Instead of Notes,
which are a usual and indeed a necessary accompaniment to lessons such
as those given in Part I of this book, I give in the lessons that follow
some questions asked by Learners, and my own answers thereto. The questions
are not inventions of my own, but are selections from a volume of queries
actually propounded by students who have heard the subject matter of the
various lessons expounded by me in lectures, or have had private correspondence
with me concerning it.
questions I have chosen to answer here have been selected for two reasons:
first, because a majority of students appear to be interested in the points
upon which they bear, and second, because the answers they evoke serve
in some measure to fill up the wider gaps which the lessons inevitably
fill all gaps in teachings such as I have given would naturally be impossible,
and even if possible would not be desirable. To give just enough leading
to induce in the Learner a desire to travel for himself is always my aim,
not to give him so much as to cause him to feel that effort of his own
Each question in
each of the lessons which follow is designated by a letter (Question
A, Question B, etc.), and relates to the passage or paragraph similarly
marked in the lesson in Part I to which that in Part II corresponds.
Each lesson in Part
II relates to a lesson of corresponding number in Part I.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson I
You quote H. P. Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Movement: do
you regard Theosophy as identical with Occultism?
in its original meaning of Divine Wisdom and the pursuit thereof, was
identical with Occultism, but nowadays that meaning has been wholly lost,
and no two Theosophists of different societies, or even of the same society,
would define the term in the same way, if they attempted a definition
at all. It is best to regard it simply as a system of Philosophy and Ethics
of a nature not very clearly defined. Occultism, on the other hand, has
been defined by H. P. Blavatsky herself as the Science of Life, leading
on to mastery of the Art of Living. In other words it is a definite Science,
upon which the practical work of hastening the evolution of Consciousness
H. P. Blavatsky
drew a sharp distinction between Occultism and Theosophy. In a remarkable
article in her magazine Lucifer, entitled Practical Occultism,
she makes it clear to any reader of intelligence that a Theosophist at
his best guides his life by human, albeit very lofty, standards,
whereas an Occultist orders his according to universal law.
Every Learner should
study Madame Blavatskys article, which, together with another of
equal importance entitled Occultism v. the Occult Arts,
is obtainable in booklet form.
(subsidiary): Would it help a Beginner not quite ready to become a Learner
to join a Theosophical society?
Answer: One cannot
say authoritatively what, in the way of experience, may be helpful to
a Beginner. My opinion is that it is always best to remain detached from
any association to which the suspicion of sectarianism attaches. It should
be remembered that there are at least three large societies each claiming
to be The Theosophical Society (the society founded by H. P. Blavatsky),
and almost innumerable minor organizations, all calling themselves Theosophical.
Each, by the simple fact of its existence, proclaims all others defective
in some way; in other words, not upholders of true Theosophy. It does
not, therefore, appear to me that there is any real difference between
joining a Theosophical society and becoming a member of a particular Christian
It will be understood,
of course, that in saying this I am not in any way condemning any of those
societies or Churches. Each and every one of them serves a section of
humanity in the only way it can be served in its existing phase of evolution.
I speak only of their possible use to the potential Occultist.
(subsidiary): Is it not a fact that many, if not all, Theosophical societies
have within them inner, esoteric, or occult schools; and do not these
give occult training?
Answer: Many do
possess such schools, but as to whether any of them give genuine occult
training, I cannot say. As far as my own experience of them goes, I cannot
say that I have found any that are in a true sense occult, or that give
training in true Occultism.
(subsidiary): Do you not think that the Masters or adept Teachers who
guided the Theosophical Movement in its early days still guide it?
Answer: That question
is a source of controversy among Theosophists themselves. Knowledge of
Cyclic law compels me into the belief that the guidance you speak of was
withdrawn three or four years prior to the end of last century. The writings
of Madame Blavatsky, and of her Teachers on the question, as I understand
them, fully confirm the belief which my independent studies have given
Question A (subsidiary): Do you consider that Madame Blavatskys Teachers were
Masters, or perfected men?
Answer: Their own
letters are quite explicit in regard to their status. In those letters
they state unequivocally that they were adepts of lesser degree
certainly not perfected men.
Here I would point
out something not understood, or at least forgotten by the majority of
would-be Occultists and Theosophists, namely that to the student it is
of no moment whatsoever whether or not the Inspirers of the Theosophical
Movement, and modern Occultism, are still in direct contact with any society,
or whether or not they are perfected men. It is by virtue of what he is
himself that the Learner profits, not because of the character of his
school or of its Leader. A dunce may become a member of a class led by
a master mathematician, but doing so will never make him a Senior Wrangler.
I advise all who would be true learners to cease to concern themselves
about Masters and inspired schools, and concentrate
upon such work as is taught in the seven lessons. If we want guidance
from Master Teachers we already have it in such books as Light on the
Path and The Bhagavad Gita.
Do you accept the doctrine of Reincarnation?
might with equal truth answer either YES or NO to that question:
everything depends upon how the term Reincarnation is understood. I do
not accept that man is a spiritual entity of a permanent, unchanging
nature, which periodically assumes a human body in order to have earth
experiences and periodically relinquishes it in order to assimilate the
results of those experiences. The Law of Everbecoming makes it impossible
that any such permanent Being should exist. Whatever reincarnates must,
logically and philosophically, be fixed and unchanging in its own essential
nature, and the sole, fixed, changeless principle in man is his simple
Consciousness of Being, namely the Free Self which he expresses
when he uses the words I AM. That Consciousness of Being is common to all mankind, and to all Self-conscious Life. It identifies
itself with, or reflects itself in, an endless procession of forms, or
limitations of Universal BEING, or LIFE, and that identification is the
only reincarnation that is or that can possibly be. Reincarnation
is simply re-identification of the Universal CONSCIOUSNESS, which
exhibits itself as Self in man, with successive phases of EVERBECOMING
LIFE. Man has no permanent Ego peculiar to himself, but he
has a permanent Ego which he shares with all Self-conscious Life. Study
of the doctrine of Gautama Buddha, the most elevated Teacher to which
our human race has given birth, will confirm what I say.
(subsidiary): In the absence of any permanent Being, how is it possible
to have any memory of past lives?
is infinite and eternal, and therefore no aspect of it can exist that
has not pre-existed from no-beginning; and no aspect exists that
will not continue to exist eternally. Man in his Becoming quits consciousness
of one phase or aspect of LIFE for another, but that which is left is
not destroyed, but continues to exist eternally, and may be again recovered,
partially or wholly, by any Self capable of freeing itself from immediate
limitations. Such recovery, or partial re-identification of I with past phases of Being, is always being done, and constitutes ordinary
memory. Between it and memory of remote phases of Being, which we call
past lives, there is no essential difference, other than that the latter
demands that the Self be freed from present limitation much more completely.
