Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press. All rights Reserved.
That which men would receive from Mystic sources is frequently often repeated, and in such a quiet, unobtrusive voice, that he who is waiting to hear it shouted in his ear, is apt to pass on unheeding. — William Q. Judge
G. de P. — Companions, I call your attention to the fact that the higher you progress in esoteric studies, the farther you progress along the path of chelaship, the more informal do things become. So much so that in the higher degrees there is no formality whatever. The teacher may be in one part of the world, say in Egypt, in some European country, or in America or China or Java, or anywhere else, and the chela may be anywhere else likewise. The latter may receive a call, or what HPB used to call the astral bell. The chela may be at work in a field; he may be driving an automobile; he may be sitting at a meal, in his armchair, lying in his bed; but instantly when the call comes, he is alert, and he receives the message or communication in the silence, thus not given even by word of mouth.
The reason for this is that in the lower degrees a certain amount of ceremonial and ritual helps those who have not developed the spiritual ability to concentrate their thoughts on higher planes; but in the higher degrees, when this concentration of thought and attitude of mind, when this elevation of thought, becomes instinctive, ritualistic observances and ceremonials of any kind actually become an obstacle or bar. They become a hindrance because they distract the attention to outward things.
Student — When at these meetings I am seated next to a comrade who is asleep, or between two who are dozing, try as I may to avoid it, I become very uncomfortable and restless. This is not good. Please tell me how best to overcome these feelings?
G. de P. — A very proper question indeed; and I cannot tell you how much it has pained me to have learned in the course of the last six weeks or so, that certain of our companions — one or two or three, perhaps, especially — have gone to sleep at one or another of these gatherings. I have spoken of this before, when I first learned about it, and I wanted to be as kindly as I could, because the rules of the Oriental School must be strictly enforced. I then suggested that any companion who was so drowsy that he or she could not keep awake, should quietly leave the meeting, and not come again until so gross a violation of esoteric proprieties could not possibly recur.
Now in direct answer to the question, I suggest that a strong effort of the will be made to be more alert, more wide awake than ever. I can readily see how this companion must feel sitting by one who is dozing or asleep — and as I happen to know in one instance even snoring.
Do you know that if such a thing happened in an esoteric school in the Orient, in the lodges of our Esoteric School in the East, if a companion should be drowsy or go to sleep in a meeting like this, he would be looked upon as a monster. I do not mean this unkindly. I am simply telling you the truth. If these teachings interested you sufficiently, and if you had the heart-light within you sufficiently bright, burning with sufficient strength, you could no more go to sleep than you could commit suicide. This fault shows a mental inertia and a spiritual darkness — even if only temporary. This again is not said unkindly. It is a statement of truth, and I speak with vigor because there is something akin to indignation in my heart that such a thing could have taken place. There is no excuse for it.
Be kindly, however, and remember that some companions have to struggle against a physical vehicle which is very strong. I have known people who have gone to sleep at the most unheard-of times, but here in our ES meetings such a thing must not take place.
I am even impelled to say that if any one of you sitting next to a companion who falls asleep discovers that such is the case, he or she should immediately arise and state the fact.
Student — Will you please explain what HPB means when she speaks of "the seven-headed serpent on which rests the god Vishnu"?
G. de P. — What HPB says there is simply stating a fact which I suppose that every initiated Brahmana knows; and had the Occidental world been more accustomed to understand Oriental psychology and Oriental metaphor, the actual explanation would not be required because the matter would be as clear as day. Vishnu represents one aspect of a hierarchy in connection with the teaching of hierarchies that we have given in this group before. Resting on the seven-headed serpent means resting on the seven principles of the boundless cosmos — Vishnu, a part of the manifested hierarchy or universe, reposing on the bosom of infinite time and infinite space, called the seven-headed Sesha.
The word Sesha means "remainder" or :remainders," and Vishnu sleeping on the seven-headed or thousand-headed serpent Sesha refers to two things: the karmic remainders of the preceding cosmic manvantara forming the basis for the manifestation of the present one, and also what I have just briefly said, the seven principles of the cosmos on and in which the manifested universe exists. Thus Vishnu also sleeps on Sesha during the cosmic pralaya. This teaching is very closely allied to a profound aspect of karma in a cosmic field.
Between the individual human being (a manifested entity existing in and of and from the boundless universe of which it is an inseparable part) and that universe itself (a manifested entity or hierarchy sleeping on or in the bosom of infinite time and boundless space) there is much similarity in all senses of the word, and you can see this if you remember the doctrine of analogy.
Do you begin to understand the idea? Vishnu, an aspect of the manifested universe, the preserving power, sleeping during pralaya on the bosom of infinite space, through infinite time, which universe has its cycles of both waking and sleeping.
Likewise a sun could be spoken of in much the same way, glittering in its starry brilliance, somewhat like a cosmic gem, hanging on the bosom of the seven-principled eternity, of the seven-principled space; and all this pertains to the great ineffable mystery of universal Being manifesting itself in periodical cycles of manifested Vishnu and Vishnu unmanifested.
Do you understand somewhat of the thought?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Has anyone any further question to ask on this point before we pass to the next?
Student — In the Forum, July 1895, a chela writes: The "bright side of the moon stands for one of the seven sacred planets hidden from profane eyes and telescopes and visible only on certain spots of this Earth and at certain seasons of the year."
We are also told elsewhere that the moon is a substitute for an invisible planet.
Is the lunar chain, so far as we connect it in our minds with the visible moon, a blind intended to conceal the true chain of which the invisible planet is the known representative? In other words, did we really come from the chain of which the invisible planet is part, and not from any chain connected with our moon? Or is the moon only a substitute in some other sense — perhaps astrological — and the moon's chain is the veritable parent-chain?
G. de P. — The moon-chain is the veritable parent septiform chain from which our earth and all its host sprang. The matters regarding this astrological planet, this mystical planet, for which the moon stands as a representative, do not belong, companions, to this Section. I am very sorry to have to say these words so frequently; but in one sense the questions which call for such an answer from me demonstrate a good thing: they show that your minds are alert, that you are thoughtful, that you are becoming more intuitive with each meeting that we have together here, and that the teachings that you have received at others of our meetings have cast the light into your minds so that you evolve questions therefrom. That is all a good sign.
