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THE LORDS PRAYER

INTERPRETED BY

RALPH M. DE BIT
[1924] * Electronically typed and edited by Juan Schoch (http://vitafit.my90forlife.com, http://www.iLivingApp.com/unlimited_success) for educational research purposes of that contained in his library. Do not remove this notice.

TO THE DEAR MOTHER WHO GAVE THE PHYSICAL VEHICLE FOR THIS INCARNATION, SO THAT AN ETERNAL PILGRIM COULD CARRY ON IN HIS GREAT WORK, THIS LITTLE BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED

After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:9.13.

THE LORDS PRAYER The thesis of this interpretation of the Lords Prayer is: All systems of religion reveal by their mantrams and prayers that their foundations are deeply embedded in the Sacred Science, or the occult wisdom. This fact is plainly revealed by the esoteric study of prayer. It is manifestly impossible to analyze the prayers of all religious systems in a treatise of this length. We can, however, study the greatest prayer to be found in one of the principal religions of the world, viz., The Lords Prayer. This will serve as the key to the inner un derstanding of the prayers of every other religion, without exception. It is within the simple spiritual facts dealt with in this simple prayer that the deepest occult truths lie concealed. To search for these truths with an unbiased mind leads to an understanding which enables the earnest student to see how full of wisdom and power are the mysterious links which bind together the spiritual life of humanity. The generally accepted or orthodox Christian concept of prayer is one of humble supplication. The very word prayer indicates this conception, for it is derived from the Latin precari, which means to ask. Through the teaching of the Sacred Science, with regard to the universe, and through, at least, a partial understanding of the relation of the Self of man to the Logos, there has been developed a method of approach to God, other than implied in this traditional concept of prayer a way that will lift up the human consciousness until it comes in touch with the divine, spiritual and dynamic forces of the Universal Self, or God. This method is meditation. It is a means for higher realization and definite spiritual experience. It makes man receptive to the forces flowing from the Masters of the Wisdom, and from other orders of Being who are spoken of as angels, archangels and guiding spirits in the Christian teachings. When man can understand and practice meditation, he can, by being absorbed therein, merge himself in spirit with the Divine Spiritual currents flowing through the universe. Even when one does not understand meditation, one can receive great benefit by dwelling in thought on one or the other of the formul which have originated with the great Spiritual Leaders of mankind. Such a thought is a living force and is always sustained by the power and inspiration of the consciousness of the Spiritual Elder Brother who first gave expression to it. Anyone meditating in this simple way, and letting the formula live in his consciousness, will, imperceptibly, begin to live in the current of higher spirituality. A power will stream through him of which he will steadily grow more and more conscious. If he has the patience to persevere until the power flows into him in a sufficient measure, he will experience increased physical energy, a cleaner emotional tone, indicated by more spontaneous enjoyment of wholesome pleasure, and a keener alertness and joy in the pursuit of knowledge.

This increased physical, moral and intellectual strength will in time be followed by an awakening of those latent spiritual faculties and powers which are the heritage of every Ego. It has been demonstrated in the lives of hundreds of true devotees of the Most High that, by this kind of meditation, realization of expanded consciousness comes, from the smallest gain in moral strength and power to the highest attainments of four-dimensional clairvoyant faculty. Only few are willing to pay the price of steady, purposeful application demanded in this work; but where one is found who will conscientiously persevere, the results will follow inevitably. Even with the most undeveloped and untrained individuals it is merely a matter of time before the higher degrees of intuition, clairvoyance and supersensible faculties of consciousness are attained. In Christian countries this use of meditation in attaining unity with God is thought to be peculiar to the Orient. The Christian strives to gain entrance into the higher states of Immortal consciousness by means of supplicatory prayer. The Elder Brothers in the Sacred Science have never taught this Christian method or concept of prayer. Since the advent of Christianity they have always made it clear to their students that what is now often looked upon as prayer would not have been regarded as such in early Christian times, and least of all by the Founder of the Christian religion, Christ Jesus, Himself. When an individual asks his God for something to satisfy his own personal and selfish wishes he is not praying, even though he does it in accordance with the highest Christian ideal of prayer. It is of peculiar interest to note that when, through entreaty, an individual obtains gratification of some personal wish, he quite naturally and naively forgets his God in the evanescent enjoyment of his new possession. The larger vision of the universal good is entirely lacking in such a prayer. It is assumed that the Deity specially gratifies the selfish wish of the individual regardless of others. A cultivator of the soil, for instance, may wish for rain to favor the growth of some particular crop, while his neighbor, for a similar purpose, desires sunshine. The first prays for rain, the second for sunshine. If God could hear such prayers, what would He do? How could the Divine Ruler of the world give equal satisfaction to the armies of two Christian countries, or of the same country, engaged in battle; each side praying for victory and regarding its cause as the only just and holy one! In the recent World War this was most incomprehensible to our Oriental brothers, to whose countries the Christian nations involved has sent missionaries to convert them to this very Christian doctrine. Truly has it been said that Western peoples have not as yet tried Christianity. Petitions such as these make it at once obvious that there is little universality and common humanity in prayers arising out of personal wishes, and that God could answer acceptably only one side of those who pray. People who pray in this way take no account of the prayer in which Christ Jesus set forth the fundamental attitude of mind which should prevail in all prayersthat prayer which asks: O my Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but Thine, be done. That is the true Christly example for all prayer. If, owing to a concrete or objective state of development, the form of petition and entreaty must be retained in prayer,

