on peut voir l’éternelle

How slow is each second

and yet quick every year?

The snail and the dragonfly

know each other, too well.

Eternity is a friend

waiting at the door,

had I but something

to offer him in return.

Nothing is a meal

that breaks any fast

much more than whole

and always enough.

As the autumn leaves turn

and winter snow falls,

it is only I who remain,

I, whatever, I am.

Human Thought and Consciousness in the Coming New Age.

There are certain fundamental truths which lie behind all revealed religions. They are essential to the spiritual growth and the progressive realizations of divinity by man. All else found under the term “doctrine” and allied phrases are but expansions of these fundamentals, explanatory in nature, expressive of human interpretations, and formulations of evolutionary recognitions. These are mainly additions and are in the nature of adornment, speculation and prediction; they are constantly subject to change, to rejection or development as man’s intellect and spiritual perception unfolds; they are not basic or unalterable. It is the unalterable truths which must be discovered and recognized as the new world religion takes form on Earth and conditions human thought and consciousness in the coming New Age.

The Basic Truths to Date

These basic truths never change because they are related to the nature of Deity Itself and have become apparent to mankind through revelation, as evolution has proceeded and man has developed the needed perceptive faculties and the required persistence of search, plus the unfolding of the inner light of the soul. These truths, inherent in the divine nature, reveal the soul of God. They are:

  1. The Law of Compassion. This is the truth of right relationship, of loving understanding, of actively expressed Love. It is the foundation of brotherhood and the expression of the inner unity.
  2. The Fact of God. This is the truth that Being is God Immanent and God Transcendent; it involves the recognition of the great Whole and the related part; it is the knowledge of divinity, ascertained through right relationship and identity of origin. It is the revelation of the life of God, pervading all that is (God Immanent), and of that same life, providing that still greater cosmic relation (God Transcendent) which is the final guarantee of all progress and of progressive revelation. ‘Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain’ is the challenge of Deity and the eternal hope of humanity. This is the answer of Life Itself to the demands of humanity, to the enquiries of science and to the whole world problem. God is here, present among us and in all forms of expression; He includes, pervades and remains beyond. He is greater than all appearance. He reveals Himself progressively and cyclically as man gets ready for further knowledge.
  3. The Continuity of Revelation. Ever down the ages and at each human crisis, always in the hours of necessity, at the founding of a new race, or in the awakening of a prepared humanity to a new and wider vision, the Heart of God – impelled by the law of compassion – sends forth a Teacher, a World Savior, an Illuminator, an Avatar. He gives the message which will heal, which will indicate the next step to be taken by the race, which will illumine a dark world problem and give to man an expression of a hitherto unrealized aspect of divinity. Upon this fact of the continuity of revelation and upon the sequence of this progressive manifestation of the divine nature is based the doctrine of Avatars, of divine Messengers, divine Appearances, and inspired Prophets. To all these history unmistakably testifies.
  4. The Inevitable Response of Humanity. I have expressed in these simple words the instinctive spiritual reaction of man and of the undying human spirit to the three above foundational truths. This divine spirit in humanity must ever, and most surely does, respond to the divine Appearance. The witness to this is sure and proved. There is that in mankind which is akin to God and which recognizes its own when it appears. Such is the unshakable reality in the human heart, and recognition is the inevitable reward and result of revelation.
  5. Progress. The reaction of the individual man and of the masses of men to the continuity of revelation – historically proved – cannot be denied. It is the basic fact of religion. The types of that revelation may vary but each new revelation – given in response to human need and demand – has ever led humanity onward towards a steadily brightening goal and a greater glory. The revelation may come on varying levels of the human consciousness. It may be the revelation of new lands to conquer, terrestrial or mental. Some person pointed the way. It may be the recognition of new laws and facts in nature, scientifically grasped and used; it may be the response of intelligent man to increased knowledge, producing a new type of civilization. Some liberated spirit pointed the way. It may be the response of the human heart to the Heart of God, leading to the mystical beatitude, and to the recognition of spiritual Being. It may be the reaction of man to some new teaching, some further unfoldment, resulting in a new and enriched religious approach to the center of life. Some Messenger pointed the way. But always it has meant progress, a moving forward, a rejection of some existing limitation, a repudiating of the undesirable and the evil. Always it involves the recognition of the possible, the ideal and the divine.
  6. Transcendence. This means the innate capacity to pass beyond so-called natural law. This surmounting of limitation is ever taking place and this process of transcendence will call forth increasing recognition. It marks the next major phase in the manifestation of divinity in man; it signifies domination over physical law and humanity’s imminent triumph over the forces which have for so long held him to earth. Of this transcendence the present mastery over the air is the symbol. Man is rapidly mastering the four elements. He cultivates the earth; he rides the waters; he controls the electrical fires of the planet, and he flies triumphant through the air. The question now emerges: What, my brothers, next? Another transcendence lies ahead. It is one of the things which the coming Avatar will reveal.

With the lesser leaders, whom the human spirit evokes to its assistance, I shall not deal. I seek to unfold somewhat the Doctrine of Divine Messengers, of Avatars. From whence come They? What is Their nature? Who are They and what is Their relation to humanity, to the Hierarchy and to still greater groups of Lives? These are questions which normally arise and need clear answering.

An Avatar is a Being Who – having first developed His Own nature, human and divine, and then transcended it – is capable of reflecting some cosmic Principle or divine quality and energy which will produce the desired effect upon humanity, evoking a reaction, producing a needed stimulation and, as it is esoterically called, ‘leading to the rending of a veil and the permeation of light.’ This energy may be generated within the human family and focused in a responsive Messenger; it may be generated within the planet itself and produce a planetary Avatar; it may be the expression of the life impulse and energy of the solar system, or of sources outside the solar system and therefore cosmic. But always it is focused through a manifesting Entity, is called forth by a demand or massed appeal, and evokes response and consequent changes in the life activity, the culture and the civilization of mankind.

The response or reaction of humanity to the divine Messenger establishes in due time the recognition of something transcendent, something to be desired and striven for, something which indicates a vision which is first a possibility and later an achievement. This is the historically proven process and testifies eventually to a fact. This new fact, when added to the facts established by other and earlier Avatars, enriches the spiritual content of the human consciousness, enhances the spiritual life of the race, and stimulates man to move a step forward into the world of reality and out of the world of illusion. Each revelation brings him nearer to the world of causes.

At the present time the Avatars most easily recognized and known are the Buddha and the Christ, because Their messages are familiar to all and the fruits of Their lives and words have conditioned the thinking and the civilizations of both hemispheres; because They are divine-human Avatars and represent something which humanity can more easily understand; because They are of like nature to mankind, “flesh of our flesh and spirit of our spirit.” They therefore mean more to us than any other Divine Emergence. They are known, loved and followed by countless millions. I would ask you to ponder on the potency of the nucleus of force which They have set up. The establishing of a nucleus of energy, spiritually positive, is the constant task of an Avatar. He focuses or anchors a dynamic truth, a potent thought-form or a vortex of attractive energy in the three worlds of human living. Then, as the centuries pass, that truth and the effect of Their lives and words begin steadily to condition human thinking; the established thought-form acts increasingly as a transmitter of divine energy as it expresses a divine idea, and this in time produces a civilization, with its accompanying culture, religions, policies, governments and educational processes. Thus is history made. History is but the record of man’s cyclic reaction to some inflowing divine energy, to some Avatar or some inspired Leader.