I can say the following however. What I say will make an astronomer in the Occident laugh, and yet it is true. The invisible planet for which the moon stands in esoteric ancient astrology as a substitute, is very near the moon and partakes in large degree of the characteristics of the lunar forces. There is a similar planet which is very near the sun, for which the sun stands as a substitute. These two sacred planets are two of the seven sacred planets of the ancients.
Student — If allowed to ask about a personal experience, I beg for an explanation of the following:
Several years ago, on a morning while I lay in my bed and was just wakening from sleep, but before I had opened my eyes, I had a very clear vision of KT's head in profile. It was at first motionless, but finally she turned towards me and smiled, and at the same time there emanated from her what I can describe only as a strong vibration of benevolence that made me feel happy; and then she was gone.
Was this only a dream-vision, or was it a real vision of KT brought about by thought-transference or by her presence in her mayavi-rupa? I never asked KT about it.
G. de P. — It seems to me from the atmosphere of this question that what this kindly-hearted companion saw and felt was a reality; but not taking the form of a mayavi-rupa, or projected body, which the Tibetans call a manifestation of the hpho-wa. I think it was a case of psychomagnetic perception of KT's actual individuality as cast on the astral light. There was a moment of intense mental and spiritual concentration on the ideal held in the heart of this companion as regards his leader and teacher; and a strong bond of love, sympathy, and devotion, enabled him to see for the time being a picture of KT of which she was quite possibly fully aware.
A question like this is obviously very difficult to answer, because we would have to go back to all the details and inquire into the circumstances of time and place, and conditions and surroundings. But such is my impression.
What is the next question, please?
Student — Can the sentence: "I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end," symbolic of the Logos, allude also to 'the magical point'?
Is such a 'magical point' to be found at the beginning and the end of everything, where the application of will-power will have the greatest effect?
Is the first and the last point in time of any period or cycle such a magical point? For instance, at sunrise and sunset, and when we begin and end a work? Or, for instance, at the beginning and the end of a stair; or where, at a crossroads, other roads lead out? Or in a portal that leads into a house?
There seems to be a magical point at each end of a magnet; is there not such a point also at the end of every stick or rod, especially if it is sharp-pointed?
Is not the sharp top of the pyramid, and of church towers, meant to symbolize the Logos, because it is a magical point?
If there is anything in all this, cannot the observation of magical points be useful in meditation?
G. de P. — That is quite a long question! What this companion has in mind, who evidently is of a mystical bent, in speaking of the alpha and omega, I think, is referred to often in theosophical literature as the head and the tail of the serpent of eternity, or the beginning and end of a cycle of evolution. Or, as he puts it, the two poles of a magnet. He calls them magical points; that is an unusual term. Some philosophers have spoken of similar things as neutral points, where things begin and where things end, and which more accurately would perhaps be called laya-centers — dissolving points, which are likewise points of beginning as well as points of ending.
I am reminded of a thought of one of the great English men of science, an astronomer, Sir James Jeans, who speaks of what he calls singular points as being the points of "creation" in a nebula in space, through which singular points, or points of creation, there streams into our physical universe from another dimension, to use his term, from another invisible world as theosophists would say, energies and substances.
This is a very remarkable statement indeed for a modern scientific thinker to make. It describes neatly and accurately pretty much what we mean in one aspect when a theosophist speaks of a laya-center or a laya-point. These are points, neutral or magical points, to adopt the term of our questioner, which exist in the thin and indeed totally illusory dividing line between two planes — through which pass from above downwards, superior energies and matters; and likewise through which pass upwards from the inferior plane to the superior, forces and energies which have temporarily finished their evolution on the lower plane. Such is a typical laya-center.
I do not think it would be at all advisable to try to concentrate on such magical points in meditation, for the mind would be distracted to the exterior instead of turned inwards to the light within, which is the true road to spiritual illumination. Anything that exteriorizes the consciousness is just the opposite of what an ES student should strive for.
Have you any more questions?
Student — Dear Teacher: on October 17th you discouraged members from applying for admission to a higher degree. Speaking to us on March 12th, you said, in substance: "Why don't you make up your minds to assume the duties of chelaship, take the oath, and get the knowledge you then will be entitled to?"
Important points are raised by the latter statement. If a member of this group feels qualified to apply to take the very serious oath mentioned, is he expected or permitted to do so?
G. de P. — The question is answered in the preliminary statement. I repeat to you again: why don't you take the kingdom of heaven by violence — to use a Christian term. It is perfectly useless to write to me a note, a request, saying you want to come into a higher degree. Prove it! Prove that you are worthy, and you won't need to write any notes asking to come in. I shall know. I shall see it in your faces. I shall feel it in your atmosphere. I shall know by what you say and what you do. And then you will be told all that it is necessary and proper for you to hear at the time.
Why certainly, anyone who desires with sufficiently fervid desire to go higher, will go higher. It is you yourselves who must make up your mind. You yourself must make up your mind. You yourself must take the first step. I cannot take it for you. I could not even if I wished to do so. I am bound by restrictions more severe than you know anything about. I have no choice in the matter whatsoever; but I am constantly on the alert and watching day and night for one single gleam of the buddhic splendor in any one of you. And when I see it, it is my duty to answer the call, because that gleam of light is a call, and the call, Companions, will be answered. I have not failed, nor shall I fail; but I must see the light first.
Student — Is it right to regard the obtaining of higher knowledge as a part of the desire for chelaship; and if so, how shall one be sure that no wish for personal possessions steals in? In view of the complexity of the lower nature, its subtlety, and the possibility of self-deception, what is the best way of testing oneself that the desire for higher knowledge and wisdom is pure and altruistic?
G. de P. — Self-study. Study yourselves. The daily life is the field of your study. If you find that you can do your duty impersonally and that you love it; if you find that the duties you do are a grateful labor; if you find that the knowledge you already have you can contain in secrecy and silence without itching to give it to others; if you find that you do not fail in the life that you lead — if you find these things, then the buddhic splendor is beginning to work in you and I shall see it.
And you will know by the results in your life, by the way you live, by the way you do your duty, even the common daily duties, whether you are fit to go higher. You are your own judges. I cannot judge you; that is not my work. You will know very quickly whether selfishness is the motor in your life, or whether your urge is a love which knows no bounds. However small that love may be, if there is even a glimmer of it in your hearts, you will feel it.
