G. de P. — Will you please come to order. I am now ready to answer questions.
Student — Could you give us a talk from the esoteric standpoint on the matter of overeating, undereating, and unnecessary particularity about the food that is eaten?
G. de P. — The ideal practice is to eat just enough to keep the body healthy and in good running order, and there is nothing so dangerous as eating more than you need. It leads to disease, or brings out latent seeds of disease. Overeating weakens the body, renders it very susceptible to attack by disease; and worst of all, it dulls the mind dreadfully. Overeating produces a vicious circle of consequences. Indeed, the very impulse and desire to overeat is a psychomental sickness.
It is not eating that makes you strong. It is what you assimilate that gives you strength and keeps you healthy. Eat naturally, eat normally, eat what is set before you, and then forget it. If you do not like it, and there is nothing else, then go without it. A little fasting won't hurt you. Or eat a little of it, and let it go at that. If you feel that you need a little meat, then eat a little meat, but be sure that it is a need, not merely an appetite for flesh. If you can do without meat and eat eggs, so much the better for you. But watch yourself a little.
The ideal thing is to eat just enough to keep you healthy and strong; to think as little as you can about your food and let it go at that; and thus you will give your bodies a ghost of a chance to heal themselves, if you are troubled with any physical ailment. No doctor who ever lived ever healed his patients. It is nature who heals you, and the wisest doctor aids nature and does nothing else.
Student — I would like to ask if there is any connection between the luz of the Hebrews and the sushumna-nadi?
G. de P. — The "Luz"-bone is a bone which the Arabs say is the seed of the man when he shall arise when Allah calls him. It is the "seed" of his future being; and the luz-bone, according to most Mohammedan doctors of theology, is the os coccyx. It is one of the last, or the last, bone of the spinal column. No, I do not think that there is any especial connection between the luz-bone of Mohammedan legend and the sushumna-nadi. The latter is rather a spiritual current, a canal, a channel, in and around the spinal column.
Student — The description that I read, gives it as being in the neck.
G. de P. — Where did you read that?
Student — In an article on the Egyptian mysteries, that word was given as showing the ansated symbol that they use, and it gave it at the neck.
G. de P. — I believe that some Mohammedan doctors do place it as one of the cervical vertebrae, but the majority, I think, incline to believe in the sayings of Mohammed about the luz-bone, which is to be the seed of the body of the future man, and that it is the os coccyx. They really don't seem to know themselves. At any rate, the matter is of no importance.
Student — You told us some time ago quite a good deal about thoughts, but I would like to ask you how it is that we can have a melody running in the mind, a melody that we pick up from someone else. Sometimes a melody will persist in the mind, and it is actually a melody that we hear inside.
G. de P. — Well, what is the question?
Student — What is going on in the mind? Is the melody actually a thought that you are thinking?
G. de P. — What do you think goes on in the mind when you are studying some mathematical problem?
Student — Well, you are concentrated on the problem in hand.
G. de P. — Yes. Your question then is: "What is happening in the mind when music is heard?" Is that the idea?
Student — Yes, it is. Suppose that you have heard a melody and it repeats itself over and over in your mind during the day. You almost grow tired of it.
G. de P. — I see. What you speak of is a reflex action, as modern scientists would say, due to the state of the nerves which have received a strong impression. The musical melody has made a strong impression upon the brain, which automatically repeats and reproduces the melody.
Some musicians, the so-called creators of beautiful musical productions, receive definite musical inspiration from the higher spiritual part of their being. It really is a light, which takes the form of music. This light is transmuted in their consciousness into inner sound, which is heard by the inner ear, because light and sound are but two phases of the gamut of vibrations, two different ranges. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes.
Student — Why is it that some composers have such different methods of composition? For instance, Schubert was simply so inspired that the music seemed to flow through him almost without thought. He would be sitting at a restaurant table, and suddenly say: "Such a beautiful melody has come to me." And he would write it down just as it came, and the next day he would forget all about it. Whereas Beethoven would hear melodies and work them out, and revise them and change them until they were what he wanted them. Why is it that great musicians should receive their inspirations and work them out in these different ways?