this fundamental temper of mind must echo in the soul of the petitioner like a clear undertone, if he is to pray in a Christ-like way. When this state is reached, the form of prayer will be only the means of expanding the consciousness into the superpersonal realms of Being, where the inflow of Divine power will be felt. In the downflow of bliss, as Divinity Itself is experienced in the soul, the form of prayer will pass unnoticed, even as does the technique of the musician in the exquisite beauty of harmony. Moreover, this form of prayer will expel every selfish wish and impulse of the personal will, by the spirit of the words, Not my will, but Thine, be done. This will result in the overcoming of the personal sense of separation and the lifting up and absorption of the son of man into the divine state of the Son of God. The Master said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I AM he. The man of generation (son of man) whose basic state is desire (personal will), prompting all thought and action for self, will be transformed into the man of regeneration (Son of God), whose basic state is the Will aspect of the Father, manifesting its nature (activity) as Divine Wisdom. The driving force in the man concept of separation is desire, which is transmuted into the dynamic power of Spiritual Will in the consciousness of unity with the Father. Should this unified temper of mind be attained as the actual attitude of prayer, then prayer would become identified with meditation, only characterized by a more emotional coloring. Originally, as realized by the Master, the disciples, and the early Christian fathers, prayer was nothing else but meditation; for the Master said, When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. While the basis of prayer lies chiefly in the emotional nature, the basis of meditation is more in the mental nature. In meditation, through ones thought and, by its means, through the thoughts of the Spiritual Leaders of humanity, one attempts to get into harmony with the divine currents streaming through the world. In prayer, the same thing is attempted through the emotions. It is plain, therefore, that the consummation sought in both prayer and meditation is the union in consciousness of the Soul or Ego with the currents of Spiritual Force raying out into the world through those centers of Divine Power which, in the School of the Sacred Science, are known as the Masters of the Wisdom. This union on the higher or Atmic levels of the Souls nature has been called, in Christian teaching, the Unio Mystica, or mystic union with the Logos. The inception of this union is in prayer and meditation. If it were not for the fact that the real man, which is the Power to be conscious of man, were not in essence divinean integral part of point in Godhe could never be united with his God.

We know man IS; because the Power to be conscious, which is the essential man, is self-evident. This is true not only from the standpoint of Descartes famous maxim, Cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am, but, better still, from the standpoint of the greater truth expressed in Sum ergo cogito, I am therefore I think. The Power to be conscious IS before there can be any object of consciousness. It is the Knower of all of which It, or man, is conscious; and if God is All then it must follow that in essence man is one with God. Only in his concept of himself is man separated, and this separation is overcome as the realization of fundamental union through prayer and meditation is regained. The regaining of this union, or realization, is marvelously simplified when we understand the nature of man himself. Man is a trinity: Universal Spirit, Immortal Soul or Ego and human soul or personality. For the purposes of this study we are concerned only with the Immortal Soul or Ego and the human soul or personality. This is the dual nature of man, or the Divine and human in manifestation as man. The potentialities for future evolution into the Universal or Logoic levels inhere in the higher states of the Immortal Soul or Ego with which we are not now concerned. The human nature or personality of man is constituted of four principles: Physical Body. Etheric or Vital Body. Astral or Desire Body. Concrete Mental Body. In his Immortal Soul or Ego we find three principles: Abstract Mental or Causal Body (Manas). Intuitional or Bliss Body (Buddhi). Spiritual Body (Atma). This twofold nature of man, the human and the Immortal, is the son of man and Son of God. According to the teaching of the Sacred Science, all objective manifestation of form is brought out by the Ego: i.e., when the phenomena of life and form are regarded from our present limitation of consciousness, we speak of the Ego as an individualized aspect of the Universal Life. As such, the Ego brings out all objective manifestation, all forms, as a reflection or representation of the state or manner in which It is conscious of Itself. It therefore follows that these seven principles of the twofold nature of man are seven vehicles of expression representing seven different states of the Egos awareness or consciousness of Itself. To properly understand this and the connection between the two natures in man, we should go back to the beginning of human evolution. Man, as he is now conscious of himself, represents a blending of the two natures: the three higher principals,