The common, natural,
and indeed inevitable error in endeavouring to understand these matters
lies in thinking that it is the present Being of the man
the phase of Becoming with which the Self is momentarily identified that has had those past experiences, whereas the truth is that they have
been had by the changeless SELF which is common to all men and to all
Past phases re-embraced
by the Consciousness, wholly or partially, become part of present Being,
conditioning it as an instrument of experience, in one way or another.
KARMA, the doctrine
which is invariably associated with that of Reincarnation, is also but
another name for the Law of Everbecoming. Of all so-called Laws,
Karma, which teaches that whatever is arises from what was, and will give
rise to that which is to be, is the most perfect means of instilling into
ordinary human minds the reality of Everbecoming; and for this reason,
no doubt, the Buddha, the Supreme Master, made it the centre of his whole
system. Unfortunately, it is generally grossly misunderstood, and understanding
concerning it has been inextricably confused by pronouncements upon it
made by persons quite ignorant of its real nature.
of old laws, such as these which I have outlined, are useful
aids towards freeing the Self, but care must be taken not to allow them
to lead you but from one trap into another. Realization that reincarnation,
as commonly conceived, does not exist, may lead some into the error of
thinking that man has no future life to consider. Man is LIFE manifest,
and therefore exists eternally.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson II
How do you reconcile your teaching that one should Desire to be Everbecoming,
and have interest in the work, with H. P. Blavatskys teaching
in the Voice of the Silence, which commands the Disciple to Desire
reconciliation is required. It is only those of no intelligence, who anchor
themselves to the dead letter of H.P.B.s teachings,
just as Puritans tie themselves to the letter of the Bible, who could
see any contradiction between the Voice of the Silence and what
I teach. To desire to be Everbecoming precludes manifestation of separative
desires, and it is obviously against those that the V.O.S. warns.
Were it possible to eliminate the Desire Principle from mans constitution
it would mean absolute passivity for him equivalent to extinction,
for Desire is simply a manifestation of the universal ENERGY element of
Question B: What
is the real nature of Nirvana and Avitchi?
Answer: Any attempt
by a human being to define Nirvana would be an obvious absurdity, or evidence
of presumptuous ignorance, for from that state no human Self ever has
or ever could return into this world; but by consideration of the implications
of the analogy furnished in the text of the lesson some relative conception
of the Nirvanic consciousness may be formed. It is said:
The more efficient
a servant self is, the less does it obtrude its existence upon the attention
of the Master Self, until when perfect in its task it ceases to be known
at all, and though still acting individually becomes virtually identical
with its creator.
Arguing from this
analogy it may be conceived that a man who has become perfect in all his
duties towards the world ceases to have any individual manifestation in
the world, and becomes one with Universal LIFE. He has vanished from the
world, the Sphere of Action which is his; yet all his functions relative
to that Sphere continue to be performed perfectly. Are they now executed
by LIFE itself? No, for LIFE is infinite and the Sphere is finite:
they are executed by an aspect of LIFE identical with the Man who is not.
Avitchi is a condition
the nature of which may also be deduced from the analogy furnished in
the text. A Being that is consistently rebellious and intractable must,
under the Law of Everbecoming, ultimately be ejected from the Sphere of
the evolving Self of the World, and have its place filled by a new aspect
of that Self, which in due time becomes educated into individual efficiency.
But the Being that is ejected, is it destroyed? It cannot be, for nothing
that is can ever be destroyed. It exists in some other Sphere or
rather in a Nirvanic state relative to a Sphere belonging to a lower round
of the Great Spiral Path to the Infinite. Out of this thinking another
thought may arise, namely that it is conceivable that there are Beings
which would elect to reign in Hell rather than to serve
in Heaven. It is not wise, however, for a Learner to speculate much
along these lines.
If circumstances make it impossible to give freedom to a clamorous lower
self, what course would you suggest?
you hypothesize is an impossibility in the case of a genuine Learner.
But assuming that one is possessed by a self such as you describe, that
self is obviously the Central, or ruling, Self of the Being, and is the
slave of its Conditions. Escape from the thrall of Conditions is
secured by balancing one against another the powers of the positive and
negative Monitors . In this case certain Monitors attract
towards positive expression of a particular kind, but certain others
those that delimit the field of Natural Duty call in the opposite
direction. If the latter are not strong enough to overcome the power of
the former, the result is what is called anti-social conduct
of one kind or another, obviously impossible for a true Learner.
Let me repeat what
was said, or at least suggested, in earlier lessons, that Occultism has
no panaceas for the troubles that burden the average man. The way to peace
may be laid before him, but he has neither understanding to perceive it
nor power to apply the rules that appertain to it. But it is also well
to remember that the average good man, though he feels the lure of desires
he cannot gratify, nevertheless balances their attraction by realization
of duty, and this without any knowledge of occult laws. It is not the
province of one like myself, who strives to teach Learners, to attempt
to prescribe for the ills of non-Learners; but the Learner himself who
has gained some sound understanding of the lessons I have given may do
much to help others less instructed than himself.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson III
Question A: H. P.
Blavatsky and other authorities teach that it is MOTIVE, and motive alone,
that makes any action beneficent or maleficent, yet you say it is true
that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Is there
no contradiction here involved?
is no contradiction. Motive and Intention are not synonyms. Motive is
the actual root-power behind any outward manifestation of Self it is, in fact, but another name for the Energy aspect of a particular
self whose true nature is seldom known. Intention is merely the illusionary
appearance which that hidden self reflects into consciousness. H. P. Blavatsky
roundly condemned the actions of certain medical researchers who experimented
with hypnotism, and declared that they were unconscious Black Magicians,
yet it is impossible to doubt that those men were well-intentioned in
the highest degree. Other advanced teachers, notably Anna Kingsford, condemned,
even positively hated, men who practised vivisection. Yet no one
capable of truly detached observation and thinking could imagine for a
moment that those vivisectionists and hypnotizers were animated
by any intentions other than to discover cures for human ills. If therefore their actions were evil, savouring of Black Magic, productive
of a terrible Karma, it meant that the real motive was hidden behind the Veil of Self, and that the possessor was entirely unaware
of its nature. Anna Kingsford, it is alleged by her biographer, strove
to kill by magical means certain vivisectionists, and such an act is unquestionably
one of Black Magic, yet none who know her life and teachings could suspect
her of any but the loftiest intentions. Personally, I doubt the
accuracy of her biographer, and have strong reasons for doubting that
he had any of the intimate knowledge concerning her that he claimed.