G. de P. — I think that the fact you speak of is due solely to differences of temperament and character. You might ask an equivalent question with regard to wonderful literature. Why should some authors see the same thing in different ways, or produce such different things, all however things of beauty? It is ascribable to differences of character, of temperament, and to the different stages that they hold along the evolutionary pathway. I do not think that there is any other reason.
Student — In an article of yours in The Theosophical Path, September 1929, the discussion of the Weissmann cell was spoken of and what it lacked was supplied by you according to the esoteric doctrine. But that part is not what I want to know something about. I am rather submitting this interpretation for your correction. It spoke of the immortality of the germ-cell, and that it descended from remote ancestors and was passed on to successive generations unutilized, and this germ-plasm never changed, and was not used for the building up of the body either of the parent or of the offspring to be.
Now for a long while I have thought about that, and I could not imagine what the function of this latent parent germ-plasm could be, and yet, according to theory, it was passed on through the ages. And finally it came to my mind — probably I heard it, I don't know — but lately I have just thought that its function was to preserve the characteristics of the human type for the reincarnating entity. And this accounts for the one type of the human race. That is, all through the five races, the human type is the same. I do not know whether that is correct or not; but that is one part of the question that is in my mind. What is the function of this immortal germ-plasm?
G. de P. — You have asked a very interesting question, and your answer is in the question itself, as far as it goes; but it does not go far, not far enough. The germ-plasm is really the concreted deposit or concretion of the astral fluid, which is but an other way of saying a deposit arising originally in the monadic essence and flowing to and through the various vehicles, concreting more and more as it goes earthwards and finally reaching its last stage in the germ-plasm of the physical man. This germ-plasm is passed on untouched from parent to child, and is, just as you say, the human background of the physiological processes — well, perhaps physiological is not the proper word — but at any rate the human-astral-physical background towards which, and into which, the life-atom of the reincarnating ego is drawn and falls. By so doing, by entering that, it starts a prepared and ready life-atom into beginning the growth of an individual physical vehicle. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes. But this germ-plasm, I thought, was different from the dhyan-chohanic astral fluid, because that astral fluid or those astral forces were mixing with the vitalities, that is the activities and potentialities of the soul, and that fluid was helping to build up the body; whereas that latent germ-plasm had nothing to do whatever. It was unutilized; it was a latent germ just passed on. Therefore the question came into my mind: what really is its function?
G. de P. — That is correct. Its function is to preserve the human type from age to age, and therefore it itself slowly changes. Atoms of it in each generation are utilized to prepare and to make the beginnings of the children then born.
In each generation there is an added concretion from within to replace that portion devoted to make the growing cells of the body to be. In other words, a certain part of the germ-plasm is used for the growing germ-cell. In that germ-cell is always latent a certain unused part of the same parental germ-plasm passed from parents to child, and when that child grows to maturity, is prepared, or physiologically is able, to procreate, a certain portion of that passed-on parental germ-plasm is utilized to prepare, to make, and to begin, the body of the next generation.
But in all cases the germ-plasm, the germinal fluid, the germ-fluid, whether utilized or passed on, is the concreted deposit of the astral fluid of what you call the dhyan-chohan, which is but another way of saying the reincarnating ego.
Student — Thank you. May I ask you one more question?
G. de P. — Yes; but first let me add that our physical bodies are not different either in substance or in type from the astral linga-sarira, but each body is merely a concretion of the linga-sarira. In other words, a certain part of the linga-sarira thickens, grossens, coarsens, materializes, and becomes the physical body.
Now, Doctor, ask your other question.
Student — There were detached cells, I think, that did not come under that human dominant influence in this germ-plasm, and they furnish or produce the stocks of the beast world. Now these detached cells have not that germ-plasm, therefore the animal body of the beast world, of course, could not be human. Is that it?