Excerpted from “The Externalization of the Hierarchy – Section III – Forces behind the Evolutionary Process”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

The Externalization of the Hierarchy

In Connection with the Council Chamber of Sanat Kumara, the Lord of the World

As this subject concerns one of the seven goals towards which the Masters aim after They have attained the fifth initiation, it will be obvious to you that there is little that I can say about it. One of the seven Paths for which the Way of the Higher Evolution prepares the senior initiates is the Path of Earth Service. This Path, as you know, keeps the Masters attached to service in the three worlds for a period much longer than the average. It involves tremendous sacrifice. Just as the disciple has to live a dual life, with one part of his reflective nature and awareness centered in the life of the Hierarchy and the other part of his mental responsiveness equally centered on life in the three worlds, and this simultaneously, so the Master, when He chooses this Path, forms a constituent part of the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World and at the same time works consciously in the three worlds, via the Hierarchy (of which He remains also a part), and with the human and subhuman kingdoms in nature. As evolution proceeds, He will work increasingly via humanity because humanity will be shouldering its responsibilities as the Macrocosm of the lesser microcosm. This dual activity entails much specialized training, and as the initiatory process becomes exoteric and men everywhere recognize it and participate in it, the training which Members of the Hierarchy also undergo will not be so secret and mysterious as it is today. But the time has not yet come to publicize it.

Only certain further generalizations are here possible, some of which are already known to you because they are so broad that their inclusions and implications are obvious. This, for instance, concerns the “center where the Will of God is known”. Here at Shamballa work Those Who have unified Their personality will and Their spiritual will with the universal will, and such a unification inevitably brings knowledge. It is, however, not knowledge as you understand it. It is a blend of wisdom based on knowledge, understanding based on intuitive perception, and identification based on alignment, esoterically comprehended. For this peculiar condition or awareness we have no word in any language, and only the utilization (the trained utilization) of the abstract mind can possibly convey to you even an embryonic factual conception. But that type of imaginative conception will become more common during the next two centuries, and my words here will therefore serve an ultimate purpose. Those Who form the Council Chamber of the Great Lord are under no misapprehension as to His will because They see it whole. Paul, the initiate, hints at this when writing one of the Epistles; he is in touch then with certain Members of the Hierarchy and is concerned with the theme of Love, which is the fundamental hierarchical theme and motive. He says to Them: “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now we know in part, but then shall we know even as we are known.” He there points towards the future progress of the Hierarchy – a progress which remains as yet only a vague promise, lacking form and shape. But he wrote for initiates to whom love was a growing, vital concern, and to whom love and its practice meant light and the basic motif of all living, divine activity. It is not possible to reveal the will of God and the motivating Purpose of His manifesting Self, except to Those Who have demonstrated perfected love and Who register no sense of disunion or the faintest reaction to separateness.

At Shamballa, the Great Lives Who function there not only see manifestation whole and apart from all the limitations of time, but They feel all the major evolutionary impulses which are bringing the developing world into line with the divine Will. They embody those impulses not in terms of progressive movement, but in terms of one great divine and spiritual reaction. This idea can perhaps be best understood by you in terms of the Eternal AUM which is the symbol of the Eternal NOW. You have been told, and it has been demonstrated, that the AUM is composed of one major Sound, three minor sounds, and seven subsidiary vibratory tones. So it is with the Will of God which is embodied and held in synthesis by the Members of the Council Chamber. To Them, as They “hold the Will of God in solution, it is one clear note; as They see that Will in motion, it is three abiding chords, carrying outwards into all the worlds the Purpose of the ONE Who for aeons will abide; as They impel that Will to demonstrate, it is seven vibratory tones, drawing out into the reflected worlds the structure of the Plan. And thus the note, the chords and tone produce the Plan, reveal the Purpose and indicate God’s Will.” This is a quotation from certain of the ancient Archives which constitute the study of the Masters; they relate to the nature of Shamballa, its work and emanating energies.

Shamballa, as it constitutes the synthesis of understanding where our Earth is concerned, is also the center where the highest Will of the Solar Logos is imposed upon the Will of our planetary Logos, Who is, as you know, only a center in His greater body of manifestation. With this item of information you can have no possible concern; the Masters Themselves are only learning the Will of the planetary Logos; the objective of effort in Shamballa is, however, the apprehension of solar Purpose, the Plan of which is working out on the highest levels of our planetary system, just as the Will, Purpose and Plan of Shamballa work out on the three lowest levels of our planetary system. Again, this item of information serves only to indicate hierarchical objectives, and those objectives extend away from time and space into the Mind of God Himself.

There are certain synonyms which here may serve to develop your synthetic thinking and so bring in a definite measure of enlightenment.

ApprehensionPolarizationFocus of Activity

It will be apparent to you how little you can understand of the Shamballa intention when you realize that it is not easy for you to see any true distinction between unity and synthesis and, at the same time, how impossible it is for me to make the distinction clear. All I can say is that synthesis is, whilst unity is achieved and is the reward of action and effort. As you progress upon the Path of Initiation the meaning of unity clarifies. As you direct yourself towards the Way of the Higher Evolution synthesis emerges. More than that it would be useless for me to say.

This problem of the apparently impenetrable darkness of intention as grasped by Shamballa, of meaning, of inscrutability, of a spiritual imperviousness which holds, in spite of all fluctuations in the three worlds of human evolution and the remaining two of superhuman unfoldment, provides a situation to which the Hierarchy has to make adjustment through alignment. You are, in your small way, making your adjustment to the Hierarchy through a steady construction of the antahkarana, and in so doing are aiding in the construction of the antahkarana which unites Humanity and the Hierarchy – the first few strands of which were established through the sacrifices of certain of the Sons of God when the Hierarchy was founded on Earth. Today, the Hierarchy is working at the establishing of the linking strands between Itself and Shamballa, and good progress has already been made. It might be said here that for the past seven hundred years the chain of Hierarchy has been complete; by this I mean that the planetary rainbow bridge uniting the three major centers has existed. The task ahead of all these three major centers, working in alignment through adjustment, is to strengthen and beautify (if I may so express it), to electrify this bridge, thus producing full planetary inter-communication between the three centers and the four minor centers, so that “the weight of the Will of God, the momentum of the Purpose of Sanat Kumara and the Plan of His Representatives may progress unimpeded from point to point, from sphere to sphere and from glory to glory.”

It is this complete establishment of relationship between Shamballa, the Hierarchy and Humanity which brought about the planetary crisis through which the world has just passed and, from some standpoints, is still passing. Shamballa, as I have told you, can now reach Humanity, the third major center, directly, and therefore has two points of planetary contact: the first, via the Hierarchy, as has been for long the case, and secondly, in a straight line, carrying energy direct to Humanity, without any transmission and consequent modifying of impact, as has also been the case hitherto. When this direct line of spiritual, dynamic, electrical energy made its first impact on earth (after the Great Council held in 1825), it first of all awakened men’s thinking in a new and comprehensive way, producing the great ideologies; it aroused their massed desire, and registered obstruction on the physical plane. It found its course impeded and discovered it was faced with barriers. This energy from Shamballa, being an aspect of the ray of the destroyer, proceeded to “burn up” in the fires of destruction, all such hindrances upon the planes in the three worlds. This was the deeply esoteric and unrecognized cause of the war – the beneficent bringing to an end of the impediments to the free flow of spiritual energy down into the third center; this was the factor which called “evil from its hidden place” and brought the opposing forces to the surface of existence, prior to their “sealing”. To the extent that this was so, mankind in the World War (1914-1945) was the unhappy victim of spiritual circumstance; however, from the angle of man’s historical past, humanity was the engineer of its own fate; but it took both the esoteric activity of Shamballa and the exoteric activity of humanity over a millenia of years to precipitate the conditions which made this new alignment possible and brought about the sealing (still being carried slowly forward), and plunged mankind into the vortex of war. This impelling downpouring energy from the highest center penetrated not only to the heart of humanity, but into the very depths of the mineral kingdom, implicating also the animal and the vegetable expressions of divine life.