Question B: Do you
not recognize any pledge as absolutely binding?
is a fundamental truth in Occultism that each man is his own absolute
Law-giver, the bestower of glory or gloom upon himself; the creator of
his life, his reward, and punishment. The Learner or Disciple cannot
pledge himself to anything other than to his own Higher Self, and that
Self eternally retreats into wider wisdom. The wisdom which now binds
is absorbed in the wider wisdom of tomorrow, which may loose. The Occultist
is not bound by human law or human oaths but this does not mean
that he needs to break a human law or a human pledge in order to demonstrate
(subsidiary): But in the case of a pledge to keep occult teachings secret,
which is always given to the Higher Self, would you not hold it binding?
foregoing answer applies here also. The Higher Self is the guide. Such
pledges are not imposed by the Higher Self, but by man and man-made institutions,
and have no more real meaning than any other promise unwisely given. The
fact that they are imposed proves that neither School nor
Teacher is truly occult. A true occult teacher accepts
responsibility for the acts of his pupil, whom he has selected,
because he has seen in him potentialities of wisdom. He will warn him
against the unwisdom of attempting to convey to the uninstructed knowledge
they are unable to grasp, and can only corrupt to their own injury and
to that of the world and the Occult Work itself; but he will not impose
upon his pupil any irrevocably binding pledges. There is no need to do
so, for genuine occult secrets are essentially incommunicable. The idea,
encouraged by certain Esoteric Schools, that higher Disciples and Adepts
are actually oath-bound, is false and absurd. Such men know that they
are always bound by the Law of Life, and that their backslidings and unwisdom
will bring upon them its due results.
(subsidiary): Are there no known esoteric schools open to Beginners, which
would help them to prepare themselves for more advanced training?
are multitudes of so-called esoteric and occult schools and orders which
accept Beginners, and many others who are not in any true sense Beginners
upon the Occult Way. More than that, those organizations even invite
and offer students inducements to enter them, a fact that in itself
proves that they are in no real sense occult. Inasmuch as true Occultism
is concerned (I do not speak about Occult Arts), none of these schools
can teach more than that which is given freely in the seven lessons. Very
few teach as much.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson IV
Question A: How
is man related, if related at all, to those Beings commonly called fairies,
or elementals, and angels or devas?
Answer: In exactly
the same way as the middle steps of a ladder are related to the lower
and the higher steps. Elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angel,
god all these are but names for ascending phases of Everbecoming
Question A (subsidiary): You do not, then, accept the Theosophical doctrine that fairies and devas belong to a different a parallel stream of evolution to that which man pursues,
and therefore never pass through the human phase?
doctrine, if Theosophical, is certainly not that which H. P. Blavatsky
teaches. She states in her Secret Doctrine that every Being in
the Universe either once was or is now preparing to become a man. The
teaching to which you refer, unless it means other than appears, is obviously
unphilosophical, and not in accord with the occult doctrine, which H.
P. Blavatsky taught, of the Consciousness Principle of Life becoming veiled
in Substance and then rising out of it through infinite gradations of
BEING into wider and wider states of Self-consciousness. If there are
orders of Beings that never pass through the human phase, then it is necessary
to assume that their evolution never brings them Self-awareness, for the
human state simply means that state of Everbecoming wherein individual
Consciousness of Being dawns. I suggest that those interested in this
question should carefully study the SUMMING UP to Volume I of H. P. Blavatskys Secret Doctrine.
(subsidiary): Your teaching would appear to deny the existence of Archetypes that is to say ideal, permanently existing Divine Counterparts
of all phenomenally manifesting Beings?
Answer: The question
is difficult to answer because it is by no means clear what the conception
is which those who subscribe to the doctrine of Archetypes really hold.
As you state it (which may not be correctly), it would mean that every
Being in the universe pursues its own separate line of evolution, towards
union with its Archetype: in other words that which is now a flower would
ultimately become aware of itself as a Divinely ideal flower, and the
same with man or angel. That, if it is what the doctrine implies, is merely
an exaggeration of the idea of parallel lines of evolution, and is certainly
not the Occult Doctrine as taught in Esoteric (or Mahayana) Buddhism,
the Upanishads, the Qabalah, the Hermetic teachings, or Blavatskian Theosophy.
Question B: What
are the implications of the teaching that the stream of Negative Energy
bearing results from positive outgoing rises, or goes inward beyond the
sphere of the human Self?
Answer: The implications
are many, but most important among them is that much more than Self is
affected by any action. Beings that evolve on higher than human planes
experience from human actions results which pass beyond the Sphere of
Consciousness of the actor; and so also do embryonic aspects of the human
Self. Beginners on the Occult Way should strive to understand that though
their struggles and apparent failures bring little or no light of real
knowledge into consciousness, nevertheless highly important effects from
those experiences may be arising behind the Veil of Self effects which one day may emerge as a sudden illumination.
You insist that realization of duty to wife and family is a highly important
balancing force, yet H. P. Blavatsky taught that even love of wife and
family is a bar to real occultism: can you explain the contradiction?
is no contradiction, because different conditions are in question. H.P.B. speaks of the common human love of wife and child which makes the man
selfish on their behalf. I speak of realization of duty in the
particular Sphere of Action of which wife and child are chief landmarks.
But it must also be understood that H.P.B. spoke of real occultism Discipleship, in fact whereas I speak to the Learner
just beginning to move towards Discipleship. Her intention, in the article
where she gave the teaching quoted, is to bring home to ignorant students
some understanding of the fact that they are wholly unprepared for a genuine
occult effort. My aim in these lessons is to lead Beginners to prepare
themselves for Discipleship, which may not come in this life.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson V
Question A: Should
not symbolic or ritual dancing have equal place with poetry, music, and
art as an instrument of Invocation?
Such dances are unsafe for the Learner. Certainly they form an instrument,
both of Invocation and Evocation, but more particularly of the latter.
In dancing the Lord of Number predominates excessively, and
the law is that where any single Hierarchy so predominates it tends to
possess the Self and carry it outward into objective activity into sensuous, if not sensual, expression, in fact. The Learner is most
earnestly advised, if he attempts Invocation or Evocation, to confine
himself strictly to the Instruments mentioned in the lessons.
Question A (subsidiary): Which, if any, of the Guardian Lords rule in Scent, which is a common adjunct of ceremonial?
flavour, touch are neither of them governed directly by the Guardian
Lords, but by lesser Hierarchies which may be regarded as emanations of the greater. The Ruling Lord of Scent has Colour for his
Overlord, with Sound only slightly less dominant.
Question B: Is there
any correspondence between the Guardian Lords and the so-called Elements,
Earth, Water, Air, Fire?
influence of all four Lords is present in each Element: Idea
rules Earth; Number rules Water; Sound rules Air; Colour
What is the occult view of the Bible?