abstract mind, intuition and spirituality, into which he is beginning to expand; and the four lower ones, physical body, etheric body, astral body and concrete mind or intellect. Being consciously centered in the latter four he is consequently giving them expression. This was not always so, for in the distant past, in what is called the Lemurian period of the worlds evolution, he was conscious only of the physical. In fact, he had only a rudimentary consciousness of himself as physical, compared with the perfected physical consciousness of the present day. This physical body, together with its etheric counterpart, was developed through immense periods of time, according to our human concept of time, until, in the changing processes of the earths formation, man began the development of his astral or desire body. This took place on a continent called Atlantis, which was located between South Europe, North Africa, and America, on the area now covered by the Atlantic Ocean. The development of the physical body and especially the etheric counterpart still continued, paralleled at this later period by the development of the astral. Toward the latter part of the Atlantean period the development of the concrete mental body began. Those who manifested this mental development in the highest degree formed the nucleus of the Aryan race at the time of the submergence of the Atlantean continent. Approximately one million years ago, in the early stages of the Aryan race, the lower nature of man, with its four principles, was sufficiently developed to allow the latent germ of the Immortal Soul to come out in manifestation. This has gradually grown until we have it so well developed in the higher man of today that he has become the twofold being which we know. Those who did not keep up with this development are also here, still in the process of perfecting the lower nature. In many the germ of the Immortal nature has not yet awakened, and in the most undeveloped it will not awaken for many incarnations to come. The immortal Soul of man will manifest its three principles even as it developed the four lower principles of its human nature, successively. The only exception to this is where one realizes the higher consciousness through the mystic path, which brings out the intuitional or bliss body first, then the causal and, at last, the Spiritual or Atmic. The usual course, and also the safest, is through the development of the intellect into the causal level or abstract mind. This is the occult path. In Spiritual or occult science, especially in the Pythagorean school, the triangle surmounting the square was used as a symbol of the human being, in whom the Immortal Soul had come into manifestation. The higher or eternal part, symbolized by the triangle, had passed through a great many incarnations in the lower part, symbolized by the square, before the realization began to dawn in its consciousness that it was the eternal or Immortal Soul. From the present level of human evolution, it will pass through many more incarnations in the lower principles before it overcomes the belief that it is these lower principles. Thus, the accompanying diagram represents the component parts of the whole man. During this period, the Immortal Soul may be looked at from two points of view. From the one it may be regarded as the Absolute Life in form; from the other, as an individualized center or aspect of that Absolute or Universal Life. In studying this

thought, students of the Sacred Science should be careful not to fall into an erroneous belief, or develop an incorrect concept. It is so easy to fall into an error, because, from the standpoint of separation, or of the conceptual life of man, it appears as if the Cosmic Life, or Absolute, extended or projected a portion of Its divine essence into the universe, and thence into the fourfold human vessel, giving the impression that the life in human beings is a drop or spark of Divinity individualized independently. This idea is purely an illusion. In the first place, the Absolute Life could not extend or project a drop or spark from Itself, and at the same time remain Whole or Absolute; and in the second place, there is no space or time to the Absolute; i.e., separate and apart from Its Nature, into which It could project Itself or extend a part of Its substance. This appears yet more clearly, when we understand that both space and time are illusions, real only within the limitation of human consciousness. As man expands his consciousness out of this limitation, he lives less in the sense of time and more in the realization of the eternal present. All dualistic theories of mans relation to God have been built up on this very error. Students, while yet living in a limited state of consciousness, must guard against making dogmatic assertions as to the eternal verities. It is also due to this very error that man has come to look upon the three higher aspects of the immortal essence of human nature only as the three highest principles of man. Some state it as a fact that the three highest principles of human nature are the three lowest principles of the Divinity nearest to man. This is making man some thing, separate from Divinity, when in reality he is the state of consciousness of the individualized center, or aspect, of Divinity Itself. In his Textbook of the Sacred Science this point has been thoroughly elucidated by the author. As we have seen, these apparent principles are in reality states of consciousness, and when enumerated, beginning with the physical, they are: physical, etheric, astral, concrete-mental, abstract-mental (or causal), intuitional and spiritual. Of these last three, which as a unit we designate the Immortal Self, very little is known by humanity at its present level of development. Comparatively few in present-day humanity are as yet in the process of developing the abstract mental principle, while the vast majority are still based in the astral or emotional state. Not until man becomes a pupil of the Initiates can he form anything more than a mere concept of these higher states. At the conclusion of human evolution on this planet, man will perfect the Spiritual or Atmic state of consciousness. He will then do everything directly by will. At that time, any creation needed for expression will be instantaneously brought forth by will. This will contains within itself, as its very nature, what to us is inconceivable dynamic force. These higher states of the Immortal Soul are reflected, and only by faint indications, in the lower states of the man of today. The will (Atmas) becomes the will of human nature. The intuition (Buddhi) reflects itself as instinct, knowing by impression (the sixth sense); and the bliss condition of that state is reflected as joy and happiness. The abstract-mental becomes, by reflection, the objective intellect, or concrete brain-consciousness of man. These higher forces, faintly reflected in the man of today, will grow stronger

