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Vol. 16 No.

9 Boulder, Colorado September, 2001


Karma Yoga
Contents
Many Theosophists look at their Theosophical lives as one of service
so we wish to devote this issue to that yoga. We start by taking a look
Karma Yoga…...............1 at Blavatsky’s The Key To Theosophy followed by Judge’s Theosophi-
cal Articles Vol I. This will be expanded on by looking at a contem-
porary Hindu Saint who devoted a whole school to the study of Karma
David Reigle writes ....12 Yoga.

The Secret Doctrine ... If humanity can only be developed mentally and
Q& A Section…...........13 spiritually by the enforcement, first of all, of the soundest
and most scientific physiological laws, it is the bounden
duty of all who strive for this development to do their
The Yoga Sutras Of
utmost to see that those laws shall be generally carried out.
Patanjali….............17 All Theosophists are only too sadly aware that, in
Occidental countries especially, the social condition of
large masses of the people renders it impossible for either
their bodies or their spirits to be properly trained, so that the
development of both is thereby arrested. As this training
and development is one of the express objects of
Theosophy, the T.S. is in thorough sympathy and harmony
with all true efforts in this direction. Key to Theosophy.
page 233

... The real reason why so little satisfactory social


work is accomplished is because each social reformer has
his own panacea, and each believes his to be the one and
only thing which can improve and save humanity. Valuable
time and energy are thus wasted; for men, instead of
cooperating, strive one against the other, often, it is to be
feared, for the sake of fame and reward rather than for the

1
great cause which they profess to have at ever be attained. It is this action and
heart, and which should be supreme in interaction, this true brotherhood and
their lives. ... Ibid. page 233 sisterhood, in which each shall live for all
and all for each, which is one of the
The Theosophical principles of fundamental Theosophical principles
Universal Unity and Causation; Human that every Theosophist should be bound,
Solidarity, The Law of Karma and Re- not only to teach, but to carry out in his or
incarnation, which are the four links of her individual life. Ibid. page 234
the golden chain that bind humanity into
one family one Universal Brotherhood ... Every Theosophist, is bound to
should be promoted. Ibid. page 233 do his utmost to help on, by all the means
in his power, every wise and well-
In the present state of society, considered social effort which has for its
especially in so-called civilized coun- object the amelioration of the condition
tries, we are continually brought face to of the poor. Such efforts should be made
face with the fact that large numbers of with a view to their ultimate social
people are suffering from misery, emancipation, or the development of the
poverty and disease. Their physical sense of duty in those who now so often
condition is wretched, and their mental neglect it in nearly every relation of life.
and spiritual faculties are often almost ... Ibid page 235
dormant. On the other hand, many
persons at the opposite end of the social ... A Theosophist’s duty in forming
scale are leading lives of careless public opinion can only be attained by
indifference, material luxury, and selfish inculcating those higher and nobler
indulgence. Neither of these forms of conceptions of public and private duties
existence is mere chance. Both are the which lie at the root of all spiritual and
effects of the conditions which surround material improvement. In every conceiv-
those who are subject to them, and the able case he himself must be a center of
neglect of social duty on the one side is spiritual action, and from him and his
most closely connected with the stunted own daily individual life must radiate
and arrested development on the other. In those higher spiritual forces which alone
sociology, as in all branches of true can regenerate his fellow-men. ... Ibid.
science, the law of universal causation page 236
holds good. But this causation necessar-
ily implies, as its logical outcome, that ... The first of the Theosophical
human solidarity on which Theosophy so duties is to do one’s duty by all men, and
strongly insists. If the action of one reacts especially by those to whom one’s
on the lives of all, and this is the true specific responsibilities are due. ... Ibid.
scientific idea, then it is only by all men page 236
becoming brothers and all women sisters,
and by all practicing in their daily lives ... No man has a right to say that he
true brotherhood and true sisterhood, that can do nothing for others, on any pretext
the real human solidarity, which lies at whatever. “By doing the proper duty in
the root of the elevation of the race, can the proper place, a man may make the