Judge yourselves. Knowledge is a holy thing. You have a right to it. It is not selfish, it is not personal, to desire to know; but you are not entitled to knowledge until you know yourself that you won't abuse that knowledge, or will not betray it. These are the old rules of the Oriental School and they are just, very just, because they are based on nature's own operations, on your own human nature. Analyze yourselves. Judge yourselves. Study yourselves.
I tell you that there comes a time in a student's life, in the life of a chela, when nothing can restrain him. He would walk barefoot to the ends of the earth for what his heart craves; and many and many and many a chela in the past has done just that — abandoned everything. The world said: what supreme folly! But the student with the eye of his spirit saw the gleam on the mountains in the mystic East, and won the treasure of initiation. He found himself, recognized his kinship with the gods, and came into self-conscious communion with the powers that guide and control and govern our globe. You know what I mean. He abandoned the personal life and found infinity.
Student — All our teachers say that one who challenges the trials of chelaship and calls upon the Law to test him, has to face a mass of his past karma in a very short time.
This is a very different proposition from meeting the same karma in the normal way — spread over a long period with intervals for rest and for gaining strength for the next trying experience.
Does not this show that the actual dynamic effect of karma can be modified by being hastened or delayed by the action of the human will?
G. de P. — Certainly it does. And when one's karma through one's own efforts is aroused and accumulated on a single spot of the character, then occurs usually what HPB spoke of as pledge-fever. The whole psychological apparatus is then thrown into a fevered state, and it is a dangerous time. Every chela, every would-be chela, has to face this condition and conquer it. Conquest means the Golden Crown. Failure — well -failure means trying again.
Please remember what karma is. Karma is not an outside power. Karma is yourself. Our Lord the Buddha told the truth: what you are is your own karma. You have built yourself to be what you now are. You are now building yourself for what in the future you will be. You are your own karma, the consequence of the you that was. And you are now the roots, the seed, of the you that will be. In either case you are your own karma.
This concentration of karma means simply facing all the aspects of your character at a single time, instead of spaced out over a long period. The average man finds it easy enough, I suppose, to meet the weaknesses of his character, and his failings, when these are spaced out over a long time. But imagine meeting, facing, all your weaknesses at once. Every chela has to go through that. That is the initiation test. Success means glory, wonderful things, strength, power, vision, wisdom, knowledge.
Do you know, Companions, that your thoughts are so much things, that a train of thought, in other words a bias of character, held throughout a lifetime becomes an actual entity in the astral world — an aggregated entity? Do you know that the chela, the neophyte, in the schools of initiation, has to meet and face these his own astral children and slay them, kill them, which means dissipate them? Strange paradoxical statement — and yet it is true!
The minds of some human beings are beautiful, and the minds of other human beings are awful. These aggregate entities actually have form, power, vigor; and it is they to which Bulwer Lytton alluded in his novel Zanoni, when he spoke of "the Dweller on the Threshold." If men only knew what they are surrounded by — their own children, their own thoughts, their own offspring — from very horror and fear they would refrain from doing and thinking what often men and women do do and think.
You have heard people commonly say in ordinary walks of life: "I do not like the atmosphere of that person he is positively offensive to me. I cannot stand it!" Now such a speech is often unkind, and such thoughts should be overcome. You should overcome all that; you should be stronger and rise above those feelings. But yet they prove the fact that people are surrounded with an atmosphere — an akasic or astral atmosphere — which is the offspring or outcome of each individual's thoughts, emotions, will, ideals, all gathered together. You sense the characteristics of a person's auric egg, and the beings which the auric egg harbors. However, this matter is, perhaps, rather too deep for this evening.
Have you any more questions?
Student — I am very much interested in health and healing because it means greater capacity to serve. Can you tell something helpful along that line? I have studied many books along that line, and I have been with people who were very splendid in healing; and it seems to me that all real theosophists should be healers to a certain extent. Is it true?
G. de P. — Well, that is a very natural question for you to ask. Let me point out one or two things. No human being likes to be ill. No human being likes to be in pain. Most human beings are cowards. They prefer to evade if possible the results of their own evil thoughts and acts. They do not understand that while it is right that healing should be done by all normal and proper ways, there is such a thing as damming back, or forcing back, the coming into manifestation, the flowing out and working off of accumulated karma, which ordinarily would take the form of disease or physical trouble of some kind.
Now it is very questionable whether, for a chela at least, that would be a useful thing to do, or a proper thing to do. It is difficult for Occidentals to understand this because the whole trend of our minds and training from childhood has been just the contrary. Most Occidentals, really, do not believe in an astral world. They do not know of such things. If they hear about them they doubt. Most Occidentals today do not even believe that they have a soul. Although they hear of it, they do not know anything about it. They are ignorant. They live in the body; they live in the brain mind. The body to them — its comforts, its successes — is supreme.
Now the wish to heal is fine, is a beautiful instinct, and it is the duty of every human being to bring comfort, solace, peace, to others — in other words to help. It is the duty of every doctor to try and bring the same to those who come to him and who suffer, who are in pain. That is right. But I believe you are alluding to such things as magnetic healing, are you not?
Student — No, sir. Of course I know something about that, but I want to get at real healing. I know that I have made many mistakes in the past, and others are making them constantly, and I feel sure there is a right way of healing, and of course I am going to know it.
G. de P. — Quite right. I admire that spirit. The will to know is the first step to the gaining of wisdom. I do not quite understand then what you mean by healing, but if you are referring to the New Testament life of Jesus — and he was supposed to have been a healer — let me remind you of an esoteric fact, that the term healer was commonly used among the ancients of one who brought the supreme blessing of peace of mind and harmony of soul to his fellow human beings. When these exist in the life, and throughout the lifetime, they bring in their train physical well-being. Therefore, follow the example of the Buddha, and of Jesus called the Christ. Be kindly, be charitable in thought, judge not your fellows, learn to forgive, learn to love, for love is harmony. To do these things is not merely our duty, but it is a blessed privilege to live in the thought that we can do these things. We have a right to do them. We should do them; we should love our fellowmen. We should send out currents of good will, of kindly feeling, of helpfulness, and if we keep these up through a number of years, if we watch carefully we will see that our character grows more kindly, richer, mellower, more lovable; and our own health will be much better.