Answer: I cannot
answer for Occultism in general, but only for the Occult Body with which
I myself am associated, which, however, because centred in the regions
whence the Bible sprang, is likely to be fairly well informed on the subject.
The Bible is made
up of fragments of Occult teachings, Invocatory and Evocatory chants and
poems, Mystery Stories and Dramas all derived by the Hebrews from
the Mystery schools of Egypt and Chaldea, but principally from the latter
during the Babylonian captivity, when many young men became disciples
of, and even Initiates of, the Mysteries and all interwoven with
Jewish tribal legends and semi-historical narrative. The New Testament
is not, of course, part of the Hebrew Scriptures at all. The central figure
was a great Teacher perhaps what in India would be called an Avatar
who lived, and gave the distinctive teachings associated with the
name of Jesus, in the Greco-Roman world of the Middle East, perhaps a
century or more prior to the time in which he is popularly supposed to
have lived. The Gospel narrative is in no sense historical. It is most
definitely portion of a Mystery Drama illustrating the life, progress,
and apotheosis of a candidate in the Greater Mysteries, with which is
interwoven much of the actual teachings of the Teacher, together with
many interpolations by later scribes and interpreters. Paul, the real
founder of Christianity, was unquestionably an Initiate of the Mysteries.
His success in Asia Minor and Greece was clearly due to the fact that
he taught no new doctrine, but simply purged the ancient Mystery doctrine
of the corruptions, which by that date had come upon it, and made Jesus
its central figure, in place of one of the earlier deities.
Question D: Who and what is the Being of which you speak whose nature is all-embracing
and omnipresent in our world?
speak of the Spiritual Being of our planet. Some would, perhaps, call
it the Planetary Logos. It is of three aspects, Father, Mother,
and Son. The Father aspect is composed of the Consciousness,
and the Energy elements of our world, and is emanated by the Planetary
Spirit, described in Lesson VII, and called the MASTER. NATURE is the
Mother. The evolving Self of our planet is the Son
. Strictly speaking, it is to this Son that the term Logos
should apply; but obviously, also, the Son partakes of the
Father and the Mother nature besides being himself.
Here it is well
to make clear that in what I say of the Logos, or of any other
metaphysical doctrine which is the subject of controversy, I am neither
laying down a law nor dogmatically declaring that thus and thus only should
the occult doctrine be interpreted. In all instances I give either my
own intuitional interpretations or else the teachings of the school with
which I am associated. Neither this school nor myself wish in any way
to impose a special doctrine on the world or to challenge the truth of
doctrines favoured by others.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson VI
Question A: From
whence derive the various quotations which you attribute to the ancient
unacknowledged quotations in this book, and all attributed in a general
way to the Hermetic Masters , etc., are taken from the ancient
Scripture from which the teachings translated in my book, The Sayings
of the Ancient One, are also taken. This Scripture is the principal
study of members of the school with which I am associated.
Question B: ON PHYSICAL
Answer: I will consider
the attention and training which the body should receive under the following
(1) Exercise. (2)
Food and Drink. (3) Bathing. (4) Sleep. (5) Clothing. (6) Sex.
I consider exercise
under the following heads: (a) For establishing BALANCE of body.
(b) Correct breathing. (c) Correct walking. (d) Walking
and breathing. (e) General exercises. (f) Special breathing.
(a) Balance. Balance of Being is the Key to command of Being, and so also is
balance of body the key to command of the bodily instrument. The method
of securing it is simple in the extreme, but if the Learner suffers from
any of the disabilities mentioned in Lesson VI it may be difficult if
not impossible to apply.
Let the eyes look
straight forward at exactly their own level, neither turned upward, as
they are when the head is inclined forward, nor downward, as they are
when the head is thrown back and the chin elevated; let the thought centre
itself in the nape of the neck, and let this point be pressed back
as though against resistance. If these simple requirements are fully carried
out the whole body will inevitably fall into an erect and balanced posture,
whether one is sitting or standing. Apart from position of the eyes and
nape of neck it is unnecessary to think of the body at all. There should
be no bracing of the shoulders, no protrusion of the chest, and no retraction
of the abdomen. On the contrary, the muscles of all those parts, especially
of abdomen and waist, should be relaxed as much as possible.
With a little patient
practice the position of eyes and neck will become habitual, and thereafter
thought can be wholly withdrawn from the body.
It is obvious that
this adjustment of balance, simple though it is, may be impossible to
a person afflicted with any disease or deformity of the spine, or to a
middle-aged person whose muscles have become stiffened in bad postures.
Nevertheless persons so afflicted cannot injure themselves, and indeed
may benefit themselves very considerably, by patient attempts to act as
(b) Breathing. To be able to breathe fully, deeply, and regularly, without effort,
is a necessity to true health. No attempt at deep breathing should ever
be made until habitual balance of body has been established.
To breathe correctly,
sit or stand in the Balanced Posture. Let the breath flow
into the body without effort or strain. Let the relaxed waist and abdomen
expand first, then the diaphragm and ribs, and lastly the upper chest.
The moment you become conscious that an effort is required, if more air
is to be inhaled, exhale in the same effortless way, letting the upper
chest sink down, the ribs fall inward, and the abdomen retract.
If you are a woman
the diaphragm and ribs will be the first to expand, and the expansion
of the upper chest will be greater than in a man.
Practise this breathing
systematically for five or ten minutes every morning and for the same
period at night. Practise it also whenever opportunity permits.
(c) Walking. Walking is the commonest of human actions, yet rarely is it performed
efficiently by civilized man, mainly because his body is unbalanced. If
the rules of Balance are observed when walking as well as when sitting
or standing it will not be difficult to walk correctly. Pay attention,
also, to the following points:
Remember that walking
is a forward motion of the whole body. Propulsion is received from
the rearmost leg and foot, which thrusts the body forward. The
other leg should swing forward with the moving body, and the foot should
come to the ground with the body still balanced over it. Reaching forward
with the moving leg beyond the centre of gravity of the body induces fatigue
and unbalance, for the body is transformed into a dead weight which has
to be dragged forward by a secondary muscular effort of the leading
Do not try to walk
at a pace greater than is natural to you. Length of stride depends on
length of limb, and upon the power of the thrust given by the rear leg
and foot. Utilization of the calf muscles to raise the heel and bring
the weight on to the ball of the foot and toes will lengthen the stride
more effectively and with less fatigue than will reaching forward with
the moving limb. The degree of rapidity with which the limbs are moved
depends upon the character of the nervous, not upon that of the muscular,
(d) Walking and
Breathing Exercise. The following exercise is the most important sensitizer and purifyer within reach of the Learner. Correct
balance, mode of breathing, and mode of walking must be established before
its practice is begun.