G. de P. — No, that is not it. The body of the beasts contains the same germ-plasm that the human body contains; but it is not fit, not ripe, not evolutionally ripe, to produce human beings. The same fact exists in all Nature, as is shown in chemistry. The atoms of chemistry are the same in a tree or in an ox, or in an elephant or in a stone, as in the human physical body. But in one case these atoms are concreted to enshrine a certain vital energy or urge which is a tree; in another case, an ox; in another case, an elephant; in another case a man. But the elements are the same in all cases. Exactly the same plasm exists fundamentally in the beasts as exists in the human body, otherwise there would be no possible chance for the beasts gradually to refine themselves as the long ages pass, and grow more humanlike. This most emphatically is not Darwinism. Darwin, however, was not wholly wrong in some of his profounder views.
Student — When we set a cord in as rapid vibration as it is possible for us to do, it appears still. And I wondered when the vibration of light is increased beyond light so that it becomes what HPB calls the mineral kingdom — where she speaks of the mineral kingdom as being light immetalized, on the idea that the rapidity of vibration is so great that it is apparently still — I do not know whether I am clear or not.
G. de P. — I think I understand. Now just frame your question again in a few words.
Student — When HPB speaks of the mineral kingdom as being light immetalized, is it because light increases its vibration so rapidly that it becomes what we think of as still?
G. de P. — That is correct. Actually the rate of vibration in a stone is more rapid than it is in what the physicist calls light. It is rapidity of vibration which coarsens, grossens, and concretes the fundamental substance of the universe; and that means also that the vibrations becoming so much more rapid become smaller.
Instead of the swing of the pendulum being from sun to planet or from star to star, the magnitude — or what is the term they use? — the amplitude grows smaller and smaller, and at the same time more rapid, all the time. And when in our own hierarchy it reaches its utmost possible rate, its highest rate of vibration in rapidity, you have the mineral kingdom.
Student — May I finish with another question about it? In a recent article by a chemist, the statement was made that the rapidity of vibration in the atom approached the confines of the vibration of light, but if that is accurate, is that then why the atom is the sheath of the monad and really belongs to the mineral kingdom?
G. de P. — No, that happens because the atom when it produces a light ray is in a state of disintegration or explosion. Do you understand me?
Student — I see.
G. de P. — And this means that the rate of vibration, due to some cause or other, whatever it may be, is rapidly and suddenly slowed down, so that an electron, or more than one of the electrons, or a portion of the electron, in the atom probably leaves the atom in an explosion so to say — disappears in a burst of light.
I might call your attention to the fact that following the law of universal and analogical similarity in nature's operations, this same thing sometimes happens to and in the planets circling around the sun. The reverse also takes place: just as an atom will capture another electron when it is electron hungry, and thus change its polarity, so can a solar system, our own, for instance, capture a wandering cosmic body. When that body is so captured, it changes the polarity of the solar system. Neptune is such a case, and Uranus also is such a case.
Concerning this new planet "X" I have not been able to get facts enough about it yet properly to answer any questions about it. My feeling is that it also is a capture, from the few items or bits of news I have read about it. This planet "X" is not counted in the esoteric astrology at all — at any rate I have seen no mention made of it.
Student — I am very much interested lately by these new discoveries of early men in China. The ethnologists and anthropologists are more excited over them than anything they have found for twenty or thirty years. The ethnologists think that these men they have discovered lately are about a million years old. Most of them do. Some think five hundred thousand, and some a million. And I was wondering whether those ancient men are very much older than they are, and whether they are what the scientists think they are, really primitive. They claim they are of the early Pleistocene — it may be much earlier. Of course they have no way to date those things. I would like to know anything you can tell us on that subject. It is so important in many ways.