and stronger as man expands his consciousness, until they become the predominant characteristics of the man of the future. Man is at present essentially an intellectual, thinking being, due to the reflection of the higher mind, and his will is limited in many different ways. He can apprehend the world around him, in its universality, up to a certain point. Of all these things which he is able to apprehend he has only a slight understanding, and of that which he understands he can command but a small part. How little power he has over what he knows is astonishing when we come to consider it closely. But what is not yet his will come to him in the future; his will will become mightier and mightier, till he attains the great goal, which in the Science of Self is called the great sacrifice. This is the command of such a strength of will as enables the one who wills, to sacrifice himself wholly and completely. (To sacrifice in this sense is to make a lower thing sacred, or to surrender joyously a lesser thing for a greater.) This means not only the sacrifice of all that a man with his feeble powers of feeling and will has to offer, but the surrender of his whole existence; a willingness to give up his lesser concept of personal life and be absorbed into the force of the Greater Life. When the Power to be conscious in man has reached such a degree of expansion into the Immortal Soul that through the awakened and developed will he is able to accomplish the great sacrifice out of the force of the will, he creates a world of which he is the center. This world becomes infilled with the force and power of the creative activity of his awakened will. Others, less in degree of development than himself, are drawn into this world for the purpose of receiving instruction and to receive the play of the higher vibratory forces of his awakened consciousness upon their own subtle bodies; this organizes and harmonizes the matter in their bodies, gradually bringing about an alignment between them, and synthesizes them into one whole on the causal level. Out of those drawn into the force rayed out by the awakened will of such an one, a group or unit is formed. To such a group will be given a definite commission in the great plan which is supervised and being carried into effect by the Elder Brothers of the race. This group, no matter how small, is a universe in process of formation. Due to the great sacrifice, Divinity Itself is poured into it, ensouling it with creative life. The great law of correspondence is applicable here. As in the macrocosm so in the microcosm; for the whole universe is animated by the Universal Will, expressing Itself in infinite diversity. This process of infinite differentiation and multiplicity, this manifestation of Divinity in all of Its points, is called in the teaching of the Sacred Science, the Kingdomas distinguished from the Will, the Father. Of every universe, great or small, the Will aspect is the center, and the activity of the Will manifesting in all of its points, together with the appearance which is brought out by that activity (the act of being conscious of Itself in an infinite number of points) is the Kingdom of God. In the microcosm, or man, the Will aspect is represented by the Spiritual principle, or Atma; and the Kingdom, or the manifested appearance of the Will, by the intuitional element, or Buddhi. The nature of this

Kingdom is such that it reflects the Being of the Whole, in its infinite variety, as a tiny dewdrop on a leaf images the vast sweep of the starry heavens. Man sees this infinite diversity of manifestation in proportion to the limited state of his consciousness. It appears as the visible phenomena of ethers, electrons, atoms, minerals, plants, animals and human beings. In each division and in every particle of each division the whole Kingdom is manifested. Man dimly senses this stupendous truth in a variety of ways. The instinct of unity in the animal; the sense of brotherhood with rocks, trees, and all lower forms of life to which the tribal man responds; the national and communal spirit, and the concerted action in the interests of progress and evolution to which the civilized man responds; all of these are due to the dimly felt contact with Divinity at every point. When the consciousness of man has expanded so far that he is able to merge it with that consciousness expressed in the infinite minuti of manifestation, he finds that they, too, are doorways opening into the Infinite Whole. In each of them the Whole is reflected. The student of the Sacred Science, through the spiritualization of his own consciousness in meditation, comes to see the face of God, looking at him in reciprocal recognition through every mineral, plant, animal and human being; for each is not only an expression and image of the Divine as Its very nature or activity, but is also an opening, as it were, through which the Whole is perceived. Man, in his limited state of consciousness, sees the very face of God in His Kingdom reflected in an infinitely graded series of beingsinfinite in diversity and dimensionality. At the time of individualization, the Ego, because of the sense of separation which comes with the development of the mental body, classifies and names all that It sees as separate points in the manifestation of the one indivisible Whole. The name given is that which distinguishes, one from another, the various members of this multiplicity of Being. The classification and naming are arbitrary acts relative to the state of consciousness of the Ego in Its sense of separation. This very individualization, the development of the Egos mental vehicle, and the seeming individualization of all other points of the Divine manifestationall this is a part of the great plan. It is, in fact, an aspect of the Divinity Itself reflected in the microcosm, man, as manas, or mind. In the nihilistic or dualistic religions of the world, this aspect of Divinity has been called the third outpouring of the Divine emanation, flowing into and ensouling with the Divine Spirit the individualized aspects or points in the infinite diversity. When man, in his ongoing, reaches the point where an urge arises within the Self to be lifted up from the lower world of manifestation, he will find that this can be accomplished only through the Will aspect of the Divine manifested in his own Soul. If he aspires to raise himself in thought to the realization of the Infinite in all things, he must be responsive to the Kingdom, or the Buddhi aspect in manifestation. When the hunger for knowledge, not for purposes of personal aggrandizement, but for the sake of knowledge itself, has been awakened in the soul of man, he will respond to the Manas aspect of the Divine, manifested in individualization; thus, through the multiplicity of his conceptions of relative knowledge, he will grow into the appreciation of the rhythmic harmony and law of the universe, and expand his consciousness to the abstract or synthetical grasp of its infinite diversification.