Excerpted from:

The Externalization of the Hierarchy – Section IV – Stages in the Externalization

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

The Dual Life of the Initiatory Process

In all the many books which I have written, I have said relatively little about the brain and its relation to the personality and the soul. It is not possible to enlarge at any length on that theme here, but I will make certain statements without which this whole process of dual living would be most difficult to explain. I will sum up what I have to say in the form of three basic statements:

The brain is a most delicate receiving and transmitting apparatus:

  • It is responsive to information relayed to it, via the senses, from the emotional plane and from the mind.
  • Through its medium the personal lower self becomes aware of its environment, of the nature of its desires, and of its mental peculiarities, as well as of the emotional states and the thoughts of the people contacted in the environment.

The brain is largely conditioned by the endocrine system, and this far more than the endocrinologists would care to admit:

  1. It is powerfully conditioned by three major glands which are found in close relation to the brain substance. These are the pituitary body, the pineal gland and the carotid gland.
  2. These form a triangle, practically unrelated in primitive man, occasionally related in average man, and closely related in the spiritual man.
  3. These glands are objective correspondences of the three energy centers, by means of which the soul, or the indwelling spiritual man, controls his physical vehicle.
  4. Where the relation is close between the three glands – as is increasingly the case where disciples are concerned – a triangle of circulating energies is always established.
  5. This triangle, through the carotid gland in the medulla oblongata, becomes related to other glands and centers.

The brain, as transmitter, becomes a powerful directing agency:

  • As a recipient and transmitter of pure energy or life it uses the carotid gland controlled by the alta major center, and establishes a close relation with the heart and the heart center.
  • As a recipient of mental energy or of energy from the soul, the ajna center becomes the directing agency; this is the center which controls the pituitary body.
  • These energies are received via the head center, which controls the pineal gland. Emotional energy enters the personality system via the solar plexus center, where it either controls or is transmuted and elevated.

It is this triple mechanism in the head – both objective and subjective – which uses the physical brain as a receiving agent and as a transmitting agent. It is this which is brought into creative activity and thus under the control of the disciple in training or in process of being prepared for initiation. I have not hitherto emphasized this, nor do I wish to do so, for it is not desirable for the disciple or aspirant consciously and deliberately to deal with the mechanism in the head. Let him learn to control and consciously employ the mind; let him train his mind to receive communications from three sources:

  • The three worlds of ordinary living, thus enabling the mind to act as the “common sense.”
  • The soul, and thus consciously become the disciple, the worker in an Ashram, illumined by the wisdom of the soul, and superseding gradually the knowledge gained in the three worlds. That knowledge, rightly applied, becomes wisdom.
  • The Spiritual Triad, acting as the intermediary between the Monad and the brain of the personality. This can eventually take place, because the soul and personality are fused and blended into one functioning unit, this superseding again what we mean when we use the erroneous phrase “the soul.” Duality then takes the place of the original triplicity.

It has been necessary to make these somewhat elementary remarks and to clarify these points, if there is to be true understanding as to what constitutes the dual life of the disciple or the Master, and wherein they differ.

One of the tests of the initiatory process is a hitherto totally unexpected one. Tests which are expected and for which preparation has been made do not constitute true tests in the real sense of the word, esoterically understood. It is a test – imposed with increasing rigidity as initiation after initiation is taken – to see just how far the initiate is capable of retaining or preserving in his brain consciousness the registered facts of several worlds or planes of consciousness; i.e., the three worlds of human endeavor and the world of soul consciousness, or both of these and the world of the Ashram; or again these and the activity of the Hierarchy itself, viewing it as a complete whole; or again, all of these and the world of Triadal experience, until the point is reached where a straight continuity of consciousness can be registered and held which comes directly from the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World to Those Masters Who are functioning in a physical body and must therefore use a physical brain. In every single case the test (in order to be passed correctly) must involve the brain consciousness; the facts, registered upon the subtler planes, must be correctly registered, recognized and interpreted simultaneously upon the physical plane.

You can see for yourselves that this is a major and most necessary indication of a developing awareness; a Master has to be aware at any time on any plane and at will. It will also be obvious to you that this will be a growing and an increasing perception for which the intermediate stages, between initiations, prepare the initiate. Gradually, each one of the five senses, plus the common sense (the mind), has to demonstrate the effectiveness of its higher correspondence and thus of a developing subtle apparatus. Through this apparatus the initiate is put in touch with widening areas of the divine “state of mind” or with the planetary consciousness, until “the mind that is in Christ” becomes truly the mind of the initiate, with all that those words entail of meaning and esoteric significance. Consciousness, Sensitivity, Awareness, Planetary Rapport, Universal Consciousness – these are the words which we must consider, sequentially developed and in their truly esoteric sense.

You have here a wide and general picture, involving the goal, the means or mode, the testing point and the physical brain; these are four factors which have received little or no attention where initiation has been dealt with in the occult writings. They are nevertheless of major importance. I am dealing with them here because of the stage of development now reached by the human mind, because of their increasingly close relation to the physical brain, and because there are now so many aspirants ready to tread the Path of Discipleship, the Path of Initiatory Training. They are now in a position to work consciously at the task of a dual and constant process of spiritual and physical recognitions.

The Dual Life of the Disciple

I have divided this theme into two parts, owing to the fact that the dualism displayed by a Master and that demonstrated by a disciple are not identical or one and the same thing at advancing points of distinction. The subject, when you first approach it, seems of a relative simplicity, but a closer consideration of it will present great and unexpected dissimilarities.

In connection with the dual life of the disciple, the factors involved are the threefold personality (with an awakening or onlooking consciousness centered or focused in the brain), the soul which seems at first the ultimate goal of attainment but is later seen as simply a system or collection of fusing spiritual attributes, and the lowest aspect of the Spiritual Triad, the abstract mind. The disciple feels that, if he can attain the immediate and fused consciousness of the three, he has attained; he realizes also that this involves the construction of the antahkarana. All these factors, for one who has just been admitted to the Path of Discipleship and who is just finding his place within an Ashram, seem an adequately difficult undertaking and one that engrosses every power which he possesses.

This, for the time being, is true and – until the third initiation – these objectives, their conscious fusion, plus a recognition of the divine planes of awareness to which they all admit him, indicate the disciple’s task and keep him fully occupied. To the recognitions entailed he has to add a growing capacity to work on the levels of consciousness involved, remembering always that a plane and a state of consciousness are synonymous terms, and that he is making progress, becoming aware, building the antahkarana, training as a hierarchical worker within an Ashram, familiarizing himself with new and opening spiritual environments, widening his horizon, stabilizing himself upon the Path, and living upon the physical plane the life of an intelligent man within the world of men. He is demonstrating also no freakish peculiarities, but appears as a man of goodwill, of benevolent intelligence, of unalterable goodness, and of stem and unchangeable spiritual purpose. Is that enough of a goal for a disciple? Does it seem well-nigh impossible of accomplishment? Can you undertake such a proposition and make good your undertaking?

Most assuredly you can, for the factor of time enters in and the disciple is free to submit to its conditioning, particularly in the early stages of his discipleship; this he usually does at first, knowing nothing else to do, but the speed or the sattvic or rhythmic nature of the spiritual life eventually changes this attitude; he then works with no true consciousness of time except as it affects other people and his associates upon the physical plane.