Man is a wellspring of energy. That is the fundamental of his character. The very heart of him is love; it is harmony. Disease of any kind is a resultant of inharmonious thinking, of inharmonious emotions, and therefore inharmonious living.
Are there any other questions, please?
Student — In The Mahatma Letters, the Master states that there are apparently many fifth rounders, talking of adepts, and those men that stand out — the prominent politicians, and the great scientists, and so forth. Will you explain to us how one starts to become a fifth rounder, and also how the people are able to evolve on the globes that are now in pralaya?
G. de P. — You have asked one question, which imbodies many others. It would require a week with meetings every night for half a dozen hours each to explain them all.
How to become a fifth rounder? By following the Law, cultivating the six glorious virtues, cultivating your intellect, cultivating your heart. Become impersonal. Learn to forgive. Learn to love. These are manly virtues. A fifth rounder is one in whom the inner god manifests more fully than he does in fourth round men. Whatever is superior in human life, learn to love that. Try to make it apparent in your own life. Drop as far as you can the personal aspects of your existence. Learn to put value upon the things of permanence. Learn to understand the illusory nature of the things of impermanence, the things you cannot carry with you when you pass on. Build for yourself treasures in Heaven, to adopt the language of the Christian New Testament, where no thieves break in or steal, and where there is no corruption by moth or rust; rather than build for yourselves temples on earth which you will leave. Palaces are all right in their way, but be not a slave of the palace; be the genius within. That is the Way. Begin to cultivate the virtues which will put you on the path of becoming more quickly than in the ordinary way a fifth rounder.
A fifth rounder merely means one who is a whole round ahead of the average run of men today, who are fourth rounders, and every outstanding spiritual human being is a fifth rounder. Not necessarily politicians. But the great philosophers, the great humanitarians, the great artists, those who have brought genius to soothe human hearts, to comfort human souls, who have bettered mankind by living among us — these are the fifth rounders, the great men who have inspired their fellowmen to do nobler and better things.
Now as regards the method of evolution on the planets which you state are in pralaya. First let me point out to you that pralaya is not the proper term; obscuration is the correct term in this case. And secondly, let me point out to you that these other planets are not in obscuration necessarily all the time. The periods of obscuration of any one of these globes — which is the proper term, and not planets when you are speaking of the seven globes of the chain — these periods of obscuration are not long as compared with the periods of passage of the active life-wave.
For instance, when our own human race shall have left this earth-globe of our own earth-chain, and shall have passed on to globe E, this globe D, our earth, will go into its obscuration period, and that period is, generally speaking, only about one-tenth as long as the preceding period of activity. When this short obscuration period is ended, another evolutionary wave will enter this earth-globe. We shall then still be on globe E.
There are waves or groups of entities following each other in regular time periods around the planetary chain. We humans are not the only beings of the planetary chain commonly called our earth-chain. We are but one group or life-wave.
Take an instance of another planet than our earth. The planet Mars is in obscuration at present. Some people seem to think that that obscuration period will last while the life-wave, which previously manifested there, passes through all the other three globes of the Mars planetary chain on the upward ascending arc, and until that life-wave reaches the fourth globe of the Mars-chain again — that fourth globe being the visible planet which we see. That is not so. The obscuration periods of the globes on any planetary chain are very much shorter indeed than are the periods of manvantara or active manifestation of any globe.
And I might add that there are really enormous changes in the type and characteristics of a life-wave or group as it passes from globe to globe of any particular chain. For instance, the animals on globes F and G of our own earth-chain — or rather what corresponds on those globes to what the animals are on Earth — the "beasts" on globe F and on globe G are hundreds of times superior to what we are as men on this globe D. Imagine therefore what the humanity of globes F and G must be like. Do you understand that idea?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Our globe D is the most material of all the seven globes of our earth-chain. The globe which follows us next on the ascending or upward arc is a relatively spiritual globe. Globe F which follows it is still more ethereal or spiritual, beginning to partake somewhat of the nature of actual spiritual substance; while globe G is almost a spiritual globe.
You see how marvelous this teaching of theosophic evolution is. We begin on globe A in any round, which is a relatively spiritual globe; run through our seven cycles or root-races as we call them there, but on a lofty plane. We leave that globe A; and passing to globe B on the downward arc, globe A goes into its short period of obscuration before it receives its succeeding life-wave or group; but we meanwhile are on globe B, and go through our seven root-races there. When this is accomplished, we leave it for globe C; and then globe D, our earth; sinking into matter more deeply all the time. There is a constant increase in material powers and energies as we go down the arc, and a constant decrease of our spiritual and more loftily intellectual faculties.
Contrariwise, as we begin the arc of ascent, or the luminous arc as it is called, the exact reverse takes place: we de-materialize ourselves more completely with each new globe on the upward arc, and coincidently spiritualize ourselves. And therefore, as I said, even the beasts, or what corresponds to the beasts on globe F and on globe G are hundreds of times — I might say possibly even thousands, so far as globe G is concerned — superior to what we men on earth are, that is, we now manifesting on this densely material globe D in these our dense and crippling physical vehicles. I hope that all this is clear.
Student — May I ask a question in regard to this last statement that you have made? I understand of course the spirituality of the beings on those two globes. But the globe that precedes us — the globe C: when you say that the animals are superior to the men that are on this globe, I suppose you mean, superior in that they have more spiritual qualities. But they are not more evolutionally advanced than we are; they are behind us in evolution, are they not?
G. de P. — Well now, you are asking a very pertinent question, and a very interesting one. Perhaps this will help you — you are speaking of the beasts, are you not? The beasts on globe F, or what corresponds to the beasts there and on globe G, are more advanced from the evolutionary standpoint than are the men on earth. Now if you can understand that, there is the key to your answer. But of course the beasts on globe C — the globe preceding our globe D — are behind us in evolution.
Student — We are told that to be man means to have the development of the manas, of the mind; and to be an animal is not to have that development. That is why I think we are a little bewildered, because if the animals could be ahead of us without having mind, it must be in some other form of evolution.