In this brief description of the three great aspects of Divinity, we have set forth what has ever been a part of the ancient teaching of the Sacred Science. We learn from it that the principle of Divinity, which forms the eternal part of human nature, consists of the Fathers Will, made manifest in His Kingdom, and known to the consciousness of man by name: the Atma-Buddhi-Manas reflected in the microcosm, man, as the higher triad or Immortal Soul. In order to understand fully the Lords Prayer in its application to the spiritualization of the consciousness of man, let us now review the four lower principles of perishable human nature. As the three higher principles of human nature may be considered the manifestation of the divine man, or of the infinite, in the finite; so the four lower principles may be considered as principles of the perishable world, or as the human vehicles of the Ego in man. When we consider the physical body, we observe that it is composed of the same substances and forces as the apparently inanimate world around it. At one time it was believed that nature required a period of about seven years to renew all of the material in a human body; advanced physiologists now believe that this is accomplished within one year. Apparently, the life of the physical body depends upon the continuous flow through it of the matter of the universe, and when this ceases, because of the crystallization of the matter within the body, the life of man as a physical being comes to an end. Similar processes and conditions manifest with regard to the etheric counterpart of the physical body, and with regard to the astral and mental bodies. Just as we considered the three higher principles of human nature as parts of Divinity, so we may consider its four lower principles as portions of the Divine Self or Its activity. (It must be remembered that the word activity, in the metaphysics of this teaching, is used to represent the expression or manifestation of the state in which the Self is conscious of Itself.) In this conceptual view of the divine order, we may look upon the physical body as a part of our planet, since its substance is taken from the material portion of the planet and returns to it. This is true, also, of the etheric, astral and mental bodies in their relation to corresponding strata of the universe. All this matter of which the lower vehicles of man are composed is, for the time being, arrested and molded into form by the superior dynamism or Will aspect of the Divine Self in its point, part or individualized aspect. One who lives in a more concrete or objective state of consciousness has difficulty in grasping the abstract principle that form can be arupa, i.e., formless. Yet the state in which the Ego is conscious of Itself is a formless mold around which matter is gathered. Intuitive or abstractly based students have no difficulty in grasping the idea that what has a form can be, at the same time, formless. Where the sense of separation or individualization is relinquished, the matter of the whole Universal Self, or of any infinitesimal essential point thereof, will be used as the vehicle of expression. So long as individualization obtains, or the infinite diversity of the Self continues, so long will matter appear

structural in form. In this it will be seen that form itself is the reflection of the state of consciousness of the individual. The astral body is the vehicle of everything which is active in the consciousness of man as impulse, desire and passion; and also of everything that surges through the human soul of man as joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. The etheric body transmits the vital force of the Ego, flowing down through the astral body, into the physical; and also preserves some more permanent and abiding qualities of the soul, and is the vehicle of these. This etheric or vital body is the vehicle in which the enduring traits of character are held. Everyone has had many experiences of joy and sorrow which have passed away, leaving barely a trace in the memory. This evanescent nature of the emotions is due to the more rapidly changing matter of the astral body through which they are expressed. There are other emotional tendencies of temperament, character, likes or dislikes, which persist throughout the years. The vehicle for the retention of these characteristics is the etheric body, which forms the basis of individual human nature. This is because the etheric body is the most stable of the four lower principles of man. If one has a fiery, passionate disposition as a child, the chances are that he will have the same disposition as an adult, and this in spite of the fact that there is no element or atom in his body which was present in his childhood. There is, however, one thing which has remained practically unchanged throughout the physical life of the individual, viz., the etheric body even as on a higher level the abstract-mental or causal body of the Ego endures throughout the many incarnations of the Ego in the lower three worlds. It changes very slowly and gradually as the more enduring characteristics are outgrown; just as does the causal body of the Ego throughout the incarnations of the individual. As a vehicle, however, the etheric body remains the same throughout the numerous changes of personality in the lower three worlds in one lifetime. Because of this enduring quality of the etheric body, in the midst of the ebb and flow of the matter of the physical body, most people keep those qualities and characteristics which form the basis of their nature through an entire incarnation. True occult training in the School of the Sacred Science does not consist of mere acquisition of theoretical knowledge, but commences with the definite breaking up of the etheric body, and with the rousing of evolutionary tendencies in the organism of that body which otherwise would remain inert. This activation of new evolutionary tendencies in the centers of the etheric body is accomplished through a vibratory force from the awakened consciousness of a teacher, or through the mantric effect of meditation or prayer. These centers are called chakras, and have their counterparts in the plexi of the sympathetic nervous system of the physical body. The student will notice the result of this activation in a definite change in temperament or character. The process is consummated in a complete breaking up of the old responses due to racial and traditional values, and the building in of a complete set of new values or standards. A student has accomplished much if he has been able to change even one of these qualities of his temperament, or his original disposition, and to replace it with a new and higher one.