G. de P. — Yes it is. My own impression is this: because cremation was almost universally practiced by all civilized peoples and by most barbarian people up till a few tens of thousands of years ago, practically all the human relics that are found by our delving and digging explorers belong to tribes who buried their dead, or to men who lost their lives in battle or by hunting wild beasts, or to those who died from some sudden sickness while on a journey, or something like that.
I want to say something, however, with regard to HPB's statement that our present Aryan race is about a million years old. Please do not let that statement, true as it is, mislead you, on account of your own minds misconstruing her statement. It is true that our own present fifth or so-called Aryan race, as a race of its own type, and utterly separate in type, from other races, is about a million years old. But actually as a race it is much older than that. It is some four or five millions of years old, counting from its beginnings.
At about the time of the Miocene period, we were, that is our ancestors were, savages and barbarians in the ages when the Atlanteans had reached the culmination of their glorious civilization, however material it may have been — and it certainly was grossly materialistic in type. Slowly, as the Atlanteans degenerated, this group, our fifth race ancestors, gradually through the ages became more and more refined, also more productive of offspring, and thus grew and spread over the earth, until one day it found itself in the majority. From that time really begins the beginning of the present fifth root-race.
But many ages still passed before it became a race wholly distinct from the preceding Atlantean race; and about one million years ago, at just about that period of time in the past — it reached a point in its evolution, in its progress, where it became indeed a race sui generis. Our race, our present fifth or Aryan race, will live for some four, possibly four and a half, million years more before it shall have died out. The sixth root-race is even at the present time in seeding. The seeds of it are just beginning to show themselves, just beginning to start growth; and that beginning, that starting, and the seeding country, the seeding continent — well, what is the term that the gardeners use when they plant seeds in a place? — the nursery, is the present American continents. But the Americans of that far distant time will have vanished under the waters of the ocean, not in entirety, but most of them, before the sixth root-race in its turn shall have become a race with its own type and character. That event will happen some five million years hence. There is, therefore, you see, plenty of time for our present race to continue and complete its evolution.
Student — Reading an article in The Theosophical Path not so long ago, speaking about the Valley of the Kings in the Nile region in Egypt, I was thinking of those great chambers that were engineered and constructed, and that the different kings must have been advised by initiates as to how long those chambers would endure. I was wondering if it was proper for these places, that are sacred in a way, to be opened up — even for investigation. For they are sealed there for a purpose. I would like you to give a little light on that please.
G. de P. — Yes. Then you don't like the idea of the tombs being violated, I suppose?
Student — Well, it does not seem exactly right.
G. de P. — I think your instinct is sound, dear Brother. I have the same feeling. It is all very well to talk about exploration in the interests of science, and there is a good deal to say for that I will admit; but we all know what we think of human beings, ghouls, of the present day who violate graveyards. There is something horrible about it. I do not like the idea myself.
Perhaps the mere entering of these ancient tombs is all right. It might be all right just to explore them, and if they were carefully sealed up again and left in peace I would not have anything especial to say. But to enter them and to violate the sanctity of the dead — there is something repulsive to me about it, especially when the things found are afterwards scattered over the face of the earth and the mummies put into glass cases and stared at by hordes of curious people. It does not seem right.
I know the Valley and the Tombs of the Kings well. When I was there with our beloved KT in 1903 or 1904, I think it was, we entered quite a few of these beautiful and solemn places, beautiful and solemn in the sense of the majestic peace that still prevails. I remember that we entered one tomb, descending along the corridor cut in the living rock. We walked on and on, descended a few steps, then walked on. Electric lights were strung along the corridor.
Finally we came to the chamber and there in a sunken rectangular cavity, cut out of the solid rock, we saw the sarcophagus of one of Egypt's greatest kings. The explorers had taken off the top of the sarcophagus and had put a high-powered electric bulb just above the coffin, the sarcophagus. The light was strong, and you stood leaning over a modern railing and looked down at this famous king's dead body, lying there with the garish light beating upon it.