G. de P — That teaching is with regard to evolution on the earth alone. Remember that the earth belongs to a chain which is septiform. There are seven grades or degrees of the manasic faculty or power. Do you understand me? Man is man, when heaven and earth meet, so to say, when the spiritual and the material are evenly balanced. That is the teaching with regard to globe D, our earth.
I will further say this: that the animals on globe G, the last and highest globe on our chain, have more manasic power than we have. They are only called beasts because they represent on the hierarchical scale the same state or grade on globe G that our beasts represent on the hierarchical scale on earth. You know what that hierarchical scale is: the three kingdoms of the elementals, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom, and the three kingdoms of the gods, making the full ten.
Student — Here is another question. It was said tonight that a chela, a person who wants to become a chela, has to meet his accumulated karma. Now I have often wondered about Subba Row. As many of you may remember, he died of a skin disease that Olcott claimed came from his desire to have experience in the fohat. Now I wonder is this an identical case with a chela, with a person trying to become a chela on a higher plane, except that he tried to advance higher than his karma permitted; or was it merely an inability on his part to understand the right processes?
G. de P. — No. I don't agree with Colonel Olcott at all in this. Colonel Olcott did many good things, but he was greatly given to imagining things too, not only about his own teacher HPB, but about other things. And I don't say this unkindly, for I think that I am simply stating a fact.
Wasn't it very recently that one of the questions I had to answer gave me the opportunity to call your attention to an interesting fact that even a high chela, and particularly a high chela, cannot avoid meeting karma; that there is such a thing as old karma that has not yet been worked out even in relatively high chelaship? Disease, I think, was one of the things I spoke of, and of the bad effects of damming it back. This damming back can be done, but if you do so you merely store up the disease, force it backwards into latency, and it will inevitably come out at some future time, and in high probability at a time when it will be still less welcome than when nature in the ordinary processes brought it out or tried to cast it out of the body in the form called disease.
Now please do not understand that this means that we should not try to be healed. It does not mean that we should lie down and suffer like the dumb beasts, as the saying goes. Not at all. The idea should be not to dam back the disease or force it into latency, but to bring it out, to lead it out as easily as possible; and the medicine of the future will realize this so keenly, and knowledge of the physical body in the future will be so much greater than now it is, that the physicians of those future days, future times, will be able to lead out a disease carefully and gently so that the body will scarcely be hurt, certainly not wrecked as unsuccessful experimentation in medical treatment often wrecks the body today. The motive may be good, but we all know the old saying in our Occident that a certain hot place is paved with good intentions.
I think that in the case of Subba Row it was simply some old karma that was coming out, and he had the manhood to let it come out, and died knowing that once it was finished with, the karma was ended. He was a good man. He could have been greater. He was a Brahmana, living under the psychology of that very proud and very haughty caste; but he was a good man and an earnest man. He was a chela and a fairly high chela, for his class. I have read with interest his disputation with HPB regarding certain recondite questions of esoteric philosophy, and it always made me think of two friendly antagonists fencing with each other, for neither one dared to show the full hand. Each understood the other, and yet each preferred his or her own way of setting forth the esoteric wisdom. HPB was a disciple of the Masters of the Himalayas, to use the ordinary expression — in other words a disciple of our Lord Buddha.
Subba Row on the other hand was a Brahmana. His whole mental bias was along, or rather followed the thought-trend of the magnificent system of the Vedanta — the noblest form that the philosophical thought of Brahmanism has ever taken. He was a Vedantist; and it may interest you to know that in the Adwaita-Vedanta its students are often called by their sectarian antagonists, "Buddhists in disguise"; whereas, strangely enough, certain classes of Buddhists are called by other Buddhist classes, "Vedantins in disguise"; the meaning being that the Adwaita-Vedantism and the Trans-Himalayan Buddhism are exactly the same thing in fundamentals and in principles. The differences between them are more of form, of garment, of expression, than of essentials.
Student — I would like to ask if the animals on globe G will have more manas than we have now, because we shall have manas of a higher kind, and they coming after us will also have more manas, and we at that time will have passed to higher manifestations, or the realization of higher principles.
G. de P. — I don't think I understand you. Just try to phrase your question again. I deeply sympathize with your difficulty. I think I get the drift of your question, but I don't quite understand it. And I don't dare answer it until I do.
Student — Well, we are taught that the animals are behind us in evolution. Yet, if on globe G they are ahead of what we are now, does not that mean that they are still behind the humans; that the humans are simply so far ahead of them in development on globe G?
G. de P. — On globe G you mean. That is quite true. And it is a good thing that you brought it out. The humans on globe G will of course still be far ahead in evolutionary development of what for purposes of illustration we may call the beasts of globe G. The relative grades will be maintained as the life-wave passes through globe to globe.
Student — My question is on a similar thing. These entities, beasts and men, who are at present on globe C, when they descend to globe D when the time comes, will they have to pass through the same experiences, and be practically where we are now? I mean the same experiences that we are passing through now. They are now more spiritual, but when they come down to this globe — when their time comes, and we are gone to the globe next higher, will they then be what we are now — much less spiritual than they were of course, but practically what we are now?
G. de P. — I understand you. In a general way the answer is yes; but instead of being more spiritual they will be more material, because they will have descended from globe C to globe D.
Student — Yes, I mean that; but inasmuch as they are superior to us at present, I wondered if they would have to go through the same experiences that we are going through now.
G. de P. — You are speaking of globe C?
Student — Yes. You have said, I understand, that they are superior, that even the animals on globe C are superior to us.
G. de P. — No. On the ascending arc, yes; but, furthermore, you are right in one sense of the word. The beasts, even the beasts on globe C, are "superior" to the beasts on globe D in the sense that they are more ethereal, but they are not so advanced in evolution, in time of growth, as the beasts on this globe D. You understand?
Student — Yes, that I understand.
G. de P. — And furthermore you were doubtless alluding to the life-waves that will succeed ours. If so, you are quite right.
Student — You have told us frequently that a thought is an entity which will evolve a life of its own. But just what is a question in a mind? It takes considerable thought sometimes actually to formulate a question, and unless you actually know what it is you want to know, your question has not got much definition.
G. de P. — Quite true.
Student — But what is a question?