At first, his registration of that which is sensed or seen upon the subtler planes or the soul plane is slow; it takes time for contacts and for knowledge gained to penetrate from the higher levels to his physical brain. This fact (when he discovers it) tends to upset his time-awareness, and the first step is therefore taken on the path of timelessness, speaking symbolically. He gains also the capacity to work with greater rapidity and mental coordination than does the average intelligent man; in this way he learns the limitations of time as a brain condition, and learns also how to offset it and to work in such a way that he does more within a set time limit than is possible to the average man, no matter how ardently he may pursue the effort. The overcoming of time and the demonstration of spiritual speed are indications that the dual life of discipleship is superseding the integrated life of the personality, though leading in its turn to a still greater synthesis and higher integration.

The dual life which all disciples lead produces also a rapidity of mental interpretation which is essential to the sane registration of the phenomenal life of the various higher planes and states of consciousness. Forget not that all our planes are subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, and are therefore phenomenal in nature. As they are contacted and recorded and the knowledge is transmitted to the physical brain, via the mind, there must always accompany them a true interpretation and a correct recognition of “things as they are.” It is here that the non-disciple and the psychic go wrong, for their interpretation is almost always fundamentally in error, and it takes time (coming within that cycle of limitation) intelligently to interpret and truly register what the perceiving consciousness has contacted. When the time factor no longer controls, the interpretations registered by the brain are infallibly correct. I have here given you a major piece of information.

You will see, therefore, that in the earlier initiatory process, the factor of time is noted by the initiate and also by the presenting Masters. An instance of a slow permeation of information from the plane of initiation to the physical brain can be seen in the fact that very few aspirants and disciples register the fact that they have already taken the first initiation, the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart. That they have taken it is evidenced by their deliberate treading of the Way, by their love of the Christ – no matter by what name they may call Him – and by their effort to serve and help their fellowmen; they are still, however, surprised when told that the first initiation lies behind them. This is due entirely to the factor of time, leading to their inability to “bring through” past events with accuracy, by a false humility as well (inculcated by the Christian Church, as it attempts to keep people subjugated by the sin idea), and by the intensely forward-looking anticipatory consciousness of the average aspirant. When a true perspective and a balanced point of view have been attained, and some awareness of the Eternal Now is beginning to penetrate into their understanding, then the past, the present and the future will be lost to sight in the consciousness of the inclusiveness of the moment that Is; then the limitations of time will be ending and the Law of Karma will be negated; it is at present so closely related to past and future. The dual life of the disciple will then be ended, giving place to the cosmic dualism of the Master. The Master is free from the limitations of time, though not of space, because space is an eternal Entity.

You will see, therefore, the great necessity for a constant emphasis, at this stage in the training of the average aspirant, on the need for alignment, or for the creation of a channel of direct relation from the brain to the desired point of contact. To this trained alignment must eventually be added the building of the antahkarana and its subsequent use in a growing system of alignments. The antahkarana must be completed and direct contact must be established with the Spiritual Triad by the time the third initiation has been taken. Then follows the fourth initiation with its destruction of the egoic, causal or soul body, owing to the complete fusion of soul and personality. The dual life of the disciple ends.

The Dual Existence of the Master

I would have you note here the difference between the two headings. I refer in one place to the dual life of the disciple but in another to the dual existence of the Master. That distinction is deliberate and intentional. The disciple lives in the three worlds and, until the third initiation, he demonstrates his livingness strictly in relation to the soul and the personality, and therefore strictly to the phenomenal world and to the various levels of the dense cosmic physical plane.

The Master functions on the plane of Being and demonstrates the fact that He eternally Is, that He exists as a divine aspect upon the formless levels of the cosmic etheric planes; this is a very different matter to the life of the disciple and to which little attention has been paid. Existence, Being, Essential Life, Dynamic Energy, Electric Fire are all of them distinctive of the higher initiations; they produce basic distinctions between their constitution and mode of life expression and that of those who live, who are in process of becoming, who express quality, and who fuse and blend solar fire and fire by friction. Being and Existence are not the same as Becoming or of Qualified Appearance. It is largely a question of emphases. A Master has synthesized within Himself all for which the advancing disciple longs to express, all that is possible as Expansion, plus an emphasis upon the dynamic life aspect, plus an ability to stand immovable in pure Being. Here again I find it hard to express that for which no words are to be found.

In the Master, all the divine aspects are proved capable of expression in accordance with this particular time, in this particular round and chain (reverting to the old symbolism of The Secret Doctrine) and through any particular racial expression. These divine characteristics – viewed from the angle of time and space – are shewn in a definitely relative form; later cycles and time periods will show these aspects in a still more perfected form. But the relativity of these matters does not really concern us, and the perfection is – from, the angle of the human disciple today – exactly what we understand by perfection. The Masters know, however, that a higher, deeper and more intensive manifestation of divinity is potentially possible, but it causes Them no concern or strain, no anxiety or fiery aspiration; They know, as no disciple can know, the workings of the Law of Inevitability. This Law releases the Masters (under the accompanying Law of Service), at the sixth initiation, into a wider field of experience, with all the divine assets and qualities so developed within Them that They know that Their equipment is adequate to the undertaking and that They can, without hesitancy and concern, take the next required steps.

It is hard for the disciple – struggling with glamor and illusion – to realize that the higher initiations are free from all concern and from any emotional or self-centered reactions to the work which lies ahead or to the form side of manifestation; it is well-nigh impossible for the neophyte to vision a time when he will be free from all reactions engendered by life on the dense cosmic physical planes and from all the limitations of life in the three worlds. Today, aspiration provides a constant source of anxious questioning, of painful deliberations and of high voltage spiritual ambition, with their consequent limitations and moments of sensed failure and lack of achievement. The Master has left all this behind, knowing that even this so-called “spiritual responsiveness” is a form of self-centered attitude. Eventually – and disciples should take courage and hope from this statement – all this agonizing reaction to the spiritual urge will be left behind. The Master knows the Law and is entirely free from any consideration of the time equation, as far as He Himself is concerned. He only regards time as it may affect the working of the Plan in the three worlds.

The dual existence of the Master involves what we might call the two poles: that of the monadic consciousness, whatever that may be, and that of the self-created form which He may use as a member of the Hierarchy and a worker in the three worlds of human enterprise. I would here remind you that there are many groups and types of Masters, and most of Them are quite unknown to occult students either from Their work or from rumor or from knowledge of the many evolutionary processes of which the human is only one. Not all the Masters work in the three worlds; not all the Masters need or possess physical bodies; not all the Masters “have Their faces turned towards the realm of dark light, but many face for aeons towards the clear cold light of spiritual existence”; not all the Masters make or are required to make the sacrifices which work for the fourth kingdom in nature entails. Not all souls liberated or limited constitute the Kingdom of God in the sense which that phrase conveys to us; that term is limited to the soul which informs units in the human family; not all the Masters work under the great Buddha of Activity Who is responsible to Sanat Kumara for the Plan working out in connection with Humanity. He works through the three Great Lords of the Eternal Ashram of Sanat Kumara, but His two Brothers have Each of Them an equally important work and are responsible – as He is – to the Council Chamber. Each of Them also works through a triangle of energies with grouped subsidiary forces working in seven departments and differentiated also into forty-nine lesser departments, as is the Ashram which we call the Hierarchy. Forget not, there are many Hierarchies and the Human Hierarchy is but one.

This whole theme is one of great complexity and yet at the same time so simple that when the simplicity of the planetary constitution is truly grasped and the analytic disputations of the concrete mind are overcome, the liberated Master enters a world of spiritual endeavor which is free from forms and symbols or the veils which hide the basic truth and the underlying mystery.

