The Path – April 1887



"Yet mark it well, man cannot compel the God. The self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by the understanding, nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him alone the Self can be gained. The Self chooses him as His own." (1) How then would you attract the Shining One? You must first strive to raise your own vibrations. Tension does this, the tension of lofty thought, benevolent feelings, the living spirit of holy books, communion with high minds, any and every elevating practice, the mind fixed on the True. And, look you, this is no matter where you may dissect from the outset; you must have Faith. If you institute the conditions, the event follows; such is the economy of the occult world. What is faith but the institution of conditions? "He cannot be reached by speech, by mind, or by the eye: He cannot be apprehended except by him who says, 'He is'." You must bear some relation to Spirit, or its eternal vibrations cannot raise you. Knowledge attained, you will find it submitting triumphantly to every test. Calm is the essence of Faith because a similitude of vibration with Truth (in its living record) is only possible when you are no longer at the mercy of astral currents. Then "regard most earnestly your own heart." (2) The soul is there; all may feel its heat, some hear its musical tones as it expands. Sink your thoughts down to that heat: the Spirit (Buddhi) enters by the head, and your final object is to bind heart and head together in an abiding consciousness of Unity. The Bhagavad-Gita tells us plainly that when the mind roams man "should subdue it, bring it back, and place it within his own breast;" not, as you see, in the brain. Now by "mind" the intellect is not meant, but manas, the collective thoughts and desires upon which Reason (or Buddhi) may act as guide or control. You will find that you can think from the heart, just as all strong emotions, — such as fear, love, suspense, — take their rise in the heart and spread wave-like over the chest, and have no similarity to the flash of an idea in the brain. In the ordinary man the brain is only the focus for the thoughts streaming in through the solar plexus, and many are lost, just as millions of seeds in nature are lost. So the Upanishad echoes the warning: — "The mind must be restrained in the heart till it comes to an end; — that is knowledge, that is liberty; all the rest are extensions of the ties." When we are able to think from the centre we shall realise what is now difficult to believe, — that our present intellection is not the highest avenue of knowledge.

"When a man is delivered from his mind, that is the highest point." We sink our thoughts then into the flowing Light as men sink nets into the sea, — withdrawn, they are full to breaking.

A distinguished confrere, speaking of this subject in the October Theosophist, says that the right "Word" must be known, when we may sink it down to the heart where it becomes a living power: he adds that Om is used for this purpose in India and Jao in Europe. These are good words as we all know, and represent high vibrations. The Upanishad says plainly: — "Om is the sound-endowed body of him:" and again; "The syllable Om is what is called the Word and its end is the silent, the soundless, fearless, * * * immovable, certain Brahman. We are told by the authors of Man that "in incantations, sound is so modulated as to produce the same state of the body as that which invariably accompanies the generation of any desired psychic or spiritual force." Nor is it difficult to find the rationale of this use of sound when we consider that there exists in the Akasa a latent and eternal power called Yajna, which is supposed to form a bridge between mortals and spirits, or gods, like the ladder in Jacob's dream. "Isis" states that it can be called into play by the lost Word receiving impulse through will power. This sound is the Vach, or dormant "Word" of the sacred Mantras, evoked by those who know their proper intonation. Krishna says that as Adhiyajna (Lord of Yajna) he is present in this body. Reflect deeply on this. He who can fret the sensitive akasic chords with heat-compelling tones may see this stupendous electric force burst outward from its hidden lair and rend for him the veil of Isis. So indeed he mounts to the Gods.

