There are certain facts which are familiar to all but which are not appreciated to the extent they merit, and which if understood would point to logical inferences of a more recondite nature than the simple facts themselves.
Familiar pathways are many and various. The use of hyperbole also in this connexion is frequent and often imbodies great truths. Certain invisible pathways are known and used by means of electrical or magnetic conduction, but there are many others which can be sensed by abnormal persons, and more easily by the lower kingdoms.
For instance: dogs will follow the track of a man or certain animals by means of the scent left behind. This is so obvious that a corollary is or should be also quite obvious, viz., that the movement of anything leaves part of itself in the surroundings to whatever place it may go, and these atomic particles may be a pathway by and on which other entities may follow.
To illustrate further: We know that we give off heat every moment of our lives; heat is atomic, and therefore leaves our atoms wherever we may go. But heat is only one of our radiations.
The pioneer may blaze out a physical trail, but he also leaves a magnetic trail in realms other than the outer physical which may be followed by others quite unconsciously to themselves.
In tracing the history of new settlements it is frequently found that on the same spots there have been many previous settlements. In certain cases it is known that cities appear on the same sites after long intervals of desertion and reversion to nature. London and Chicago are well-known cases, and these two cities seem to have been centers of human activity from the night of time, with recurrent intervals of what may be natural recuperative processes which are common to all things.
These thoughts suggest others of a similar nature but on another plane, or perhaps one should phrase it, in connexion with other planes. Just as there are numerous strata in physical matter so there are strata in mental advancement, and it is not illogical to assume that those entities who were responsible for the achievements of the past — such as the Cyclopean structures scattered all over the world, the Great Pyramid, Nagkon Wat, the Grammar of Panini, the astronomical calculations of the Atlanteans, etc., should have left pathways in the invisible realms of their passage from this earth to whatever place or state they now inhabit.
These ideas afford a logical and factual basis for much that has been accepted on faith and religious belief without any satisfactory explanation of the stages and steps involved. Much more can be inferred quite logically by anyone who will take the necessary trouble to explore this line of thought, and it will prove extremely useful and produce a conviction of the fundamental bases of Religion, Science, and Philosophy as applied to the whole cosmos. In fact it will be found that the whole cosmos is an inherent whole and unit, with interrelationships in and of all parts, functioning periodically on many planes during infinity in time and extension. The laws which apply to one atom or sun are seen to apply throughout, so that by a correct analogy one known fact can be traced correspondingly in every department.
To give another example: When there is a body of water on a high level and we desire to make use of it we create channels through which it can flow to the required objective. The force or pressure at any point corresponds to the height of the body of water, and any leak or breakage in the channel will have an effect on the contiguous terrain according to the relative size of the break and the kind and size of the channel itself. Also, as long as the channels remain open, water will flow.
Now the above facts illustrate some very common occurrences in daily life, as the analogy holds good in several ways if we remember that the channels were the result of effort to connect with the water on a higher level.
Light to us is the product of unknown forces acting in our atmosphere. The stratosphere or the atmosphere which acts as a lens around our earth modifies and may alter entirely the quality or nature of the actual rays which the sun emits, but as our senses are the product of our earthly evolution and are the means of contacting consciously the environment in which we exist we can have little actual knowledge of what occurs and of the nature of anything outside our physical shell until we develop the appropriate means, e. g., senses appropriate to those other conditions — in other words, the proper channels.
There are oceans of other phases of life outside or within our own which only need channels in order that their flow may reach us or our world. Likewise in consciousness. We have the centers within ourselves by and through which many higher or more subtle and refined states of consciousness may be contacted if we adopt suitable methods of effort in reaching toward them. The knowledge that there are such is the first step. Our philosophy demonstrates logically that there must be and are realms without number beyond and within those with which we are acquainted, and it indicates the methods by which humanity can and will advance along the pathways of evolution by progressive and successive steps and stages.
Those who make especial efforts with the trend of evolution are the pioneers, and they leave pathways; or perhaps the better way of expressing the idea would be that the pathways are broadened and solidified more and more with each pioneer who passes along the way so that it is easier for others to follow in their footsteps.
There is a very vital corollary in this connexion, that of impersonality, and from two chief aspects. First, that the pioneer does not blaze the trail for specific individuals to follow. Secondly, that the greater part of our radiations of all kinds are of the same nature, viz., that they are unconscious to ourselves and therefore impersonal, and so correspond to the oceans of life and consciousness which radiate from superior beings in the solar system and the cosmos, which are not only pathways to inferior beings but are also the sustaining life-elements by which they live and have their being.
The above illustrations and ideas are an attempt to sketch some of the mechanics in natural evolution, and also to indicate the effects of the volitional and the impersonal processes of any entity.
Our philosophy supplies all needed data for a comprehensive understanding of ourselves and the universe, but we have to realize this each one for himself, and to make individual application of our knowledge in order to become more positive and volitional, while at the same time more permeable to those spiritual and divine essences which only need channels in order to flow unstintedly into and through our whole being.
The spheres of action both of individuality and impersonality are clearly indicated in the Theosophic philosophy. A correct attitude or polarization of the individual to the greater will have an impersonal influence on the lesser, though it will be stamped with the qualitative impress of the entity radiating that influence. This dual aspect has been somewhat of a stumbling-block to many thinkers, but it can be overcome by a realization of the relationships of the various elements considered and of their particular spheres of action.
Egoity is limitation; only the Boundless is unlimited and absolutely impersonal.