Being is simple, free, unlimited and unimpeded and in that world the Master moves and works. Becoming is complex, imprisoning, limited and subjected to hindrances, and in that world the disciple and the lesser initiates live and move and have their being. The Master works simultaneously in two worlds or states of awareness; i.e., that related to pure existence, to the untrammelled life of the planes controlled by the Monad, and also by the Hierarchy. There naught but the Plan engrosses His attention.

He deals safely with “the simplicity which is Shamballa” and its sphere or aura of influence and “with the field of relationships which are nurtured from the Ashram of the Christ.” I am here quoting one of the Masters Who was endeavoring to explain to a disciple the simplicity of the life which a Master expresses.


Excerpted from “The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section One – The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation”  By Allice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Natural Processes are Irreversible – “Like Tears in Rain”

Most sentient beings would accept this statement depending upon what natural encompasses. This is why perpetual motion machines do not exist. It does not distinguish man made as natural. No man made process is fully reversible, a partial or apparent reversibility might exist. But time on the macroscopic scale cannot yet be wound back. One might draw a sword and then put it back in the scabbard, the undoing of drawing a sword. You as a person would have changed because you have had the experience of drawing the sword. The process of re-sheathing the sword looks like reversibility only it isn’t. The energetics are different.

People including scientists forget thermodynamics and forget the notion of irreversibility. Once you have done something you cannot undo it. Life is not like a text editing programme. Life does not have an undo button. People do stuff which they think they can subsequently get out of. They may be able to escape the societal consequences of trespass. Whatever way you look at it, if you wrong another being you have changed the entire world, if only a little globally but perhaps significantly locally.

You can’t un-break a leg, you can repair it.

You can’t put sperm back into a testicle once it has been deposited into a vagina.

Stuff ripples out. People who are selfish and self-centred do not see this because of their auto-proctological perspective.

Petty acts of deception and vengeance can have untold and far reaching consequences. They can become epicentres of karma, sometimes high on the Richter scale. A lie told can destroy lives. A truth hidden can require a lifetime of covering up. Problems not addressed in a timely manner can blow up out of all proportion. I have observed situations where lies lead to further lies and more intricate ones. People who believe they can blag their way out of anything can find themselves painting themselves into a corner or digging a hole. People can forget what they blagged and to whom. Student pastoral care offers a glimpse of escalating pork pies {lies} on occasion. Smart kids think they are smarter than old farts, maybe they are, maybe not.

This notion of irreversibility is a corner stone of impermanence.

If you attain both irreversibility and impermanence you are on the way.

Life is short, irreversible and impermanent. Therefore, how you use your allotted time is highly significant. There are only these fleeting moments of the eternal now. Whatever you do you cannot undo, your thoughts, words and actions ripple out into the wider whole. If you lie and scheme you add poison into the world. If you love and care, compassion.

I have met people who are venomous and vampiric. I have met fewer who are genuinely altruistic and compassionate.

Have you ever done something which has caused consequences to ripple out in a way that you never imagined?

Have you ever been able to reverse any act of yours?

If you avoid apparent societal consequences, have you gotten away with it in the eyes of the universe and on the scales of karma?

Can you really fully blag your way out?

How are you going to use your remaining fleeting moments of the eternal now?

Initiation, Human and Solar


The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church – the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already forming – wherein the first initiation will become esoteric, in this sense only, that the taking of the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church, performed esoterically as one of the mysteries given at stated periods, attended by those concerned. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons. At this ceremony those ready for the first initiation will be publicly admitted to the Lodge by one of its members, authorized to do so by the great Hierophant Himself.

Four Words Defined

When we speak of Initiation, of wisdom, of knowledge, or of the probationary Path, what do we mean? We use the words so glibly, without due consideration of the meaning involved. Take, for instance, the word first mentioned. Many are the definitions, and many are the explanations to be found as to its scope, the preparatory steps, the work to be done between initiations, and its result and effects. One thing before all else is apparent to the most superficial student, and that is, that the magnitude of the subject is such that in order to deal with it adequately one should be able to write from the viewpoint of an initiate; when this is not the case, anything that is said may be reasonable, logical, interesting, or suggestive, but not conclusive.

The word Initiation comes from two Latin words, in, into; and ire, to go; therefore, the making of a beginning, or the entrance into something. It posits, in its widest sense, in the case we are studying, an entrance into the spiritual life, or into a fresh stage in that life. It is the first step, and the succeeding steps, upon the Path of Holiness. Literally, therefore, a man who has taken the first initiation is one who has taken the first step into the spiritual kingdom, having passed out of the definitely human kingdom into the superhuman. Just as he passed out of the animal kingdom into the human at individualization, so he has entered upon the life of the spirit, and for the first time has the right to be called a “spiritual man” in the technical significance of the word. He is entering upon the fifth or final stage in our present fivefold evolution. Having groped his way through the Hall of Ignorance during many ages, and having gone to school in the Hall of Learning, he is now entering into the university, or the Hall of Wisdom. When he has passed through that school he will graduate with his degree as a Master of Compassion.

It might be of benefit to us also if we studied first the difference or the connection between Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom. Though in ordinary parlance they are frequently interchanged, as used technically they are dissimilar.

Knowledge is the product of the Hall of Learning. It might be termed the sum total of human discovery and experience, that which can be recognized by the five senses, and be correlated, diagnosed, and defined by the use of the human intellect. It is that about which we feel mental certitude, or that which we can ascertain by the use of experiment. It is the compendium of the arts and sciences. It concerns all that deals with the building and developing of the form side of things. Therefore it concerns the material side of evolution, matter in the solar systems, in the planet, in the three worlds of human evolution, and in the bodies of men.

Wisdom is the product of the Hall of Wisdom. It has to do with the development of the life within the form, with the progress of the spirit through those ever-changing vehicles, and with the expansions of consciousness that succeed each other from life to life. It deals with the life side of evolution. Since it deals with the essence of things and not with the things themselves, it is the intuitive apprehension of truth apart from the reasoning faculty, and the innate perception that can distinguish between the false and the true, between the real and the unreal. It is more than that, for it is also the growing capacity of the Thinker to enter increasingly into the mind of the Logos, to realize the true inwardness of the great pageant of the universe, to vision the objective, and to harmonize more and more with the higher measure. For our present purpose (which is to study somewhat the Path of Holiness and its various stages) it may be described as the realization of the “Kingdom of God within,” and the apprehension of the “Kingdom of God without” in the solar system. Perhaps it might be expressed as the gradual blending of the paths of the mystic and the occultist, – the rearing of the temple of wisdom upon the foundation of knowledge.

Wisdom is the science of the spirit, just as knowledge is the science of matter. Knowledge is separate and objective, whilst wisdom is synthetic and subjective. Knowledge divides; wisdom unites. Knowledge differentiates whilst wisdom blends. What, then, is meant by the understanding?

The understanding may be defined as the faculty of the Thinker in Time to appropriate knowledge as the foundation for wisdom, that which enables him to adapt the things of form to the life of the spirit, and to take the flashes of inspiration that come to him from the Hall of Wisdom and link them to the facts of the Hall of Learning. Perhaps the whole idea might be expressed in this way:
Wisdom concerns the one Self, knowledge deals with the not-self, whilst the understanding is the point of view of the Ego, or Thinker, or his relation between them.

In the Hall of Ignorance the form controls, and the material side of things has the predominance. Man is there polarized in the personality or lower self. In the Hall of Learning the higher self, or Ego, strives to dominate that form until gradually a point of equilibrium is reached where the man is controlled entirely by neither. Later the Ego controls more and more, until in the Hall of Wisdom it dominates in the three lower worlds, and in increasing degree the inherent divinity assumes the mastery.