Find your most comfortable
walking pace probably between two and four miles per hour: over
four miles per hour would imply an unusually athletic physique, and under
two some defect or abnormality. Now inhale fully and deeply in the manner
outlined while taking a certain number of steps, and exhale again fully
while taking an equal number of steps. Be careful not to strain in any
way, either by attempting to inhale an excessive amount of air or by taking
too many steps to each breath. For a man of good physique four steps to
each inhalation, and the same to each exhalation, in early attempts at
this exercise, rising to six or eight when well practised, may be regarded
as the standard; but each individual must make his or her own rule.
When the practice
is first attempted, rest, when you have covered half a mile, by changing
the pace to a gentle stroll, and breathing normally. As you become habituated
to the practice the rhythmic breathing can be continued throughout the
whole of your walking exercise for an hour, or two hours, or more. In
addition to that you should aim at establishing a habit of breathing in
this manner whenever you walk abroad. Aim also at filling the lungs more
and more completely at each inhalation, and emptying them more and more
thoroughly at each exhalation; but always take care that the work is done
This exercise burns
up and expels impurities from the body more effectively than any other
known practice. For this reason it not only ensures against disease but
it may be the means of eradicating chronic, constitutional complaints
of many kinds. Here I teach it simply as a means of purifying and sensitizing
the body, and mention its other benefits only for the possible helping
of many who suffer from ill health. It has but one disadvantage, namely
that it requires pure air and a place not frequented by crowds for its
practice, and is therefore not so readily available to those who live
in large cities.
(e) General Exercises. If it were possible for the Learner to devote two to four hours
per day to the foregoing practice he would not, if he lived also in the
manner to be described later, need any additional exercise. But the vast
majority of Learners have no such time at their disposal as is needed,
and must therefore find other means of giving their bodies the exercise
Of systems of physical
culture for daily use in the home the number is legion, but of that number
few, if any, fill the needs of the Aspirant to Discipleship. The Neophyte
seeks a pure, sensitive, poised physical instrument, not large muscles
and great strength. Whatever system he follows must to a considerable
extent be artificial, but one modelled as nearly as possible upon the
activities of the untutored child is the ideal.
I cannot here undertake
the task of formulating an ideal system of home exercises, for that could
not be done effectively except by the aid of numerous photographic illustrations;
and I must therefore content myself with suggesting a reasonably efficient
substitute, as follows:
Get yourself a manual
of Free Gymnastics the manual of Physical Training as used in the
Army is the most useful. From among the exercises given select two simple
neck exercises, two leg exercises, one arm exercise, two hip exercises,
one shoulder exercise, two waist exercises, two abdominal exercises, two
back exercises. Let your selections all be simple natural movements bending and stretching of the trunk, bending, stretching, extending, and
lowering of the limbs. On rising each morning go through these fourteen
exercises in the order set forth: (1, neck; 2, legs; 3, arms; 4, hips;
5, shoulders; 6, waist; 7, abdomen; 8, back).
There is an importance
not understood, as far as I am aware, by any of the exponents of
physical culture methods in exercising, as described, from the
extremities of the body inward to the centre.
Perform each exercise
until the first suspicion of fatigue in the parts affected becomes perceptible.
Endeavour to breathe rhythmically while exercising, inhaling with the
raising or stretching movement and exhaling with the reverse.
It is best to exercise
unclothed, or at least clad only in night attire. Wear thick woollen socks,
or warm bedroom slippers.
the exercises, remove clothing (if worn). Dip palms of hands in cold water
and rub quickly over the entire body, from extremities to centre, omitting
no part whatsoever. Dry rapidly with towel.
This work should
not occupy more than twenty to thirty minutes.
at night perform the special Body-rubbing exercises to be
found in the little book entitled My System, by Lieutenant Muller;
but instead of doing the rubbing with dry palms, dip the palms very lightly
in water (which may be warm in very cold weather) at the beginning of
each exercise, and continue the exercise until the moisture has completely
evaporated. Then at once get into bed. This will occupy from five to ten
exercises, done in addition to half an hours Walking and Breathing
exercise, carried out whenever circumstances will permit, supply all that
the body needs in the way of exercise. If the Walking-Breathing exercise
cannot be done, the Special Breathing exercise described below may be
added, but not until you are well confirmed in the general mode of living
described in this section.
(f) Special Breathing
Exercise. Having done your Bodyrubbing exercises,
lie flat on the back, head unsupported by pillow, on the bed, if it is
quite level; if not, on a rug spread on the floor. Cover the body with
some light but warm covering. Let all the muscles relax to the utmost,
picturing in imagination the body as a great weight sinking into the floor.
is complete, gently draw up the heels, inward towards the buttocks, crossing
the legs and letting the knees fall outward, so that, if elasticity of
muscle permits, they may lie on floor or bed. Rest the hands on the groins.
Close the eyes and strive to put the body out of your thoughts, by picturing
a featureless space into which you look. Now inhale very slowly, in the
manner already learned, until no more air can enter the body. Then without
pause exhale, giving exactly the same time to the act as you gave to the
inhalation, until as much air as possible has been expelled from the lungs.
At each successive breath extend the time devoted to it until it is double
that given to the first thus supposing the first inhalation, and
exhalation occupy ten seconds each, allow a second longer to each succeeding
inhalation and exhalation, until twenty seconds to each is reached. Continue
to breathe at that rate for a time, but never for more than ten minutes.
Then at once compose yourself to sleep.
Beginners in the
practice may find five seconds for the first breath and ten for the longest
as much as they can manage without strain; but well-practised persons
of pure body may easily extend the longest breath to thirty or forty seconds,
or even to one minute.
This exercise is
somewhat akin in nature to the Hatha Yoga breathing exercises, of which
most students have heard or read something, but of which few have any
true understanding. Unlike those exercises, this that I describe is perfectly
safe to use, and immensely beneficial, always providing that it is not
attempted until the body has first been prepared by some months of careful
observance of all the rules of living which I give.
In its practice
observe the following precautions. Let the Self be active in its contemplation
of whatever it has chosen to concentrate on an image of open sea
or of sky is best. By activity I mean be definitely an observer,
and do not let what you contemplate absorb you, for to do that will quickly
bring transfer of consciousness into the dreaming state. If any strong
tendency towards that is perceived, stop the exercise.
Lastly, lie always
with head to the north.