These lasting tendencies, temperamental qualities, and abiding habits of life are gradually developed within the etheric body, in the same way that the superpersonal and impersonal traits are developed in the causal body of the Ego. All fleeting affections, infatuations, anger, hate and passion, are located in the matter of the astral body. If the student will apply this knowledge to mans environment, to his life in the external world, he will see that everyone is indissolubly bound up with the period of time in which he lives. He will find that all who have not reached the superpersonal consciousness of the Ego possess and reflect the common family traits, national and racial habits, temperaments and permanent tendencies. Those qualities of a person which are fixed and abiding will be found not only in him, but in all those with whom he is in any way connected. Thus the individual members of a nation may be recognized by the similarity of their habits and temperaments. The great occult principle enunciated by Paul: Come out from among them and be ye separate, is the very first requirement with which the beginner on the path of spiritual unfoldment is confronted. To square with this principle and make it operative as a force in the consciousness of the beginner in occultism, the very foundation of his disposition and habits of life must be changed so that he can achieve a higher spiritual development. In this change, the focal point of his consciousness is transferred from the etheric body of the lower human nature to the causal body of his immortal nature. When this focalization of consciousness is maintained over the required length of time in the causal body (the length of time depending upon karmic conditions of the individual, and his point in evolution), the basic point of his consciousness will undergo a change and he will become established in the higher nature. When the student comes in contact with a teacher who stimulates and activates these centers in the etheric body, the length of time to accomplish this change is immeasurably shortened. Whether this change is effected through contact with a teacher, or through meditation or prayer, the student will soon become what is called, in occult teachings, the Eternal Pilgrim. When this point is reached he is a wanderer, a lone dweller, or a homeless one, because he is obliged to change his etheric body through which he has been connected with the race. His sense of loss and grief at this time will be commensurate with his former affection and attachments; for truly attachment is the womb of future pain. The sense of loss, despondency, and darkness which overwhelms the soul at this point of transition is terrifying to some. This is because the old moorings in the etheric body are being irresistibly torn out and the new anchorage is not as yet attained. If a man will look at life in the community into which he is born, he will find that the qualities by virtue of which he belongs to a family or nation, and through which he feels himself related to the individuals of that nation, are very much the qualities that characterize the whole century in which he lives. Imagine, for example, how little we, in this day and age, would have in common with one of the ancient Hindus or Greeks, should he come into our life. His etheric body would have too little resemblance to that of the man of the present day for a common basis of interest between them. Men of each race, as well as of each age, understand each other by

means of common qualities of the etheric body. Those qualities in human nature through which individuals are able to rise above the common characteristics of the race and exhibit distinct traits as separate beings within their families and nations, pertain to the astral body. The astral body, therefore, reflects the individual, and through this reflection becomes the personal part of man as distinct from his family or race. From what has been said in regard to the etheric body, it will be seen that when one acts contrary to the established nature of this body, he is a sinner toward his fellowmen. That is to say, so long as the basic or focal point of his consciousness is in the etheric body, the codes, rules and conventions of mankind, of which he is a part, are operative and binding upon him. In his conduct, he is responsible to a greater extent for the observance of those social duties which are enjoined between one man and another, and which make human intercourse possible and agreeable. One so focused is required by dharma, or the law of his own being, to observe such duties and customs. Their violation will bring inevitable karmic reaction. The Master was not speaking to such when he said, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme. He was speaking to those whose focal point was in the Ego, which is the Immortal Soul or Holy Spirit, or in its causal body. As long as his consciousness is focused in the etheric body, man is one with his race, and his sin against the race is due to a fault in the etheric body. The sins which are of a more individual nature, and which are committed by him only as a separate personality, are failings brought about by the qualities of the astral body. In the School of the Sacred Science, that which is a sin against the community, and originates in a faulty etheric body, has ever been termed a debt. The word in ordinary usage always refers to the human code of conduct, and denotes what one man owes to another from an ethical point of view. Therefore, ones debts in this significance are always traceable to defective qualities of the etheric body. In like manner, the defective quality which causes the personality to sin against itself, or the race, is inherent in the astral body and is called temptation. But there is a fault greater than either of these: it is a sin of the human soul, or personality proper. This is due to a defect in the mental body, which sins more grievously against the Immortal Soul than any other one thing can sin against it. From time immemorial the concrete mind of man or the intellect has been called the slayer of the real, for it is in this department of human nature that personal will (as opposed to the Fathers Will) is developed. This comes about through the awakening of the consciousness of the Ego to objective self-realization, and identification of itself with its physical body. Upon this basis of identification with the physical body, concepts of values are created at variance with the normal course in evolution of the Ego, and by reason of these the personality sets itself directly against the urge of the divine in man to fulfill its destiny. It is this element of contention within the human will, arrayed against the Divine urge, or Fathers Will, which constitutes it a greater sin or evil. Man may fall into error, not only through his etheric and astral bodies, but, to a far greater degree, through his mental body, by developing within it a sense of separation from unity with