Aspects of Initiation

Initiation, or the process of undergoing an expansion of consciousness, is part of the normal process of evolutionary development, viewed on a large scale, and not from the standpoint of the individual. When viewed from the individual standpoint it has come to be narrowed down to the moment wherein the evolving unit definitely apprehends that (by dint of his own effort, aided by the advice and suggestions of the watching Teachers of the race) he has reached a point wherein a certain range of knowledge of a subjective nature, from the physical plane point of view, is his. It is in the nature of that experience wherein a pupil in a school realizes suddenly that he has mastered a lesson, and that the rationale of a subject, and the method of procedure, are his to use intelligently. These moments of intelligent apprehension follow the evolving Monad throughout his long pilgrimage. What has been misinterpreted somewhat at this stage of comprehension is the fact that at various periods the emphasis is laid on different grades of expansion, and always the Hierarchy endeavors to bring the race to the point where its units will have some idea of the next step to be taken.

Each initiation marks the passing of the pupil in the Hall of Wisdom into a higher class, marks the clearer shining forth of the inner fire and the transition from one point of polarization to another, entails the realization of an increasing unity with all that lives and the essential oneness of the self with all selves. It results in a horizon that continuously enlarges until it includes the sphere of creation; it is a growing capacity to see and hear on all the planes. It is an increased consciousness of God’s plans for the world, and an increased ability to enter into those plans and to further them. It is the effort in the abstract mind to pass an examination. It is the honor class in the Master’s school, and is within the attainment of those souls whose karma permits and whose efforts suffice to fulfil the aim.

Initiation leads to the mount whence vision can be had, a vision of the eternal Now, wherein past, present, and future exist as one; a vision of the pageant of the races with the golden thread of pedigree carried through the many types; a vision of the golden sphere that holds in unison all the many evolutions of our system, deva, human, animal, vegetable, mineral, and elemental, and through which the pulsating life can be clearly seen beating in regular rhythm;

  • a vision of the Logoic thought-form on the archetypal plane,
  • a vision that grows from initiation to initiation until it embraces all the solar system.

Initiation leads to the stream that, once entered, sweeps a man onward until it carries him to the feet of the Lord of the World, to the feet of his Father in Heaven, to the feet of the threefold Logos.


Initiation leads to the cave within whose circumscribing walls the pairs of opposites are known, and the secret of good and evil is revealed. It leads to the Cross and to that utter sacrifice which must transpire before perfect liberation is attained, and the initiate stands free of all earth’s fetters, held by naught in the three worlds. It leads through the Hall of Wisdom, and puts into a man’s hands the key to all information, systemic and cosmic, in graduated sequence. It reveals the hidden mystery that lies at the heart of the solar system. It leads from one state of consciousness to another. As each state is entered the horizon enlarges, the vista extends, and the comprehension includes more and more, until the expansion reaches a point where the self embraces all selves, including all that is “moving and unmoving,” as phrased by an ancient Scripture.

Initiation involves ceremony. It is this aspect that has been emphasized in the minds of men, perhaps a little to the exclusion of the true significance. Primarily it involves the capacity to see, hear, and comprehend, and to synthesize and correlate knowledge. It does not necessarily involve the development of the psychic faculties, but it does entail the inner comprehension that sees the value underlying the form, and recognizes the purpose of pervading circumstances. It is the capacity that senses the lesson to be learnt from any given occurrence and event, and that by means of these comprehensions and recognitions effects an hourly, weekly, yearly growth and expansion. This process of gradual expansion – the result of the definite effort and strenuous right thinking and living of the aspirant himself and not of some occult teacher performing an occult rite – leads to what one might term a crisis.

At this crisis, which necessitates the aid of a Master, a definite act of initiation is performed, which (acting on a particular center) produces a result on some one body. It keys the atoms to a certain pitch, and enables a new rate of rhythm to be attained.

This ceremony of initiation marks a point of attainment. It does not bring about attainment, as is so often the misconception. It simply marks the recognition by the watching Teachers of the race of a definite point in evolution reached by the pupil, and gives two things:

  1. An expansion of consciousness that admits the personality into the wisdom attained by the Ego, and in the higher initiations into the consciousness of the Monad.
  2. A brief period of enlightenment wherein the initiate sees that portion of the Path that lies ahead to be trodden, and wherein he shares consciously in the great plan of evolution.

After initiation, the work to be done consists largely in making that expansion of consciousness part of the equipment for the practical use of the personality, and in mastering that portion of the path that has yet to be traversed.

The Place and Effect of Initiation

The ceremony of initiation takes place on the three higher subplanes of the mental plane, and on the three higher planes, according to the initiation. The five-pointed star, at the initiations on the mental plane, flashes out above the head of the initiate. This concerns the first initiations which are undergone in the causal vehicle. It has been said that the first two initiations take place upon the astral plane, but this is incorrect, and the statement has given rise to a misunderstanding. They are felt profoundly in connection with the astral and physical bodies and the lower mental, and affect their control. The chief effect being felt in those bodies the initiate may interpret them as having taken place on the planes concerned, as the vividness of the effect and the stimulation of the first two initiations work out largely in the astral body. But it must ever be remembered that the major initiations are taken in the causal body or – dissociated from that body – on the buddhic plane or atmic plane. At the final two initiations which set a man free from the three worlds, and enable him to function in the body of vitality of the Logos and wield that force, the initiate becomes the five-pointed star and it descends upon him, merges in him, and he is seen at its very center. This descent is brought about by the action of the Initiator, wielding the Rod of Power, and puts a man in touch with the center in the Body of the Planetary Logos of which he is a part, and this consciously. The two initiations called the sixth and seventh take place on the buddhic and atmic planes; the five-pointed star “blazes forth from within Itself,” as the esoteric phrase has it, and becomes the seven-pointed star; it descends upon the man and he enters within the flame.

Again, the four initiations, prior to that of the adept, mark respectively the attainment of certain proportions of atomic matter in the bodies – for instance, at the first initiation one-fourth atomic matter, at the second one-half atomic matter, at the third three-quarters atomic matter, and so on to the completion. Since buddhi is the unifying principle (or the welder of all), at the fifth initiation the adept lets the lower vehicles go, and stands in his buddhic sheath. He creates thence his body of manifestation.

Each initiation gives more control on the rays, if one may so express it, although this does not adequately convey the idea. Words so often mislead. At the fifth initiation, when the adept stands Master in the three worlds, He controls more or less (according to His line of development) the five rays that are specially manifesting at the time He takes the initiation. At the sixth initiation, if He takes the higher degree, He gains power on another ray, and at the seventh initiation He wields power on all the rays. The sixth initiation marks the point of attainment of the Christ, and brings the synthetic ray of the system under His control. We need to remember that initiation gives the initiate power on the rays, and not power over the rays, for this marks a very definite difference. Every initiate has, of course, for his primary or spiritual ray one of the three major rays, and the ray of his Monad is the one on which he at length gains power. The love ray, or the synthetic ray of the system, is the final one achieved.

Those who pass away from the earth after the fifth initiation, or those who do not become Masters in physical incarnation, take their subsequent initiations elsewhere in the system. All are in the Logoic Consciousness. One great fact to be borne in mind is, that the initiations of the planet or of the solar system are but the preparatory initiations of admission into the greater Lodge on Sirius. We have the symbolism held for us fairly well in Masonry, and in combining the Masonic method with what we are told of the steps on the Path of Holiness we get an approximate picture. Let us enlarge somewhat:

The first four initiations of the solar system correspond to the four “initiations of the Threshold,” prior to the first cosmic initiation. The fifth initiation corresponds to the first cosmic initiation, that of “entered apprentice” in Masonry; and makes a Master an “entered apprentice” of the Lodge on Sirius. The sixth initiation is analogous to the second degree in Masonry, whilst the seventh initiation makes the Adept a Master Mason of the Brotherhood on Sirius.