(2). Food and
as to quantity, and extreme simplicity as to quality, in regard to food
and drink are the ideals towards which the Learner should aspire. No drastic
change of or reduction in the diet to which one is habituated should ever
be made, for nothing can result from so doing but disturbance, not merely
of body but of emotions and thoughts. Much harm has been done by those
ignorant of the law of these matters by preaching uncompromising vegetarianism,
total abstinence from alcohol, condiments, tobacco, and even tea and coffee,
to persons wholly unprepared for such radical changes.
we become high Adepts, we shall live on uncooked fruits and milk, or perhaps
only water, but while we are but Learners a moderate allowance of meat,
and an occasional indulgence in alcohol, will not halt our progress. To
seek to eliminate these articles from our dietary is right, and must be
done, but it must be done gradually, taking care that there is no violent
outraging of the desire of the body for such pabulum. All that is needed
to effect dietary adjustments is to apply the rules of Self-examination
and Self-questioning taught in other lessons. Desire of certain articles
of food and drink differs only in mode of manifestation from any other
desire, and can be dealt with as that is dealt with.
The mere Learner
should aim at substituting eggs, cheese, and perhaps fish, for butchers
meat; at eliminating strong condiments and alcoholic drinks; and at replacing
white with wholemeal bread. In addition, if circumstances permit, he should
strive to reduce the quantity of starchy food consumed, and fill its place
with fruit and vegetables. If with this he very gradually reduces quantity
eaten to half the usual amount he will have done as much as it is possible
and useful to do.
Use of Water.
Drink as much water as you conveniently can. Before morning exercise drink
a glass of cold water, and another glass, or two, in small quantities
at a time during the course of the exercises. Drink at least one glass
of water between each meal, and at bedtime. Should you wake during the
night, drink another glass.
The relation of
diet to the particular grade or phase of Becoming occupied by the Aspirant
is a matter of high importance, but one of which only a few know anything.
Little can be said of it here, except to draw attention to certain rules
governing the mode of living of Candidates in the Ancient Mystery schools:
There were four
grades or circles in the Mystery Schools.
Candidates in the
first or outer circle, which in the Greek schools appertained to the Mysteries
of Dionysos, were permitted the use of flesh foods of certain specified
kinds, and of wine.
In the next circle
that of candidates in the Mysteries of Aphrodite of flesh
foods fish only was eaten, but wine was permitted.
In the third circle
that of the devotees of Hermes no flesh foods were permitted;
nothing but uncooked fruits, cooked vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs.
Wine lightly fermented might be drunk.
In the Circle of
Apollo, the highest grade of the Mysteries, no cooked food; nothing but
sun-ripened fruits, green vegetables, unfermented wine, milk, and water
might be used.
Learner may recognize that to be privileged to eat the food of Apollo
one must have entered the Circle of Apollo. For the ignorant man, not
yet accepted even into the Circle of Dionysos, to attempt
to live on the food of the gods would be an act which instead
of lifting him into Hierophantship would bring certain punishment upon
him for his sacrilege.
of body is necessary if one would make it an efficient instrument; but
cleanliness should be secured, if it is at all possible to do so, without
the excessive use of hot water and soap so common in modern civilized
life. Those who live a natural, abstemious life in unpolluted country
air need never have recourse to hot water and soap, but those who live
in cities must do so, unfortunately. Nevertheless, if the exercises already
described, including the nightly rubbing of the entire body with wet palms,
is consistently followed, the number of hot baths with the use of soap
may with great advantage be reduced to one a week for women and one a
fortnight for men. To the many who make almost a fetish of the hot bath
this advice may doubtless seem peculiar, but it has a reason. The normal,
active skin secretes a certain oily substance rich in a particular vitamin,
which latter is absorbed into the blood-stream to the great advantage
of the individual concerned. But if over-frequent hot baths with use of
soap are taken the oil is washed away, and the vitamin lost
before it can be absorbed.
The feet should
have careful attention. The toe-nails should be kept in good order. Before
dressing and before retiring dip the soles very lightly in water and dry
by vigorous rubbing with the palms of the hands. Better still is it to
walk barefoot in wet grass.
Natural man should
go to sleep six hours after the highest point of vitality of the day has
been reached in other words about 9 to 10 p.m. He should rise about
three hours after the lowest point of the vital tide has been passed at about 5.30 a.m. to 6 a.m. Obviously it is impossible to observe such
hours in our civilized existence, but the Learner should strive to have
at least one hour of sleep before midnight, and also to be actively astir
three hours before midday. If it is impossible to get to bed before midnight,
try to obtain one to two hours of sleep at any time between 4 p.m. and
midnight, even in a chair
Let the bed be low,
and level, and the pillow low.
is essential, but avoid heavy bedclothes.
Sleep with head
to the north or east.
In the country,
where the air is pure, and population sparse, it is best to sleep at ground
level, but in the city an upper chamber is best.
Avoid wearing clothing
of wool, or of any animal product except silk, next the skin. It is best
to wear no underclothing of any kind. In a climate like that of the British
Isles a heavier overcoat in winter should suffice to preserve warmth.
The idea that woollen underclothing must be donned with the first frosts
of winter is a most harmful delusion. I, who give these lessons, though
I passed the greater part of my life in hot climates, never wear undergarments,
and suffer less from cold than the majority of persons who have lived
at home all their lives.
But be careful not
to make sudden drastic changes in your mode of clothing yourself, any
more than you do in adjusting your diet. To do anything of the kind is
to fall into the old trap of changing conditions without having first
changed your own nature.
It has already been
stated in Lesson VI that diseases and abnormalities of the sex nature
are obstacles to the serious practice of Evocation. The same remarks apply
to an unnatural sex life of any kind. The subject is one of the highest
importance to the Aspirant to the PATH, but it would need a book to itself
to expound it satisfactorily. A few brief remarks upon it must, however,
be made, in order to dispel certain erroneous ideas which afflict many
would-be Occultists, to a greater extent, even, than they afflict the
( 1). A completely
celibate life, except for a few exceptional persons, is a definite bar
to advance beyond the scope of Lesson IV. Particularly is this so in a
woman, who, far more often than a man, is celibate through force of circumstances
rather than from natural choice.
(2). Chastity is
traditionally regarded as essential in an Occultist, but the real meaning
of the virtue is wholly misunderstood. Chastity does not mean total abstinence
from sex relations any more than true asceticism means total abstinence
from food. [ It should be remembered that here, as elsewhere, I speak to the
Learner of the life of the Learner, and am not declaring what is or what
is not true of the life of the high Adept. P. G. B. ] Like all other Virtues, it means taking what in the way of experience
is strictly demanded by existing conditions, and nothing more. It is a
state of the Inner Being a state wherein there is detachment of
Self from the Powers of Being (Lesson IV), together with recognition of
the nature of the Field of Experience into which those Powers would lead,
or towards which they point: in other words a state of knowledge of
the needs of the Being.