G. de P. — A question is a thought-elemental in the throes of birth. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — You have some vague idea which you would like to define. You try to bring that thought into the form of a question — trying to form that question, to shape your thought which means giving birth to that thought. If you will examine yourself, you will find that a question really contains its own answer if you are wise enough to find it. A question is simply a thought in the throes of birth.
Some people can ask questions very easily. Some people have great difficulty in asking questions; and I might add, perhaps, Companions, that this latter class might very readily be deeper thinkers than those who can formulate and ask questions with perfect facility, the only exception being in the case of very advanced humans whose intellectual powers are so completely trained and under control that perfection in thinking is natural to them. Do you understand what I am trying to say? Is the answer responsive to your question?
Student — May I ask regarding something that you said a while ago about healing? In San Diego I met a lady the other day who was having a healer come to the house. She had been very ill, and he got her out of bed in no time. He was a magnetic spiritual healer. Now was it imagination on her part, or did he really heal her?
G. de P. — Well, I could not tell unless I knew the person, and knew all the circumstances.
Student — I mean have these magnetic healers the power to help one physically, although it may be bad for them in another incarnation or at a later period when they have to work out the karma of it?
G. de P. — Yes, real magnetic healers certainly have a magnetic power of healing — damming back a disease, if you like to call that healing. It is postponing the trouble; but they are most certainly not spiritual healers. That is an entirely wrong idea. A magnetic healer heals through material or rather animal or psycho-animal magnetism. A spiritual healer is one who rights a crooked life, who forms into shapely configuration a deformed character. Such was the Buddha, such was Jesus, such is every great seer and sage. They are the true healers, the true spiritual healers, because they heal men's minds and souls. The others heal by what is popularly called animal magnetism; but they don't like the word and so they call themselves spiritual healers, an entirely wrong and erroneous use of the term.
Now please understand, Companions, that these remarks are not meant unkindly. I am here to tell you the fact, but it does not imply that I mean that these magnetic healers are bad men and women — not at all. They are ignorant, and many of them are doubtless quite sincere; but to call themselves spiritual healers is grotesque. They know nothing of the spirit. Very few of them have any conception of spirituality. Even the average hypnotist can heal, he can dam back a disease; and he is as much a magnetic healer as these others are. It is a form of psychologization popularly called hypnotism.
Student — Are there some animals on this round or plane living now who are superior in their evolution to the average animal? I mean, can they be in advance of other animals, just as you say there are some fifth round men here? There seem to be some animals who seem to be more human than the humans; and I wonder if they could be a little farther along than the average animal.
G. de P. — I understand perfectly; and you are quite right. Is that all to your question?
Student — Well, are they not advanced as a fifth round person would be? Can there be fifth round animals?
G. de P. — I understand. The answer is this: there are certain families of the beasts who are evolutionally more advanced than other families of the beasts. That is obvious. Everyone can see it. The monkeys and the apes are much farther advanced than the other beasts are. The reason is that they have a certain amount of human blood in them due to the terrible error, first of the third race of men, and later of a degraded portion of the fourth race of men. They stand in the beast world just about where fifth rounders stand to us humans, when we speak of human fifth and sixth rounders.
Now in the human kingdom, fifth round men are coming amongst us and will come in continually greater numbers until we leave this globe. As I have explained, the fifth rounders are all the really very noble human beings, the unusually spiritual men. The sixth round humans are exceedingly rare. The only one known in recorded history was Gautama the Buddha. There are others, but they are not known. And they are very, very, very, few. You are quite right in your general statement. Do you understand the answer?
Student — Yes, Professor; only I was not thinking of that kind of animal. I was thinking of a very, very, fine horse or dog, that seems to have qualities less beastly than some humans.
G. de P. — No. There are no fifth round beasts in that sense of the word. The only possible reason for speaking of actual beasts who are more advanced than others is this: domestic animals or domestic pets are more advanced in evolution than are the wild beasts, the beasts of the wilderness. But such close intercourse is not good for pets. It is not a good thing to have pets, because the door into the human kingdom has closed; it closed at the middle point of the fourth round, during the fourth race. No beast can now enter the human kingdom, or could enter the human kingdom after that time. Consequently, pets are beasts existing in an artificial and forced state of evolution which is unwholesome. They hover between the inability to go farther for the rest of this entire planetary manvantara and their natural state of beasthood. It actually is an unfair thing to keep pets. It is unfair to the beasts.
Student — Thank you.
Student — This question is one that has troubled me very much; and your answer to the previous question brought it out. Roughly, the great difference, of course, between the human and the beast, is that man is self-conscious and knows he is man; and the beast does not know he is a beast. But in the aeons to come, when the beast possesses manas, he will find that out; and it seems to me that it will be unspeakably tragic. I wonder if you could tell us something about that.
G. de P. — Let me see if I understand you rightly.
Student — Well, for instance, if an animal should get enough of the manas to know that it is an animal, it would be a frightful tragedy. Now, in the future, animals will be in advance of what we are today. They will possess manas. How will that be managed?
G. de P. — Your question is not very clear in your mind. You say that in the future the beasts will be more advanced than we are today. But just what do you mean by that?
Student — Just what you told us a little while ago, that they would be more advanced than humanity is today, although humanity would be in advance of them still. But if they possess manas at that time, if the time ever comes when the beasts will possess manas, then they will be self-conscious; and won't they feel the limitations, as they would today if they possessed manas? And would not that be a tragedy?
G. de P. — It would be a tragedy if that were the case, but the beasts, or what corresponds to the beasts on globes F and G, are not the beasts of earth. They are entities which, at one time beasts of earth, in the superior globes have their consciousness-center in a part of their constitution far superior to that part in which is centered the human consciousness on earth today. There is no tragedy about that. But it is a tragedy for these poor pets to have the manas faculty stimulated, however slightly, on earth, because they cannot go farther. The door into the human kingdom, or manasic kingdom, is closed for this manvantara, and they are like Mohammed's coffin, so to say, hanging between heaven and earth. Do you understand now?
Student — Yes, I am quite satisfied now.
Student — Would it be permissible to ask you to repeat the last part of the question about the beasts on globes F and G?
