The Use of the Hands

It is of value here when we are dealing with the wielding of force to give a little information anent the use of the hands in such work. One of the Masters has said, “It is but with armed hand and ready either to conquer or perish that the modern mystic can hope to achieve his object.” I intend to speak a few words about the hands, for there is more occult teaching hidden in these words than is apparent on the surface.

In one of the old books, available for the instruction of disciples these words are found:

“The armed hand is an empty hand and this protects its possessor from the accusations of his enemies. It is a hand freed from the taint of the four symbolic evils – gold, lust, the dagger, and the finger of enticement.”

These words are most significant, and it might be well to study briefly the type of hands and their quality which are distinctive of disciples. In all forms of esoteric teaching the hands play a great part and this for four reasons:

  1. They are the symbol of acquisitiveness.
  2. They are centers of force.
  3. They are wielders of the sword.
  4. They are, when employed unselfishly
    • Instruments of healing.
    • Agencies whereby certain keys are turned.

Viewing them as symbols of acquisitiveness it must be remembered that in the average man they are employed to “grasp and to hold” and to acquire that which the man wants for himself and for the satisfaction of his selfish desire. In spiritual man, the hands are still symbols of acquisitiveness but he only grasps that which is needed for the helping of the group and releases at once towards that end that which he has thus acquired. The initiate holds nothing for himself; the savior of the race may utilize all that is laid up in the divine storehouse but not for himself, only for those he seeks to help.

As centers of force the hands play a most potent part, and one that is little understood. It is an occult fact that the hands of a disciple (once he has acquired that acquisitiveness which is based on unselfish group work) become transmitters of spiritual energy. The “laying on of hands” is no idle phrase nor confined solely to the operations of the episcopate of any faith. The occult laying on of hands can be studied in four aspects:

  1. In healing. In this case the force which flows through the hands comes from a dual source and via two etheric centers, the spleen and the heart.
  2. In the stimulation of any specific center. The energy employed in this case comes from the base of the spine, and the throat, and must be accompanied by appropriate words.
  3. In the work of linking a man up with his ego. The force used here must be received from three etheric centers, the solar plexus, the heart, and the center between the eyebrows.
  4. In group work. Here energy is utilized emanating from the ego, via the head center, the throat center and the base of the spine.

It will be apparent therefore that the Science of the Hands is a very real one and the disciple has to learn the nature of the forces in the different centers, how to transmit and unify them and then by an act of the will how to pass them outward through the chakras in the hands. The hands do their work either directly, or through the projection of a steady flow once the blended currents have been tapped, or indirectly, or by manipulation. Through a knowledge of the law a disciple can not only utilize the current flowing through the centers of his own body, but can also combine them with the planetary or cosmic currents to be found in his environment. This is done unconsciously frequently by speakers who magnetically use the hands to any extent and the effects as seen by a clairvoyant are often amazing. When this work is done consciously a most potent factor is added to the equipment of any chela.

In this connection it must be borne in mind that the matter is a very abstruse one and that certain ray forces pass along the line of least resistance from left to right and others from right to left. Certain centers transmit their energies via the right hand and others via the left. Much knowledge is therefore required in order to work scientifically.

I have no time to take up in detail the meaning of the hands as they wield the sword, save to point out that the sword as a symbol stands for many things:

  • The sharp, two-edged sword is the discriminative faculty which reaches to the roots of the chela’s being and separates the real and true from the false and impermanent. It is wielded by the ego from the mental plane and is spoken of as the “Sword of cold blue steel.”
  • The sword of renunciation, or that double-bladed axe which the chela willingly applies to anything he considers as likely to hold him back from his goal. It is applied primarily to the things of the physical plane.
  • The sword of the Spirit is that weapon which in the hands of the disciple cuts down before the eyes of the group he is serving the obstacles which stand in the way of group progress. It is only wielded safely by those who have trained their arms to wield the other swords and in the hands of an initiate is a most potent factor.

The Old Commentary to which reference has been oft times made says:

    “The steel is needed for the transmission of the fire. When the force of the inner man is coupled with the energy transmitted through the chakras of the palms, it passeth down the shining blade and blendeth with the force of the One Who is the ALL. Thus is the Plan consummated.”

And thus it might be added is the energy of the unit augmented by the force of the greater Whole.