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world his debtor,” says an English writer. Theosophy. pages 233-236, 241-2, 249
A cup of cold water given in time to a
thirsty wayfarer is a nobler duty and more THE PROMULGATION
worth, than a dozen of dinners given OF THEOSOPHY
away, out of season, to men who can
afford to pay for them. No man who has If we believe in our message and in
not got it in him will ever become a the aim of the Society, we ought never to
Theosophist, but he may remain a tire telling the people that which they can
member of our Society all the same. We understand. And the rich as well as the
have no rules by which we could free any poor are the people to whom I refer. They
man to become a practical Theosophists, need the help of Theosophy, for they are
if he does not desire to be one. ... Ibid. wandering very close to the marshes of
page 241 materialism. They must have a true ethic,
a right philosophy. Tell them of our great
... Our duty is to sow seeds doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation.
broadcast for the future, and see they Tell of these with confidence, unshaken
are good; not to stop to enquire why we by opinions of others, and that confidence
should do so, and how and wherefore of yours will beget confidence in the
we are obliged to lose our time, since hearer. Science and exact scholarship are
those who will reap the harvest in days factors in our progress, but although they
to come will never be ourselves. ... Ibid. are important, the mass of the people are
page 242 more important still. You cannot
scientifically prove everything. But if
... I expect my Fellow members of you are sure, as so many of us are, that we
the Society to help in the Theosophical are immortal pilgrims, then tell the
work by first studying and comprehend- people plainly and practically how they
ing the Theosophical doctrines, so that have been here before in other bodies,
they may teach others, especially the and will be here again to suffer or enjoy
young people. Secondly by taking every just as they may have decided in their
opportunity to talking to others and other life, and they will believe it. They
explaining to them what Theosophy is, will soon come to that belief because
and what it is not; by removing these laws are facts in nature, facts in
misconceptions and spreading an interest their own and real experience. Were I to
in the subject. Thirdly, by assisting in attend only to scholars, I should be able to
circulation our literature by lending and do no other work, while all the time my
giving them and by inducing their friends fellow-creatures - not scholars and in the
to do so. Fourthly, by defending the vast majority - would be deprived of the
Society from unjust aspersions cast upon spiritual help it was my duty to give them.
it, by every legitimate device in their
power. Fifth, and most important of all We are really working for the
by the example of their own lives. ... future, laying the foundation for a greater
Ibid. page 249 day than this. We are all coming back
together to carry on this work if we now
Blavatsky. H.P. The Key To take up all our opportunities. We must act

3
from duty now, and thus be right for the who have perfected themselves before us
future. Our duty is to recognize the great and are ever ready to help on the human
human soul with which we have to deal family. So if we are firmly fixed in that
and toward which we should work. Its belief, we can never weaken. ...
progress, its experience, its inner life, are
vastly more important than all our The Society is a small germ of a
boasted civilizations. That civilization nucleus for a real outer Brotherhood. If
could easily be swept away, and what we work aright the day must come when
would be left? Your country could be we shall have accomplished our aim and
frozen up solidly in a few weeks, were the formed the nucleus. If we had five
Gulf Stream deflected from these shores. hundred members in the Society loving
Mines have honeycombed your land, and one another with true hearts, not
a good earthquake might easily shake all criticizing nor condemning, and all bent
your material glories to destruction on one aim with one belief - we could
beneath the sea. What then could remain sweep the whole world with our thoughts.
save the human experience, the experi- And this is our work in the future, the
ence of the soul? But no cataclysm can work traced out for us by those Masters in
destroy your thoughts. They live on. whom so many of us firmly believe.
And so all the work that you do for the
inner life of man can meet with no If we only have patience, what a
destruction, even though records and glorious, wide, and noble prospect open
books and all the ingenious works upon up before us!
this outer plane were swept out of
existence. If then you believe in this Judge. William Q. Theosophical
mighty doctrine of Reincarnation, do not Articles Vol I. page 73-6
be afraid to tell it.
Swami Sivanada Saraswati
But do not, as Theosophists, Marharaj (1887-1963) is a Hindu saint of
confine yourselves to the intellect. The the Sri Swami Visvananda Saraswati
dry or the interesting speculations upon order. Sivanada was born on Thursday,
all the details of cosmogony and the 8th of September 1887 at
anthropology will not save the world. Kuppuswamy. He became a doctor and
They do not cure sorrow nor appeal to practiced in Tiruchi. Later, he embarked
those who feel the grinding stones of fate, for Malaya to continue his work.
and know not why it should be so.
Address yourselves therefore to using He studied the books of Swami
your intellectual knowledge of these high Rama Tirtha, Swami Vivekananda,
matters so as to practically affect the Sankara, Imitation of Christ, the Bible
hearts of men. ... and literatures of the Theosophical
Society. He became proficient in the
We are working with and for the studies of The Gita, Mahabharata,
great unseen, but actual Brotherhood of Bhagavata, and The Ramayana.
Humanity, and in our efforts, if sincere,
will have the aid of those our Brothers In 1923 he renounced his work and

4
became a monk under the care of his guru utilize the helping forces to serve his ends
His Holiness Sri Swami Visvananda in the best possible manner; he can
Saraswati and took on the name of Swami neutralize the antagonistic currents. Just
Sivananda Saraswati. Here he did intense as the fish swims against the current, so
Tapas, observed silence and fasted. He also he will be able to go against the
would spend more than twelve hours in hostile currents by adjusting himself
daily meditation. However, he continued properly and safeguarding himself through
to give service to the sick. He visited the suitable precautionary methods. Other-
huts of the Sadhus with medicines, served wise he becomes a slave, he is tossed
them and shampooed their legs. He about hither and thither helplessly by
begged food on their behalf and fed them various currents. Various hostile forces
with his own hands when they fell sick. drag him in different corners. He drifts
Swamiji practiced all the various Yogas like a wooden plank in a river. He is
and studied the scriptures. After years of always very miserable and unhappy even
intense and unbroken Sadhana, he if he is wealthy and possesses everything
enjoyed the bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. that the world can offer.