A Master, therefore, is one who has taken the seventh planetary initiation, the fifth solar initiation, and the first Sirian or cosmic initiation.


Excerpted from:

“Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter II – Initiation Defined” By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Yoga Sutras of Patañjali- Integration, Illumination and Freedom

Excerpted from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

And “A Sanskrit English Translation” By Chip Hartranft

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results.

1. Concentration is the fixing of the chitta (mind stuff) upon a particular object. This is dharana.

We have now reached the part of the Yoga Sutras which deals specifically with mind control and with the effect of that control. The first fifteen sutras are given to the control of the mind and how it is to be attained and the remaining forty sutras concern the results which take place after this control has been gained. Twenty-four results are enumerated, and these are all along the line of expansions of consciousness and the demonstration of psychic faculties, both lower and higher.

The first step towards this unfoldment is concentration, or the ability to hold the mind steadily and unwaveringly upon that which the aspirant chooses. This first step is one of the most difficult stages in the meditation process and involves constant unremitting ability to keep bringing the mind back to that “object” upon which the aspirant has chosen to concentrate. The stages in concentration are themselves well marked and can be stated as follows:

  1. The choice of some “object” upon which to concentrate,
  2. The withdrawing of the mind-consciousness from the periphery of the body, so that the avenues of outer perception and contact (the five senses) are stilled, and the consciousness is no longer outgoing,
  3. The centering of the consciousness and its steadying within the head at a point midway between the eyebrows,
  4. The application of the mind, or the paying of close attention to the object chosen for concentration,
  5. The visualization of that object, imaginative perception of it and logical reasoning about it,
  6. The extension of the mental concepts which have been formed from the specific and particular to the general and the universal or cosmic,
  7. An attempt to arrive at that which lies back of the form considered, or to reach the idea which is responsible for the form.

This process gradually steps up the consciousness and enables the aspirant to arrive at the life side of manifestation instead of the form side. He begins however with the form or “object.” Objects upon which to concentrate are of four kinds:

  1. External objects, such as images of the deity, pictures or forms in nature,
  2. Internal objects, such as the centers in the etheric body,
  3. Qualities, such as the various virtues, with the intent to awaken desire for these virtues and thus to build them into the content of the personal life,
  4. Mental concepts or those ideas which embody the ideals lying back of all animated forms. These may take the form of symbols or of words.

In one of the Puranas the idea embodied in concentration is expressed most beautifully. The aspirant is told, after he has made use of the first five means of yoga (dealt with in Book II), that he “should make a localization of the mind stuff upon some auspicious support” and this localization is illustrated by a description of the fixing of the attention upon a form of God.

    “The incarnated form of the Exalted One leaves one without desire for any other support. This should be understood to be fixed, attention, when the mind stuff is fixed upon this form. And what is this incarnate form of Hari on which one should ponder, let that be heard by thee, 0 Ruler of Men. Fixed attention is not possible without something on which to fix it.” (Vishnu Purana V 1. 7. 75-85.)

Then follows a description of the incarnated form of the Exalted One, concluding with these words:

    “…upon Him let the yogin ponder; and lost in Him, concentrate his own mind until, 0, King, the fixed attention becomes firmly fixed upon Him only. While performing this or while doing, as he wills, some other action wherein his mind does not wander, he should then deem this fixed attention to be perfected.” (Naradiya Purana LXVII. 54-62.)

It is the realization of the necessity for “objects” in concentration that originated the demand for images, sacred sculptures and pictures. All these objects entail the use of the lower concrete mind and this is the necessary preliminary stage. Their use brings the mind into a controlled condition so that the aspirant can make it adjust what he chooses. The four types of objects mentioned above carry the aspirant gradually inwards and enable him to transfer his consciousness from the physical plane into the etheric realm, from thence into the world of desire or of the emotions, and so into the world of mental ideas and concepts. This process, which is carried on within the brain, brings the entire lower man into a state of one-pointed coherent attention, all parts of his nature being directed to the attainment of fixed attention or a concentration of all the mental faculties. The mind then is no longer scattering, unsteady and outgoing, but is fully “fixed in attention.” Vivekananda translates “dharana” as “holding the mind to one thought for twelve seconds.” This clear, one-pointed, still perception of an object, without any other object or thought entering into one’s consciousness is most difficult of achievement, and when it can be done for the space of twelve seconds, true concentration is being achieved.

55. When the objective forms and the soul have reached a condition of equal purity, then is At-one-ment achieved and liberation results.

That which veils the light of the soul has been rendered pure, and thus the light of God streams forth. That which proved a hindrance and an obstacle to the full expression of divinity in manifestation has been so dealt with that now it serves as an adequate expression and means of service. The soul can now function freely and intelligently in the three worlds because complete unity has been reached between the lower and the higher man.

The soul and its vehicles form a unit and are at one; complete alignment of the bodies has been achieved and the Son of God can function freely on earth. Thus has the great objective been reached and through a following of the eight means of yoga the soul can manifest through the lower threefold man, and in its turn form a medium of expression for the spirit. Matter has been brought into a state where its vibration can synchronize with that of the soul, and the result is that – for the first time – spirit can make its presence felt, for “matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of experience and the soul is the vehicle for the manifestation of spirit on a higher turn of the spiral. These three are a trinity synthesized by life which pervades them all.” To the man who has achieved this there is no rebirth. He is free and liberated, and can say with full conscious realization of the significance of the words:

    My life (the lower physical life) is hid with Christ (the soul life) in God (the spirit.) (Col., III, 3)


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 4 – Illumination

1. The higher and lower siddhis (or powers) are gained by incarnation, or by drugs, words of power, intense desire or by meditation.

We have now come to the fourth book in which the powers and the results gained by the practice of Raja Yoga are carried forward into group realization and it is seen that they produce universal consciousness and not simply self-consciousness. It seems the part of wisdom to protest here against the use of the words “cosmic consciousness” as untrue and misleading, for even the highest adept (note this term with care) is only gifted with solar consciousness and has no contact with that which is outside our solar system. The planetary Logoi (the seven Spirits before the Throne), and the Lords of Karma (the “four wheels” of Ezekiel) have a realization beyond that of our solar system. Lesser existences may sense it as a possibility but it is not yet part of their experience.

The powers gained fall into two main groups called:

  • Lower psychic powers, the lower siddhis.
  • Spiritual powers or the higher siddhis.

The lower powers are the result of the consciousness of the animal soul in man being en rapport with the anima mundi or the soul of the world, the subjective side of all forms in the three worlds, of all bodies in the four kingdoms of nature. The higher powers are the result of the development of group consciousness, of the second aspect of divinity. They not only include the lesser powers but put a man en rapport with those existences and forms of life which are to be found in the spiritual realms, or, as the occultist would say, on those two planes which are beyond the three worlds, and which cover the entire scale of man’s evolution, human and superhuman.

The goal of the true aspirant is the unfoldment of these higher powers which can be covered by the terms direct knowledge, intuitive perception, spiritual insight, pure vision, the attainment of the wisdom. They are different from the lower powers, for they abrogate them. These latter are accurately described for us in Book III, Sutra 37:

    “These powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realization, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds.”

These higher powers are inclusive and are distinguished by their accuracy and infallibility when rightly employed. Their working is as instantaneous as a flash of light. The lower powers are fallible, the time element is present in its sequential sense and they are limited in their working. They form part of the great illusion and to the true aspirant constitute a limitation.

