledge of Nature's laws and directing our will in harmony with them. Creation is but the result of Will acting on phenomenal matter, the calling forth out of it the primordial divine Light and Life. All of man's inventions are created first in the mind and then precipitated into matter. The human Will, the Will of Higher Manas, is all-powerful, and the Imagination stands next to it in power and is its inseparable ally. When imagination is check-reined, trained and guided, it becomes the Constructor in the Human workshop, the King faculty. It evolves in the astral substance an image or form which may then be used in the same way as an iron moulder uses a mould of sand for the molten metal. Will cannot do its work if Imagination be at all weak or untrained. Matter is held suspended in the air all about us. The Adept (one who is at home in Higher Manas) selects a form, and Imagination photographs it, sharply definite in every line, in a mind picture, and then Will precipitates from the air the pigment to fall within the limits laid down by the brain, the most highly evolved organism in the world, "the exhaustless generator of force and form." Or the Adept disperses the atoms of an object to such a distance from each other as to render the object invisible, and can then send them along a current formed by his will in the ether to any distance on the earth. At the desired point, the dispersing force is withdrawn when immediately cohesion re-asserts itself and the object re-appears intact.

These, and yet more wonderful powers belong to Mind, the recital of which seems to us enumerating the attributes of Divinity. They will be man's possession in the future. They are the possession of a chosen few now. They would be ours today were it not for blind dogmatism, selfishness and materialistic unbelief. When we shall free ourselves from these and hush the cries of the animal within, then we can hearken to the Voice of Silence and walk illuminated by the clear, steady brilliance of the Divine Light of Mind.


Universal Brotherhood

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