G. de P. — Let me try to explain. The beast has every principle that the human being has, but not all the principles in the beast are in manifestation, are active. Indeed, the case is the same with humans; not all the highest part of the human principles are active. But these beasts as they exist on earth today, when they reach globes F and G, to use a very misleading statement — because I am not speaking of bodies now, I am speaking of the monadic essence — when the monadic essences of these beasts as they are on earth today reach globe F and globe G, they will be functioning consciously in that part of their constitution which is superior to the part of the constitution in which men are today functioning. Do you understand?
Many Voices — Yes.
Student — Professor, it would seem almost that even on this earth that statement is true to a certain extent, as for instance when in the early morning you hear the birds singing for all they are worth; their consciousness seems to be even of a higher tone than ours is.
Student — Professor, may I ask a question? Does not the element of ratio enter somewhat into this discussion? The monadic entities have to have a long pilgrimage in the animal kingdom, and then they go through the human kingdom when the animal kingdom is finished. But I should think that there would be ratios of intelligence, like forming an equation, from one group to another group. But the two kingdoms are absolutely distinctly separate, because each one has its own pilgrimage to make on these planetary globes, and then when the human kingdom is entered there is another pilgrimage and then more faculties are manifested and these faculties of consciousness are expressed.
G. de P. — That is true. The question of ratio does enter in, and that is what I alluded to when I spoke a while ago of the different grades remaining relatively the same. If you imagine the beasts of today functioning most generally in what you are accustomed to call the kama or desire principle, and human beings, average human beings of today, functioning most generally in what we call the manasic principle or the kama-manasic principle, you will see what I mean.
Now when they reach globe F or globe G, each one of these principles having its own seven degrees or grades from the lowest to the highest, the consciousness rises proportionately with the advance from globe to globe. Thus, while human beings on this earth function in the manasic part, or rather in that part of the manas which is what we call the kama-manas, on globe F the consciousness will be functioning in the part of the manas which corresponds with the buddhi — the buddhi-manas. On globe G it will be in the atman-manas.
Similarly with the beasts: the kama principle has its seven grades from the lowest to the highest, corresponding with the general seven principles. Therefore the beasts on globe F will be functioning in the buddhi principle of the kama, and on globe G in the atmic principle of the kama. Do you understand now?
Student — You said that certain pets would be injured by being petted by men. I wonder, does that include wild animals when they come of their own accord to certain men, and gradually become more and more intimate and friendly, but still live their own wild life? That will not interfere with their animal evolution, will it, even though they stay with a man as much as ordinary pets?
G. de P. — No, you are right, because those are not examples of pets. Nature and the beasts' instincts take care of these things. The animal finds its own level in such circumstances just as water does. The evolution is not forced in these cases as it is in the case of pets. Pets which are petted and fed and barbered and clothed and have done to them all the other funny things that human beings do to their dogs and cats and horses, undergo a training which is really a forcing of the growth of the higher principles in the beasts, and it is a very unfortunate thing for the reasons I have already stated. It is a misfortune to the beast.
Student — There is some confusion in my mind regarding entities, principles, and life-atoms. I have the idea that behind or overshadowing every atom and entity — if they are identical — there must be the monadic essence, and I am confused as to this. If a human being generates a thought that becomes an entity, when does it become overshadowed by the monadic essence? It seems ridiculous, but I would like to have an explanation.
G. de P. — You have touched upon a very profound question, one that I have often tried to explain; and I have paused in almost despair sometimes at my own inability adequately and clearly to set forth to you the exact state of the facts. However, I will try again.
A thought is an elemental. The root or fundamental of every elemental is a monad, just as is the case of a human being. Here again is one of the marvelous mysteries of consciousness: that every monad is a creative center, not in the sense of creating something out of nothing, but as producing forth the atoms of itself which in turn grow to be evolving entities progressing through eternity. These monadic atoms are not created by the parent-monad, but pre-exist in the substance of the parent-monad until their time for manifestation comes. Then they begin their existence as child-monads or elemental monadic centers.
A thought springs forth from a monadic entity, such as a human being. It cannot so spring forth unless it partakes of everything that the human being has — in other words possesses everything from the highest to the lowest that the parent has. Therefore its own highest is a monad. Its lowest aspect is a thought-form or body. Do you understand?
Student — I get a glimmer, yes.
G. de P. — Well, a glimmer is already very helpful. Every monad is like a flame of fire: a candle flame for instance, at which you can light innumerable other candles. Just so fire itself may be looked upon as the parent of the sparks which spring forth from it, each spark arising out of the bosom of its parent-flame; and if you can imagine that spark lasting through time, you have the idea.
To put it in a somewhat less mystical form: my monad, let us say, is A; your monad is B. Through eternity my parent-monad A is giving forth a stream of children-monads, all of them fundamentally A, but varying individually, such as A plus 1, A plus 2, A plus 3, A plus 4, each plus meaning a little difference, that is to say signifying an individuality for each child-monad. Similarly, your monad B through eternity is giving forth always, without intermission at all, a stream of children-monads: B plus 1, B plus 2, B plus 3, B plus 4, etc.; each plus here again meaning a different individuality. Do you catch that?
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — Each one of these children-monads in its turn is a creative center giving birth to a stream of other children-monads — not children in the sense of being inferior to their parent, but children in the sense of being offspring. Do you get the thought?
Many Voices — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — It is a most subtle one and most difficult to explain; but it is the true answer to your question. For a thought is an elemental: its heart, its core, is a monad; and its body is a thought-form.
Student — If it is an evil thought, will it go on perpetuating itself through the ages?
G. de P. — Evil and good are relative. There are evil men, but they change to good. There are good men who become evil. What you call from the human standpoint an evil human thought will probably evolve and become a good thought-elemental, perhaps become evil again and then good again. Just so it is with human beings as they themselves grow.
Even a child which is born will have its good phases and its bad phases. Evil is not eternal; good is not eternal. These are relative things, belonging to imperfect creatures, which means all entities manifesting in the material and spiritual realms.
Student — If thoughts are really the seeds of actions, then would you say that every action is simply the most physical form of that thought-entity?
G. de P. — Not a physical form; but a manifestation of the energy inherent in the thought.
Student — Then the actions themselves are not really as real as the thought itself?
G. de P. — The actions are merely results of the energy inherent in the thought. A strong thought will unquestionably produce vigorous action. A weak or vague thought will unquestionably produce weak action, undecided action. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, I do. Then that is why, is it not, that our actions are our karma; and the reason is that those thoughts are our children, and naturally they will always belong to us? And the actions are only part of our karma because they are results of our thoughts?