In the sutra we are considering, five means are given whereby the psychic powers are developed and it is interesting to note that we have in these words an instance of the fact that the Yoga Sutras can still be the study and teaching manual of even such advanced aspirants as the Masters of the Wisdom. These five methods are capable of application upon all the five planes of human evolution, which include the two higher planes whereon initiates of the Mysteries function.

1. Incarnation                   

The physical plane method.

2. Drugs                               

The release of the astral consciousness.

3. Words of Power          

Creation by speech, or the method of the mental plane.

4. Intense desire             

The sublimation of aspiration or the method of the buddhic plane, the sphere of spiritual love.

5. Meditation                    

The method of the atmic plane, the sphere of spiritual will.

In this enumeration, it might be noted that just as intense desire of a spiritual kind is a sublimation of astral or emotional desire, so meditation, as practised by the initiates, is the sublimation of all the mental processes. Therefore the two final methods given as resulting in the unfoldment of the siddhis are the only ones that are practised by initiates, being the synthesis and sublimation of the realizations achieved on the astral and mental planes.

It might, therefore, be observed that (for the seeker after truth) incarnation, intense desire and meditation are the three permissible methods, and the only ones to be practised; drugs and words of power or mantric incantations are the tools of black magic and concern the lower powers.

The question might here be asked, is it not true that words of power and the use of incense form part of the ceremonies of initiation and therefore are used by initiates and aspirants. Certainly, but not in the sense understood here, or for the purpose of developing psychic powers. The Masters and their disciples use words of power in order to deal with the non-human existences, to invoke the aid of the angels, and to manipulate the building forces of nature, and they employ herbs and incenses in order to purify conditions, eliminate undesirable entities and so make it possible for those higher upon the ladder of evolution to make their presence felt. This is, however, a very different thing to their use in order to become psychic.

It is interesting to note here that the first cause producing the unfoldment of soul powers, whether higher or lower, is the great wheel of rebirth. This must ever be taken into account. Everyone is not yet at the stage where it is possible for him to unfold the powers of the soul. The soul aspect is still dormant for many because full experience and development of the lower nature has not yet been undergone. The forty years’ wandering in the wilderness with the Tabernacle and the conquest of Canaan, had to precede the rule of the kings and the building of the Temple of Solomon. Lives must be passed before the body, or the Mother aspect, is so perfected that the Christ Child can be formed within the prepared vessel. It should also be remembered that the possession of the lower psychic powers is in many cases a symptom of a low stage of evolution and of the close association of their owner with the animal nature. This has to be outgrown before the higher powers can blossom forth.

It is needless to point out that the use of alcohol and of drugs can and does release the astral consciousness, as also the practice of sex magic, but this is astralism pure and simple and with this the true student of Raja Yoga has naught to do. It is part of unfoldment on the left-hand Path. The gaining of the soul powers by intense desire (or fervent aspiration) and by meditation has been covered in the other books and need not be enlarged upon here.

32. The modifications of the mind stuff (or qualities of matter), through the inherent nature of the three gunas come to an end, for they have served their purpose.

33. Time, which is the sequence of the modifications of the mind, likewise terminates, giving place to the Eternal Now.

34. The state of isolated unity becomes possible when the three qualities of matter (the three gunas or potencies of nature) no longer exercise any hold over the Self. The pure spiritual consciousness withdraws into the One.


As the saying goes you cannot step in the same river twice. At the macroscopic level it might be called Le Jaudy, but every river evolves in time. In science it is the increase in entropy which denotes {conventionally} the direction of time. Time is measured spectroscopically to ultrahigh precision by atomic clocks, its direction by disorder.

For a number of things there is but a fleeting moment of chance. The time window, the time aperture remains open for a short period. During that period something might be possible, when the aperture closes it is no longer possible.

If you think about it every utterance is irreversible, one might say sorry, but the fact of utterance has happened and the opportunity to be silent has been missed. With each utterance the world changes a tad.  People might lie and then subsequent to that they have to prop up that lie. The lie perhaps said flippantly takes on a life of its own. It has a trajectory in time.

In the USA they are up in arms about abortion rights. The abortion does not reverse the consequences of conception it can make it less cumbersome to bear.  Every abortion has some form of emotional and psychological detritus. This may be less than the decades long interaction between parents and offspring. It does not reverse, a string of events caused by the act of conception whether willing, coerced or drunken.

This illusion of putting the genie back in the bottle is simply that, an illusion.  Saying sorry for the brutalities of colonialism and taking down statues, does not alter the effects.  It is too late, the horse has already bolted, so why bother trying to close the door?

People imagine that they have all the time in the world and that they are clever enough to put things “right”. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot does that mean? Do reparations ever repair? Nah. It is a socio-political leger de main for appearance sake alone.

At temporal nodes fates diverge, space-time branches. To use a facile example. I once had a life trajectory based in UK science. Something happened and now my trajectory finds me here as a recluse in rural Brittany. This divergence is irreversible. I cannot be put back into the bottle, I am way too feral for that.

People are complacent, they imagine that they have all the time in the world.

Attaining impermanence informs on irreversibility and it, impermanence, is the very essence of the eternal now. Whatever you are doing right now is causal, you cannot reverse it, effects will follow.

This fleeting instant has gone, never to return.


What a joy: to hear the utterance of a Rasta

Black Uhuru

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I am currently reading l’étranger by Albert Camus which is one of the books in his Nobel Prize citation. I am reading it in French, and he is a darn good storyteller. The other book of his I read was essays.  He is a better novelist. I am enjoying it.

The main protagonist ends up in jail and he describes how after a time he forgets life outside and gets accustomed to the rhythm of prison life. He says that the days of the week lose their meaning and that all he is concerned with is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. These comprise his temporal horizon.

It is a bit like that here on the compound. The outside world does not impinge overly and I am, for now, pretty busy taking care of things for the wife and about the house and garden. One day blends softly causal into the next. There is a sense of eternal now. But I do know that tomorrow I will go up to the supermarket for supplies and petrol for the garden implements.

There are two other external appointments next week, the osteopath for me and the haematologist for the wife. The nurses will come here twice to take blood.

This is my temporal horizon, supermarkets and medical.

Ryōkan Taigu (良寛大愚) (1758–1831) was a quiet and unconventional Sōtō Zen Buddhist monk who lived much of his life as a hermit. Ryōkan is remembered for his poetry and calligraphy, which present the essence of Zen life.”

In some ways our way of life is hermitic too. Ryōkan had his hut on the hill and would from time to time go down to the village for alms, rice.

I have heard it said that all true paths are “filled with emptiness”. I have been much influenced by Ryōkan. I have a T-shirt with one of his poems on the back.

It kind of links to a concept that I have, and the idea is what I call “liberation in and by the mundane”.

Lusting after the highfalutin, the glamorous and kudos laden, causes suffering. Concentrating and absorbing into the mundane with a mind bereft of any thinking, any internal dialogue, has much more equanimity. In reality human beings do not need anywhere near as much stuff as they imagine. Nor do they need quite so many pass times.  People are greedy and afraid.

People are very scared of the silence; this pervades here aside from the birdsong. To be alone in one’s mind with only one’s self for company is a terror for most. Some people have radios and TV on all the time for company!! What a nightmare!!

To have the ‘phone umbilical severed is terror beyond imagination.

In a couple of hours’ time, I will probably make a hot chocolate for the wife, then sort out her medication.

Now while she sleeps exhausted on the sofa I will go and dead head the ginormous yellow rose which climbs up the side of the house and which the wife has fixed to the balcony using cable ties.

Yeah, I like that: “liberation in and by the mundane”.