It is said in the occult books and likewise in The Secret Doctrine that all initiates must be healers; therefore, that all initiates use the palms of the hands in the work of healing. Only those therefore, who have wielded the sword dare lay the sword down and stand with empty hands, uplifted in blessing. Only the “armed hand” can safely be used in the work of salvation; only those who have “taken the kingdom of Heaven by force” and who are occultly known as the “Violent Ones” can take the heavenly supply and use it in the work of healing. This should be carefully borne in mind. The true healing force can only flow through those who in some degree either directly (by right of initiation or of advanced discipleship) or indirectly, as being used on the inner side by some adept or advanced healer, are linked with the hierarchy. A man should know his status before he can rightly heal. This does not apply to those healers who are unconscious workers, being powerful transmitters of prana or solar vitality. Their name is legion and they do much good even though at times the energy they transmit serves to stimulate wrongly.

As regards the use of the hands in turning keys I will simply give a hint. Only those hands can turn the key in the door of initiation who have learnt the “art of the centers”, the significance of the hands in service, the wielding of the swords, and the four positions in which the hands are held in group service.

Study, therefore, the type of force which you usually wield; know along what line of ray energy it comes and so arrive at a truer knowledge of yourself and of your own inner capacities, and ascertain likewise what types of energy you may lack and how your equipment can be duly rounded out.

{My Note A seems to be missing from both text and online versions}

B. The quality of the force used is necessarily dependent upon the ray from which it may emanate. You ask me to differentiate between the words type and quality. I would say that the type of force indicates the life aspect, whilst the quality indicates the consciousness aspect, and that both of them are aspects of the entity or the being who is the embodiment of a ray. The type will manifest primarily through what we might call dynamic direction and through its power to produce an effect. This has, of course, to be coupled to right quality and skill in action. The quality will be indicated more by its power of attractive approach. It has in it more of the magnetic aspect than the type has. Students can arrive at the quality of the force they may be using by noticing what they attract to themselves, both in circumstances, in people, and in the reactions which people show to what the student may say or do. In the type there is a preponderance of the will aspect, in the quality the desire aspect is primarily to be found. It is profoundly true that according to a man’s desires so will be the forms of life which he will, like a magnet, attract to himself.

C. The strength of a particular force brings us back to the Rule we are studying, for it involves in itself the factor of true persistence, and we have earlier seen that the emergence into functioning life and activity of any form is dependent upon the persistent attention of its creator. Energy can be used dynamically or steadily and the effects of these two modes of the application of energy differ. One is primarily used in destructive work, and this is the dynamic method. There are, for instance, certain dynamic words of power which, when employed by the Creative Destroyers, bring about the destruction of forms. With these, however, aspirants have naught to do. Their important work is to learn the meaning of persistence and of strength. It is literally a time-persistence, and strength is beyond all other things the power to endure, to hold out, to stand steady, and to go forward undeterred. Study, therefore, most carefully the types dynamic, the quality magnetic, and the strength persistent of the forces which constitute your equipment. When you can wield, either destructively or constructively, either selfishly or selflessly, or in line with the Plan Universal, or the plan selfish and personal then you will work consciously and will knowingly tread the right or the left hand path.

D. The speed of the force used is dependent upon these three previous factors. Speed in this sense has no essential relation to time, though it is hard to find another word to use in the place of speed. It relates to the world of effects as they emanate from the world of causes. It has, perhaps, essentially a relation to truth, for the truer an impulse is and the clearer the understanding of the subjective purpose, so will the right direction and the impact of the force, follow automatically. Perhaps speed could be more correctly translated by the words “correct direction”, for where there is correct direction, true orientation, exact understanding of purpose and recognition of the type of force required, then there is an instantaneous effect. When the soul has registered the desired quality and possesses the strength of the Timeless One and the persistence of the One Who is from the beginning, the process of force expression and the relation between cause and effect is spontaneous and simultaneous, and not sequential. This can scarcely be understood by those who have not yet the consciousness of the eternal Now. But this spontaneous and simultaneous effect is the clue to the entire magical work and in these four words – type, quality, strength and speed – the story of the work of a White Magician is told. But more I dare not give and it is not permitted to me to speak more clearly. Few are yet fitted to be magicians and few (perhaps fortunately) have as yet all the seven centers awakened so that they can work freely on the seven planes and with the seven types of the seven ray energies.

I would point out that these four aspects of energy can be studied by the aspirant in his own nature. On the physical plane he is apparently the initiating cause and as he works with these energies they will call forth a response and a reaction from those who feel the impact of them and who demonstrate their effect. It is true, therefore, is it not, that we work and live in a world of forces? We need no distant field or special domain in which to live and learn and work, for we dwell in a world of force and energy; we are ourselves constituted of force or energy units; and we wield force, knowingly or unknowingly, throughout the twenty-four hours of the day. The field of our occult training is the field of the world and the world of our peculiar circumstances and environment.

Excerpted from “A Treatise on White Magic – Rule Fourteen – The Use of the Hands”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Question: How are the palms of your hands feeling now?

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