G. de P. — That is it. Actions are the results of thoughts and emotions; and of course emotions are but one kind of thoughts.
Student — Should we not always try to do everything while trying to realize our essential divinity?
G. de P. — Absolutely. If a human being were to keep before him, day and night, the splendid picture of his own inner god, his own essential divinity, he would grow apace spiritually. Progress would be rapid. But unfortunately men do not do that. They live in their bodies; they live in their whims and prejudices, in their thoughts of the ordinary character, of the personal character. They live in their brain-minds instead of in the consciousness of their essential divinity, as KT so often appealed to her audiences to do.
Student — I should like to ask if this illusion that we have, living as we do on the fourth round, on the globe D at present, about meeting our karma and looking on it as suffering, belongs to this round? Something you said about Subba Row made me think of that, and I have often thought of it before: that the superior mind, the superior man, would be willing to restore the harmony that his past actions had disturbed; and that when we have evolved farther that would be done consciously, and almost harmoniously, without this fear; and this illusion of suffering that we now have about restoring the harmony, does it belong to globe D?
G. de P. — It does. And when we shall have arrived at globe D in the fifth round, the human race then will realize that not only is suffering one of our best friends, but there will be cases, many of them, where men will deliberately choose to take a path of toil or deprivation or what we call suffering for the time being in order to bring out the best that is within them.
They will no longer look upon it as suffering, but rather much as our youth today looks upon training in a school — as advantageous, and proper.
Student — Professor, will it then be suffering?
G. de P. — It will not. Suffering is indeed an illusion; but is nevertheless one of our best friends.
Student — Will it be correct then to look forward to a time for the human host when this restoring of the harmony will be similar to what we now see in the opening of a bud? Or the bursting of a chrysalis?
G. de P. — Quite true, quite true.
Student — Aside from these cases of spiritual healers, real spiritual healers, and aside from the magnetic healers, so called: will not the ordinary physician who is practising medicine and attempting to heal ordinary diseases here and now in this round by nature's remedies in plants and chemicals and minerals — will he not have to have a degree of intuition and impersonality in order to know which remedy to choose?
G. de P. — Absolutely so. And the physicians of the distant future will have all that. Furthermore, the time is coming, I believe that it will arrive in part even in this present round, during the seventh race on this globe, when the physicians of the future will not only be able to heal at will and to heal properly all diseases; but actually be able to resurrect from the dead, provided, of course, that decay, that dissolution, has not proceeded too far. I mean that even after the golden cord of life has been snapped they will be able to bring back, if such be the wise and proper thing to do, a departed soul. To do that now would be black magic of the worst kind, because knowledge lacks, wisdom lacks. It would be pure experimentation, and the motive in every case would probably be inevitably selfish. But for a grander race, a more impersonal race, causes might be where such an act of white magic would be the proper course for a physician to take.
It is after ten o'clock. I believe, Companions, that I can answer one more question, and then we will close our meeting.
Student — Dear Teacher —
G. de P. — Don't you think that you have asked questions enough tonight? No, forgive me, I did not mean —
Student — I am full of this healing idea and health. Is not motive then a most important factor?
G. de P. — Yes, but not everything. Motive is a very important factor; but a man may have an excellently good motive and yet lack wisdom. I have known theosophists whose motives have been admirably impersonal, but who have done the most outrageously foolish things.
I will answer still one more question.
Student — Going back to one other subject of the evening, I am reminded of the old Qabbalistic saying: first a stone, then a plant, then an animal, then a man, who grows into becoming a god. I imagine that this is the way along which we evolve on this globe through all the different stages and kingdoms of nature. But do we evolve in the same way relatively, on other globes?
G. de P. — We do.
Student — Then that explains why animals are more evolved than we are?
G. de P. — Exactly, provided, however, that we compare the animals on globe F or G with us humans as we now are on globe D, this earth, and also provided that the evolution here spoken of from stone to plant to animal to man to god, does not refer to the physical body but to the evolving inner constitution expressing itself in ever more perfect physical vehicles.
Yours is a very pertinent question. Remember the old Hermetic axiom: "as above, so below"; what you see below is a reflection of what is above.
Student — Then there is another thing that troubles me. It is about those animals that cannot evolve into men after the middle point in this round. I feel sorry for them. Are they not going to get some compensation for it, or is there some karma of theirs to be worked out in that way?
G. de P. — It is nature's law that those laggard-monads that did not reach the critical point, the turning point, in due time, must wait until the next round. Otherwise there would be confusion right along, and at the end of the seventh round there would be laggard monads of all kinds utterly unfit to enter into the nirvana that awaits all beings at the end of the seventh round.
The animals will slowly die out as time passes. This does not mean that their monads die, but that the bodies, what we call the beasts, will slowly vanish from the earth. Their physical productivity will gradually grow less and less. The only exception to this case is that of the anthropoid apes which will, in all likelihood, evolve into an inferior race of men before the present life-wave leaves globe D, this globe-earth in this present fourth round. They will be the servants of the nobler humanity of the sixth and seventh races — they will be inferior human beings. This does not mean that these ape bodies will grow into human bodies, but that the monads now inhabiting those present ape bodies will have brought those ape bodies to become at that time human bodies.
This, however, is not Darwinism, which, except for certain minor details, our esoteric philosophy rejects. No physical body could grow into something nobler and better were it not for the evolving inner constitution expressing its fires and urges and impulses through the plastic physical vehicle which more or less slavishly follows the urge of the inner life. Darwinism says that the physical bodies, soulless, grow into nobler things. This we absolutely reject. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — Now Companions, it is time to close for tonight. I want you to realize your sense of oneness with the teachers, and the fact that you are under observation — which does not mean spied upon. The teachers are hunting, even as I am, and as every great soul who is beyond me, is also doing — always hunting and watching for glimpses of the buddhic light. That is part of their sublime duty. Every member of the ES undergoes at least one scrutiny; and their judgment is so certain and sure in these things from centuries of training, that they can tell with practical infallibility just those who should receive the most help, and those who will have to wait.
We will close the meeting please, Companions.
[The sounding of the gong. Silence.]