It is, or it should
be, perfectly obvious that the course of the Neophyte is onward towards
the True Virtue of Chastity (study Lesson III), but that he has by no
means yet attained it. His ignorant attempts to practise that which he
imagines it to be can lead to nothing but unbalance of Being.
The Sex Problem
is a problem only to disordered and unbalanced civilized man, in our civilized
conditions. Pseudooccultism makes matters worse by its ignorant attempts
to enforce rules which apply to grades of progress far beyond
the reach of the average Learner, and which are not in any way understood.
The ancient Ordinances of Manu were written by wiser men men who knew that the phase of Householder and Father must precede that
Far more harmful
than celibacy are any artificial substitutes for normal sexual relationships,
although such practices have been openly advocated by certain teachers
of Occultism. If such teachers had any genuine occult knowledge, their
motives cannot possibly have been those which alone should animate the
True Occultist attainment of conscious union with the SPIRIT which
What sexual abnormalities
or unnatural sex habits may be made to do, when accompanied by certain
subjective activities not wise to mention, is to rouse psychic powers
and faculties into action, or induce mediumistic conditions. Even without
any conscious accessary subjective activity, celibacy, and unnatural practices
often conduce to mediumship and other undesirable psychic states.
Let the Learner
strive diligently to apply the Laws of Life as taught in these lessons,
and follow the Path outlined step by step, and he will find his problems
losing their power, while peace and harmony arise in their places.
LEARNERS QUESTIONS Lesson VII
Question A: Are
there any records, or other authorities, that may be consulted concerning
Druidism and the Ancient Mysteries?
Answer: I do not
know. For anything I have said concerning the Druids or the Mysteries
I give no authority, for I have none of value to any but to those whose
Thought moves on the same Path as my own. Whether what I aver concerning
the Druids and the Mysteries be regarded as intuitions of actual truths
or as mere empty imaginings matters nothing to the Learner.
Question B: What
is the actual difference between Macrocosmic and Microcosmic Consciousness?
Answer: Were man
able to exercise the Macrocosmic Consciousness, all life that is now objective
to him would become subjective. He would be the essential MAN, and of
his Consciousness the Selves of all men would be but aspects.
Does not Theosophy teach that primeval Man created the Animal kingdom?
far as I am aware H. P. Blavatsky taught that Man preceded the
Animal in the present round, or world cycle. Her doctrine,
occultly understood, is identical with that which I state in the text
of the lesson. It should be obvious to any really intelligent student
that Madame Blavatskys teaching as actually set forth is exoteric,
not occult. She expressed it in fact in symbolic forms which if taken
at their face value, as they would have to be by the enormous majority
of her readers, would nevertheless be true analogies of LIFE, as far as
those readers could understand LIFE. But she also proved herself a genuine
Occultist by choosing a symbolism capable of revealing the real or inner
doctrine without a flaw, to those capable of comprehending it. In this
lies the difference between her teachings and those of other persons who
declare themselves her successors. One of the latter recently declared
that early man gave birth to the animals by dropping spores and
debris from his body over the face of the primordial earth.
How is it possible to have Action without results?
Answer: I can but
point out that LIFE exists in a state of incessant activity, and yet remains
changeless. Result implies change. Within the Sphere which the Adept has
completely transcended and transmuted into a Body of Knowledge he has
become consciously one with LIFE, and his actions have become identical
with LIFES activities; these activities constitute his Being, and
cannot therefore bring him results or changes.
It is possible to
express the conception otherwise by saying that KNOWLEDGE cannot be other
than a state of activity, yet the activity does not change KNOWLEDGE into
something else. The result of KNOWLEDGE is KNOWLEDGE to him who possesses
Question : Is there
anything to be gained by a Learner through study of ASTROLOGY?
Astrology, by which I mean divination, character-reading, and the like
by means of the stars and other heavenly bodies, cannot advantage a genuine
Learner. He has progressed beyond the stage where dabbling in semi-occult
arts, one of which astrology is, as a form of experience can have any
attraction for him, and he has not yet reached the point whence study
with knowledge of the true occult ASTROLOGY becomes possible for him.
Question : Is it
possible to read the future from the stars, or in any other way?
Answer: One of Earths
Great Ones when asked a similar question replied: ALL THAT WAS IS,
AND ALL IS THAT IS TO BE. In LIFE infinite and eternal, its infinite
phases, each and all, exist eternally, but they do not so exist in the
limited consciousness of man. It is therefore possible to any man who
can free his Consciousness from the limitations we call TIME to see past,
future, and present as one. Not merely may real study of the stars thus
set Self free, but study of the earth, of man himself, of any form or
phase of LIFE, may do so also. But if it is meant, do certain stellar
and planetary configurations relative to any individual reveal his destiny
definitely, the answer, equally definitely, must be that they do not.
The common idea
that man is ruled or has his destiny determined by the stars is wrong
and obstructive of genuine occult progress. Man rules himself and makes
his own destiny. It may be said that the stars (and innumerable other
indicatory aspects of life) reflect aspects of his Being that condition
his Becoming, but that is all. He is not of necessity bound by any of
Knowledge of much
more than the objective stars and planets is needed to cast
a true Horoscope .
Knowledge of the
dates and places of re-births is needed even more than is knowledge
of those of physical birth. For example, the natal Horoscope becomes null
and void in the case of a Learner who passes on into accepted Discipleship.
like true Magic, depends upon knowledge of Macrocosmic and Microcosmic
Question : If, as
I understand from the lessons, only an embryonic Self functions in the
Dream-world, in what way do you account for definitely prophetic dreams,
which would seem to be messages from an almost omniscient consciousness?
impressions come over from sleeping states into the waking consciousness,
but by no means all come from true dreams. The subject is immensely complex
and difficult, and to discuss it here would, even if possible, not be
useful. Of the genuine prophetic dream this may be said, that
it does not come from the true dreaming state, but from quite another
state. You have learned in the lessons that with the completion of any
cycle of experience the Self achieves freedom: before it becomes again
involved in another set of conditions there is a moment an interval not in time, when it is reunited with the ONE LIFE,
and there is relatively omniscient, beholding past and future, cause and
effect, all as one. It is from out of those free states, of which,
it is possible, there may be more than one between going to sleep and
waking, that any genuine fore-vision comes.
Question : What is
your explanation of National Devas, and similar Beings of which psychics
and others give such circumstantial accounts?