I did not like it at all. It seemed wrong to me. But there was nothing that we could do about it. I detest the lack of reverence that so many of our explorers have for the rights of the dead, for the rights and the feelings of the by-gone peoples, who were we ourselves, if you please.
Student — May not the feeling that a good many people have, that after they have been cremated their ashes shall be scattered in nature, so as to avoid anything like that happening in the future, be based on that same feeling that you have expressed?
G. de P. — I think so. And outside of that, it is a great help to the excarnating entity to have its decomposing physical body dissipated into its component atoms. Cremation is a help: it is a quick freeing of otherwise very strongly magnetic attractions to the living body that was. You see, the excarnating entity for a short time after death is almost physical, and all the lower part of the intermediate constitution still is in the atmosphere of the earth. It is true that the spirit has already joined its parent-sun. It is true that the reincarnating ego is very soon to be withdrawn into the bosom of the parent-monad. But the lower intermediate part, the human soul part, still is in the atmosphere of the earth, joined to the kama-rupa; and if the physical body is allowed to decay, or if it is mummified as the Egyptians did it, there is a strong psychomagnetic attraction to that dead body.
It was part of the being you know, part of its life, a deposit of its own essence; and, as I tell you, the attraction is tremendous. Therefore cremation, outside of what you have pointed out, has the added advantage of more quickly freeing the excarnating entity from earthly attractions.
Student — Does the place where the ashes are buried or scattered have any consequence whatever?
G. de P. — None at all. None at all.
Student — I wondered why it was that the Egyptians who had such a wonderful civilization, and must have been rather spiritual, embalmed their dead if it was such a bad practice, and thus delayed the separation of the soul from the physical world.
G. de P. — I am very glad that you asked that question, because that very fact passed through my mind when I spoke a moment agone, and I then thought that it would be a good question for someone to ask. Please remember that the Egyptians of history were a very devout and a quasi-mystical people, but nevertheless they were not a highly spiritual one. They were a mixture of late Atlanteans and immigrants from the Orient. Not only the Egyptian architecture, but the Egyptian religion as a whole and many of the Egyptian customs were hang-overs, relics, of Atlantean culture; and mummification of the dead among the late Atlanteans was widely and extensively practiced.
The original Egyptians actually came from the Atlantic islands that Plato in his Critias called Atlantis, and which was also called by some of the ancient Greeks Poseidonis, the name of the largest of these lost islands of the Atlantean continent. Poseidonis was the last island-remnant of one of the continents of the Atlantic system, and this island disappeared some 12,000 years ago. But of course Egypt, the northern part of Africa, which had been slowly emerging from the ocean bed, and also slowly built up through the ages by deposits from the Nile, had been settled by Atlantean immigrants for ages preceding the time of the submergence of the island of Poseidonis. In addition to this, during the course of the last two or three decades of millennia, it had also received large numbers of immigrants from what is now southern India, and lands once adjoining Southern India but now submerged. The Egyptians, therefore, of history, were a people of mixed Atlantean and Aryan race.
Student — I have been wondering if there is any special significance in the fact that the name Atlantis is the genitive form of the name Atlas. Of course there are the Atlas Mountains in the north of Africa. Can you tell us?
G. de P. — I do not think that there is any particular significance in that. Atlantean of course comes from the Greek term Atlantis which was the term that the Greek Plato used. It was certainly connected with the mountain range called Atlas — probably the name Atlantis originated in the name Atlas; and Mt. Atlas, by the way, was one of the Atlantean mountain chains which has now dwindled to the small range in North Africa.