the Divine Life. Within this consciousness of individualization or self-dependence lies the possibility of sinning against the Holy Spirit. Many contend that the evolutionary needs of the Ego Itself require this very personal opposition to the Divine Will, but this is not so. The Sacred Science has always taught that this sense of separation, or self-dependence, inhering in the mental body, and which is the cause of all the trouble in individuals and nations, is not a universally conditioned necessity of the Ego. In the Laws of the Manu, given to humanity at the beginning of the fifth root race, we find this great admonition. Dharma is that which uplifts to heights of honor and greatness. Dharma is that scheme, that network of the duty of each, which holds together all the children of Manu in organic cohesion, and prevents them from falling apart in pieces, ruin and destruction. Dharma is the fulfillment of the object of the souls taking birth in flesh. Without Duty, the other two, Profit and Pleasure, are verily impossible. Barren rock shall sooner yield rich harvest than lack of righteousness yield riches and their joys. From righteousness and steady observance of ones Duty, both arise unfailingly; from Duty is born happiness here and hereafter. On the evolutionary path to the full conscious realization of Itself, it is a natural necessity of the Ego to expand Its consciousness out of the instinctive animal state into the objective self-conscious state of man; but it is not normally necessary to use this objective self-conscious state, or mental body, to wage warfare against the higher impulses of the Divine Will inherent in the Ego. Through neglect of the sound principles laid down in the sacred teachings of the Spiritual Leaders of the race, man has allowed this concrete mind, or intellect, to usurp the throne of the Spirit within the Holy Temple. This has resulted in leading him deeper and deeper into the desert waste of separateness. Because of this error of the mental body introduced into the Garden of Eden, at a time when the human soul in its instinctive innocence walked and talked with God, man now has to retrace his steps, through prayer or meditation, back to that consciousness of unity. The self-dependence which it is necessary for man to develop will never be safely and harmoniously achieved, nor will Egoic needs at that point find satisfactory expression, until the whole nature of man is brought into accord with the Fathers Will (inherent in the Immortal Soul) and ceases to rebel. Verily, the intellect must become a wise man, willingly following the star of intuition across the desert sands of personality until it can render its full offering of itself at the feet of the new-born Christ, the dawning light of the Immortal Soul, the fundamental Reality of its existence. In the Sacred Science, the word evil is never used for any transgression other than one which proceeds from the mental body of man. A trespass, or debt, is a fault committed by the etheric body of man, in social intercourse with his fellows. Temptation is that which assails the astral body, because it springs from desire qualities peculiar to the personality. Evil is the rebellion of the human mind against the Divine urge or order. To recapitulate: Let us now consider the relation of the four lower principles of human nature to their environment. The physical body is continually taking in physical

substance as nourishment, and is maintained by a constant flow of forces and matter of the physical world in and through itself. The etheric body is best kept in condition when man maintains fellowship with those into whose community he has grown, so long as the Egos consciousness remains focused therein. The astral body is purified and becomes a perfect reflecting medium of the higher states of the Immortal Soul by not yielding to the temptations or desires of the lower human nature. Beyond all these, the evolutionary process of the Immortal Soul is unfolded in a right and harmonious way when the arbitrary intellection of the mental body does not succumb to what is called evil. Let the student, at this point, use his power of imagination to create a mental picture of man as a whole, seeing with his minds eye the four vehicles of the lower nature as occupying one point in space, each vehicle higher in the scale interpenetrating the ones below it until the three aspects of the Immortal Soul are reached within and rayed out through the four lower bodies as a dazzling effulgence, extending beyond the farthest limits of these vehicles, like rays of light piercing the surrounding darkness. As the student views this picture in imagination, let him say this: Within every man is a center of Divine Life, and in the course of his evolution, he draws nearer and nearer to the realization that that center of light is the Immortal Substratumthe innermost essence of his own being. If this picture is taken as a subject for meditation, and realized intensely and constantly, the student will begin to express in outward life that deep interior nature as the one imperishable fact of his existence. He will, through persistence in this meditation, gradually transmute his own being into it, and surrender his personal will to the Will of the Father. It is this fire which lies hidden in the human soul which shines before men as the great goal that is called the Father in Heaven. One who desires to expand his consciousness of himself to this extent must awaken the power of the Will aspect of his own Immortal nature; this will enable him to maintain the physical body in rhythmic, buoyant health, and the etheric body in perfect adjustment with the evolution of the race of which he is a part, to purge the astral body of lower vibrating matter so that he shall not fall into temptation through desire, and to keep the mental body free from evil and subservient to the higher urge of the Father. Not only must this be maintained by the power of the Spiritual Will, but man must strive upward through the three higher principles: the Name, the Kingdom and the Will, in order that he may be perfect, as his Father in Heaven is perfect. The causal realm, or the Name of the images in the Infinite Consciousness, must be so thought of that it becomes hallowed. In this degree of development the student learns to look around him, seeing the multifarious objects, things and conditions, free and clear from the values of the human consciousness in separation, as the very activity by which the Eternal Self knows Itself. Seen in this light, they are the expression of Gods own nature. When he calls them by name, he realizes them as integral parts in the Divine order of the world. In this realization, whatever one may have in his environment will be sacred; whatever comes to him will be received as coming from God; whoever comes to him is received as a messenger from the Father. This is the consciousness of Eternal Oneness, and, in this consciousness, the power of all action is the power of God. The fruits or results of all action belong to God; and whenever, or wherever, payment or service is rendered,