When Hartmann adds, however, that attempts to carry on this practice without first obtaining a "Word" just suited to our condition from an Adept are dangerous, he tends to frighten away those who would try to find the "Lord of all worlds" for themselves, as if an Adept were needed when "Ishwar resideth in the breast of every mortal being." (3) An Adept can impart an impulse, stimulate our vibrations momentarily; he cannot strain his powers to raise us to an artificial status and hold us there. Knowledge is Being; you cannot know more than you are. You have within you the eternal motor, — Thought. Apply it through the universal vehicle, — Will. I do not say that such external impetus as Adepts can give is not a great advantage, provided it is in your Karma. Otherwise it is useless except to teach you a lesson through premature failure, and The Brothers, foreseeing the end, will if left to themselves deal more wisely with the man of desires than he with himself. Anyone may follow Krishna's behest and "raise himself by himself." Students should give serious attention to the point that mere automatic processes have as such no place in the higher science of the Wisdom-Religion. Astral perception confuses and retards; it is but a period of synchronous vibration with that sphere; "ye cannot serve two masters:" though, all service ended, you may become astral serpent and spiritual dove in one. Yogees in India who pronounce Om for years with fixed thought often make no apparent progress; its full application is beyond their ken; it would seem beyond Hartmann's also. For the article in question somewhat belittles the practice of Charity, Devotion, and the like, whereas all precedure comes to naught in the final test, (and I consider nothing short of that,) if these sacred principles do not constitute the integral make up of the heart. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass." I repeat, men have fallen into a way of considering such injunctions as mere adornment, whereas they are structural necessities, truths as demonstrable as any mathematical equation. How shall I think as a god if I have not the large outlook of a god? I would not willingly behold any differentiation in the universe which is not visible from the standpoint of the polar star! The sum of Karma consists of all deeds referable to the self; the deeds done for self increase the sense of self, while spiritual life consists in the absence of self. Thus the fundamental necessity of spiritual growth is that all be done for all. Whatever tends to raise the vibration is of value, your intuitions must direct you to a wise admixture. Persevere; "to the persevering mortal the blessed Immortals are swift." (4) In some quiet moment you will feel a touch upon the heart as if a spent bullet had lodged there, or a soft stir, as a nestling dove. Later, sounds will ensue, sounds like singing sands, or piping winds, or the surge of golden bells chiming adown far coasts. Sometimes a fine aerial music attends the august vibrations, as heralds announce the King. For when the sound arises, the Light is near. Then control the mind, whose centrifugal tendency is immense; it is a Ulysses who must be tied to the mast when these syren voices echo, lest it lose itself in the sea of sense. Attend only to those ideas to which the sounds give rise in the heart. Other wonders accrue, fields of color, flashing sights and psychic sense unfolding, but to describe these is to leave the student at the mercy of a vivid imagination. I can only state that something is born again under the potency of the Word, and this Word is a fixed rate of high vibration.

You have now a clue; try. On the doors and walls of the temple the word "Try" is written. The entrance found, use this key. "The mouth of the true Brahman is covered with a golden lid, open that, O Sun, that we may go to the true One, Who pervades all. He who is that person in the sun I am He."

"After having left behind the body, the organs of sense and the objects of sense (as no longer belonging to us), and having seized the bow whose stick is fortitude and whose string is asceticism (the true kind), having stricken down with the arrow consisting of freedom from egotism the first guardian of the door of Brahman, having killed that guardian, he crosses by means of the boat Om to the other side of the ether within the heart, and when the ether is revealed (as Brahman), he enters slowly, as a miner seeking minerals enters a mine, into the hall of Brahman. After that let him by means of the doctrine of his teacher, (trying his intuitive way and not that of another), break through the first shrine of Brahman (consisting of the four nets of food, breath, mind and knowledge), till he reaches the last shrine of Brahman. Thenceforth pure, clean, tranquil, breathless, endless, imperishable, firm, unborn, and independent, he stands in his own greatness, and having seen the Self standing in His own greatness, he looks at the wheel of the world, (therefore he may still be in the world,), as one who having alighted from a chariot looks on its revolving wheel." (5)

Take up the analogy. Get to the wondrous centre and ask of the latent Light, and "all shall be changed." Then Brothers, give, give what you receive. Cast all your treasures to all the winds of morning; the closing pinions of the night will bring them back transformed. Fear nothing! Bend the inner ear and you shall hear that royal Watch who calls across the Darkness, "All's well! All's well!"

Ishwar, Lord of the Light! Make me to be a channel through which Thou flowest. Teach me to know Thy voice in other hearts as well as in mine own, and inform us with Thine effulgence through the generating cycles — Om!


1. Vedanta. (return to text)

2. Light on the Path. (return to text)

3. Upanishad. (return to text)

4. Bhavagad-Gita. (return to text)

5. Zoroaster. (return to text)

The Path