It is curious how beautiful, how strikingly beautiful, these remnants of the Atlantean continent still are. I have traveled a great deal in my life, but I do not know anything so naturally beautiful in wondrous colorings and in strange and mystical outlines as are the Madeira Islands for instance. They often have an appearance of being fairylike, and I remember when KT and I reached Funchal, Madeira, it was at night. The ship slowed down speed and went very slowly — there is a series of small islands there — into the open roadstead. There is no real port. The very atmosphere was vibrating with an unworldly feeling, a weird feeling. It struck us both forcibly. In the morning when the sun came up, those wonderful blue hills, tree-covered, and the stretch of white sand, and the peaked islands out at sea around us, were most impressive. I do not think that I have ever seen anything just like it elsewhere.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Atlanteans were an ugly people or that they were all black magicians, or that they were uncivilized. On the contrary, their culmination of civilization reached a height and splendor which we have not yet attained. In some respects they were far wiser than we are today. They were very advanced in their cyclical evolution, but nevertheless they were on the whole unspiritual. They were gross in matter, with strong material instincts; and every Atlantean was a natural magician born, and usually a black magician born. The good and wise ones among them fought these tendencies and strived against them, and these wise ones were the bearers of light — the white magicians of those days.
Student — Since we have had all these new teachings during the last year, the book of devotion, The Voice of the Silence, has appealed to me very strongly. There is one passage I should like to quote and then ask two questions:
Let not thy "Heaven-born" merged in the sea of Maya, break from the Universal Parent (SOUL), but let the fiery power retire into the inmost chamber, the chamber of the Heart. . . .
Then from the heart that Power shall rise into the sixth, the middle region, the place between thine eyes, when it becomes the breath of the ONE-SOUL, the voice which filleth all, thy Master's voice.
There are two points I don't quite understand. I should like to have some explanation of the part that says: "Let the fiery power," which refers to kundalini as the explanation is given in the footnote, "retire into thy heart." Then the passage speaks of the power rising again into the middle region placed "between thine eyes." Can you give further explanation?
G. de P. — There is a more spiritual interpretation than the mere verbal one, but I will keep to the verbal one. Kundalini penetrates every atom of the body, but it is likewise more particularly located in its channel running up and down the spinal column; nevertheless it reigns everywhere. Localizing it in the heart means not so much the physical organ, but in the center of the human consciousness which the ancients always placed in the region of the heart. The human consciousness I mean, not the spiritual, and from that the power rises into the akasic region of the brain, into the temple or chamber of the brain, which in the phrase you quote is localized between the eyes. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes, but is there a spiritual meaning behind it?
G. de P. — Oh yes. The spiritual meaning is the rising of the human into becoming quasi-divine, and that is the way of the Masters. The Master's consciousness, a mahatma's consciousness, rises out of the heart, out of the merely human into the akasa which fills the brain-substance and hollows, and there it works upon two glands in particular: the pineal gland and the pituitary. The one the organ of impersonal and therefore of personal will; the other, the pineal gland, is the organ of spiritual vision.
I can tell you more. By his will the mahatma can set up a vibration in the pineal gland, which is the organ of the higher nature in the body, and so stimulate it, so to speak, that vision almost of infinity ensues. Do you understand what I am trying to say?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — Now, what is your next question? Or have you asked them both?
Student — You have answered them both. They have been included in your answer.
Student — The time is coming when it will be the anniversary, one might say, of our heart's opening to this wonderful new time, and I was wondering if in a very particular sense at the time of that anniversary, a still greater door would not open to us if we are ready for it? Have we not also a serious responsibility, perhaps, in making this so?
G. de P. — It is quite true. Everything in nature moves in cycles, and one of the most familiar and also one of the most important, is the cycle of the year. The passing of our beloved KT took place close, as you will remember, to the time of the summer solstice. And those of you who are ready when the summer solstice, now close upon us, comes again, can take a great forward step. It depends upon you, upon the impulses in your heart, upon the strength of your will. Make the call, and it will be answered.
I want to say this before we close: that I am very happy to be with you, to do what I can to help you. I feel that a large part of the work which I was sent to do is in accomplishment here in these meetings. You are all sincere, true, aspiring, and I am very happy to be with you.
I only hope, and I think that it will be so, that when my time comes to go, or when I am called, you will be as faithful and true to the one who will follow me as you have been to Katherine Tingley and to me.