it is not rendered unto separate personalities, but is rendered to the One. In all things, and at every turn it is the Self saluting the Self. By the name man gives to a thing he makes that thing a principle of Divine Being. Every name is hallowed; the consciousness of the individual is opened to the outrush of the creative currents of life. This living in the conscious outpouring of creative forces is living in Buddhi, or the Kingdom. Through living in the constant outpouring of creative forces and currents from Divinity Itself, as the motive power of all his actions, his consciousness expands to the conscious control of those currents, and by that fact he identifies himself with the Will aspect of the Father. Think, then, for a moment of the great Master, who, in the very fullest measure, realizes all these principles as dynamic facts of the one existence, of which He Himself is a part. Then think of this great Master, in His consciousness of the full meaning of evolution, being asked by the disciples to teach them how to pray. This being the only prayer He ever taught, how would He sum up the whole process of evolution and comprehend the seven principles of that evolution in seven expressions of one prayer? In order to declare the aim of the prayer, and before He uttered the seven invocations, He said: Our Father which art in Heaven, thus directing the attention and minds of the disciples to the innermost or deepest foundation of the Immortal Soul, and evoking the downpouring of force from the greatest height to which man, in the lower human concepts of life, may aspire. Then followed the first three invocations, concerned with the three higher principles of human nature, or the three aspects of the divine essence in man: hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Then He passed from the kingdom of the Immortal Soul to the earthly kingdom, when He said: Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven. In this expression He comprehends the whole lower human nature of man, indicating the complete surrender of the personal will in thought, desire and action to the Will of the Father. Then He gives utterance to the last four petitions referring to the four lower principles of human nature in which the consciousness of man is so involved, and with which he is so greatly concerned. He begins with the physical: Give us this day our daily bread. Passing on to the etheric, He harmonizes the forces in it to stabilize it in equilibrium with the race in which man lives: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Properly understood and responsive to the mantric effect of the forces liberated by this petition, adjustment is made of everything which takes place through the transgressions of the etheric body. Realizing as He did that all desire resides within the astral body temptation enters the consciousness of man, He says: Lead us not into temptation. Greater than all these, and mindful of the subtle pitfalls and disastrous consequences of thinking contrary to the Will of the Father, He says of that arbitrary force of the mental body: Deliver us from evil. Thus the student can see in the seven invocations of the Lords Prayer nothing but the expression of the aspiration of the human soul imploring from the Divine Self such a development of the several parts of human nature as may enable man to find his right course in life and develop all parts of his nature in the correct way. The devotee may make use of the Lords Prayer in such a manner as to rise to the true understanding of the evolution of every part or principle of his own nature in relation to the Universal Life at each stage in the expansion of his consciousness. Even when this prayer is used

by the most simple people they unconsciously evoke the forces which will harmonize every part of their nature in an orderly process of development. The prayers, mantrams or formul originating in the Ancient Wisdom, which have been given to the world by the Elder Brothers of the race, are not a collection of words arbitrarily strung together, but are exact expressions corresponding to exact fundamental principles of the Divine order of life. When these prayers or formul of meditation are used by a spiritual devotee, they invoke the creative force or power which automatically leads him aright. The Masters of the Wisdom took these forms of prayer from the Wisdom teaching. The forms have a deep occult significance known only to the Initiates. There is no true form of prayer which did not have its birth in that profound Wisdom. The great Master of masters had the seven principles of human nature clearly in mind when he taught the prayer containing the seven invocations corresponding to those seven principles. In this way all true prayers were ordained, or they could not have exercised the power and influence over mankind that they have for thousands of years. It is the living power of realization put into the prayer at the time of its utterance which causes the Lords Prayer to live today on the highest planes of humanity as a definite thought form, charged with the creative force of the Masters consciousness. When these words, given to humanity by the Master, are looked upon through the objective and concrete state of consciousness of dogmatic creeds and religions, the outer form only is seen and the power of the Spirit resident in the form is entirely missed. Not until the form itself is lost sight of, and the consciousness of the devotee communes with the consciousness of the Master who uttered the prayer, can the power of that prayer become a living force in his own life. For two thousand years, only the outer form has been seen, and this present humanity will develop through many more thousands of years and have numerous reincarnations in the lower three worlds, before its consciousness will expand to that point where its mind can become one with that mind which was in Christ Jesus. Not from the outer, or the emotional basis of consciousness, can the Prayer of the Master be understood, but only through the synthesizing faculty of the abstract mind. And through the intuitive perception of the Kingdom of God, alone, can the deeper occult principles contained within this prayer be grasped. In this way, all systems of religion reveal by their mantrams and prayers that their foundations are deeply rooted in the Sacred Science, which ever recognizes the seven principles of man and shows that in the Fathers Will they are synthesized into one complete whole. This whole manifestation is the activity of the Self in Its eternal awareness or consciousness of Itself.