Answer: It is obviously
impossible to pronounce upon the vision which others may have had. The
psychic, even the adept seer, objectifies a phase of the EVERBECOMING,
gives it form and name, but that he interprets its nature correctly is
a matter of grave doubt. A nation, a race, a country, a locality is an
aspect of Everbecoming Life, and therefore a Being, but is it to be thought
that its inner, essential Being the radiator of the Energies which,
associating with the Consciousness of man, cause man to recognize its
existence is a highly evolved entity capable of planning wisely
on its behalf, as many writers will have it happens? Where do we find
a race or a nation acting as a genuine Self-directing unit, as does the
least developed man? The nearest thing to a united consciousness exhibited
by a body of human beings is the Mob Consciousness, and to what evolutionary
level does that belong?
The key to understanding
of this matter has already been given in the answer to your question concerning
the Spiritual Being of the Planet. Father, Mother, and
Son exist everywhere, in every phase of LIFE, yet equally are illusions
of limited Consciousness to the Eye of the ONE LIFE.
Question : When you
speak of Hermetic Schools or Hermetic Wisdom,
do you refer to the medieval Alchemists, Qabalists, Rosicrucians, and
others, followers of the so-called Western Tradition which
often call themselves Hermetic?
Answer: I refer
to none of these, but to the much older, now lost or buried, Mystery Schools
of the ancient Mediterranean world, of which Chaldea and Egypt are fragments.
The schools to which you refer are all offshoots of this older
school, though perhaps with little knowledge of their origin.
Question : Can you
say what the true meaning of the Black Path, and of the existence
of the Black Magician, may be?
Answer: The truth
about these matters are occult secrets which are beyond the scope of these
lessons, and outside the sphere of my own knowledge. It is well for the
Learner to recognize this, and not to concern himself with speculations
that can bring him no profit. Let it be said that the ordinary man, or
the Neophyte, cannot become a Black Magician any more than he can become
a White Adept. Not until he is a fully accepted Disciple can he choose
his Path. When he does choose, his choice is made by a Spiritual Consciousness
The Neophyte may
stray into various blind-alleys, which may with a certain justice be called
offshoots of the Black Path, but from out of these the Law compels him
to turn, and with heavy labour climb back to the Threshold, for not until
he has crossed it can he choose his way.
Concentration and Meditation, which are leading features of all occult
systems, are not discussed in your lessons. Do you disapprove of their
outstanding error of Learners, in whom it is excusable, and of many teachers,
who teach without wisdom, is that they associate Occultism with practices
rather than with PRACTICE. They imagine that the performance of certain
exercises and the pursuance of certain studies constitute the Occult Way,
instead of recognizing it as the Art of Living. Concentration and
Meditation are not exercises forming features of the Occult Way; the
Occult Way is the Way of Concentration and Meditation. That Way is
the WAY OF LIFE itself. CONSCIOUSNESS becomes concentrated wholly absorbed in SUBSTANCE, only to withdraw again from it into ever-expanding
KNOWLEDGE bringing ever-widening FREEDOM; and it is this Freedom-bringing
Knowledge which is sought in true Meditation.
I teach no exercises
in Concentration and Meditation, but in every lesson I teach the Life
of Concentration and Meditation.
It was the hope
of the great man whose life and whose will inspired and compelled the
writing of these lessons that they would open the eyes of at least a few
to the truth that the secret of life is discovered by LIVING with LIFE,
and that they would turn those few from their fruitless chase after the
many phantom reflections of the LIGHT, which gleam clear, and apparently
near, in this book and in that, in one teacher and in another. Often,
warningly and approvingly, he would quote the sonorous words in which
a fellow poet and fellow sage of the Orient contrasted his own Way with
the Way of his pupil. Consider them and meditate upon them, for
they reveal the Way of Concentration and Meditation:
the lightning in the East, and longed for the East, had he seen it in
the West he would have longed for the West; but I, seeking only the Lightning
and its Glory, care nothing for the Quarters of the Earth.
now remains to be said only that which it is more usual say in a Preface,
but which, for reasons that all true Learners will, I think, appreciate,
I deem it wisest to say at the end ether than at the beginning of this
The writing of the
Seven Lessons was a task laid upon me by the Great Soul, to whose memory
I have dedicated this work a task which he himself would have executed
had the activities of his amazingly full life left him the necessary time.
What he projected was a definite attempt the first really definite
attempt of the kind made in these modern times to teach the Occult,
or Inner Way of Life, as it was taught in the ancient, and as it is still
taught in the secret modern, Hermetic Schools, but in such a manner that,
without exotericizing the doctrine, it might yet be made comprehensible
to the intelligent though uninstructed student. He designed to show that
upon the Ancient Wisdom upon the ageless, hidden, yet universal
Doctrine of the SPIRIT, the ONE LIFE, the ONE BEING alone depends
the true Art of Living; and that, equally, upon Living the Life
depends certainty that Knowledge of the Doctrine will ultimately
That a pioneer attempt
of this kind could be made with entirely successful results, even by one
possessed of the wide vision and great gifts of him who conceived it,
is, at least, improbable, and of the weakness and imperfection of my own
effort I am most deeply conscious. I have failed, I think, because in
striving to reveal overmuch I have succeeded in sketching a broken outline
only, not a clear pattern. For what I have done the best I can hope is
that it be recognized as a disarticulated skeleton, and that as time goes
on it may be reassembled by some more skilful workman, and by him, or
by others yet more skilled, at last be reclothed with living flesh.
I have worked, as
I have already declared in the first lesson which this book contains,
for the Learner, and for him only; yet he, if he will but summon
to his aid the Power of True Self, the SELF of ALL, though now he be but
one of the FEW, may become one day the instrument whereby the FEW are
transmuted into the MANY.
To that LEARNER
let the ANCIENT ONE speak:
Look, O my
son, for the STAR! The STAR, O Child who would be a Man, will gleam upon
you as the Night wanes, and the Storms of the Dark Hours die away into
a Peace that is Herald of the Dawn. That STAR does not rise nor does it
set: IT holds a fixed place beyond the clouds in the depths of a speckless
sky; but not until the Thunders are hushed and the Storm Fog shreds apart
can its Golden Light descend to earth and dispel the Gloom of your Night.
Know, O son,
that this Nature in which you live and labour is, like the mid-air about
high mountains, the Playground and the Battleground of the Gods of Storm.
Not until you dominate those Angels of Strife, and marshal them in legions
obedient to your word, will the Clouds of their Breath of Fury lift and
the DAWN STAR illumine the Sleeping Earth. Then, and then only, while
the STAR FIRE flames upon the WAY, may you rest with PEACE, and raise
the veil from her face.
Hutchinson Publishing Group Limited
Part II printed
for Theosophical Publishing House Ltd. as a supplement to the revised
edition of THE OCCULT WAY published by them in 1978 by arrangement with
Hutchinson Publishing Group Limited.
1985 Printed by
Whitstable Litho Ltd., Whitstable, Kent.