Swamiji traveled the whole length The captain of a steamer who has a
and breadth of India during his Parivrajaka mariner’s compass, who has knowledge
(monk) life. In 1936 and opened a 10 bed of the sea, the routes and the oceanic
hospital. He started the Divine Life currents, can sail smoothly. Otherwise
Society. He took Mahasamadhi on the his steamer will drift here and there
14th of July 1963. helplessly and be wrecked by being
dashed against some icebergs or rocks.
Http//www.sivanandadishq.org/saints/ Likewise, a wise sailor in the ocean of
siva.htm this life, who has a detailed knowledge of
the laws of Nature, can sail smoothly and
UNIVERSAL LAW reach the goal of life.

There is no such thing as miracle. Remember that God is neither


Everything that happens is the result of partial nor unjust. You suffer on account
eternal, immutable laws. A knowledge of of your own wicked actions. Every
these universal laws of Nature will help endeavor to attain wealth or power by
one to clearly understand that there is crookedness, cunningness and under-
perfect order in the universe in every- hand dealings will eventually react upon
thing. Even a rank materialist will be your own peace and prosperity. The law
induced to realize the glory of the Lord, of retribution is absolute. Actions and
the Lawgiver, who is hidden in these reactions are equal and opposite. Under-
names and forms. stand the law and live honestly and
truthfully.
Every man should have a compre-
hensive understanding of these laws and Sow the seeds which will bring
their operations, then he can live in this pleasant fruits and which will make you
world smoothly and happily. He can happy herein and hereafter. Do not sow

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the seeds which will bring unpleasant
fruits and which will make you miserable This law of cause and effect is quite
and unhappy in this life or hereafter. Be mysterious. That is the reason why Lord
cautious in doing your daily activity. Krishna says: “Mystery is the path of
Watch every thought, word and action. Go action.” If your finite mind is not able to
to the root and purify the thoughts first. find out the cause in an accident, it does
not mean that there is no cause behind
Prayer, japa, and meditation, study such occurrences.
of philosophical books, pure food,
enquiry and satsang will purify your Understanding the laws of nature
mind and eradicate ignoble and wicked you can mold or shape your character in
thoughts. Observe the vow of silence: anyway you like. “As a man thinks, so he
you will then be able to control your becomes,” is one of the great laws of
speech. ... nature. Think you are pure, pure you will
become. Think you are noble, noble you
Law of Cause and Effect will become. ...

... The unfoldment of life is made up He who has rightly understood this
of succession of events. Events are made law can never do any harm to anybody.
up of their causes and effects. All other He will become an embodiment of
laws of nature are subordinate to this goodness. If you do a wrong action
fundamental law. The sun shines, the fire against an individual, it disturbs the
burns, the river flows, the wind blows, the whole atmosphere. If you entertain an
tree blossoms and bears fruit, the mind evil thought it pollutes the whole
thinks, feels and wills, the brain and the thought-world. That is the reason why
various organs - like the heart, lungs, occultists say: “Cultivate good thoughts.
spleen and kidneys - work in harmony and Eradicate evil thoughts.” Every thought
in strict obedience to this grand law of has a cause behind it. Every action, every
cause and effect. This grand law operates thought, however trivial and insignificant
everywhere on the physical and mental it may be, affects the whole world
planes. No phenomenon can escape from directly or indirectly. That noble soul
the operation of this mighty law. ... who always does good to the world and
entertains sublime thoughts, is a blessing
No event can occur without having to the world at large. He purifies the
a positive definite cause at the back of it. whole world.
The breaking out of war, the rise of a
comet, the occurrence of an earthquake or Suppose for a moment you write
a volcanic eruption, thunder, lightning, some sensational article in some newspa-
floods, diseases of the body, fortune, per. It arouses the emotions and
misfortune - all have definite causes sentiments of the readers. They begin to
behind them. There is no such thing as a do something against the Government. A
chance or accident. The cause is hidden serious riot now ensues. Police forces are
or unknown if you are not able to trace out brought in. Many people are shot. Many
the cause for the particular accident. new rules are framed to check and repress

6
the riots. The parents of those who were life. It gives encouragement to the
killed suffer. This riot produces an effect hopeless and forlorn. It pushes a man to
on the minds of the people of other parts right thinking, right speech and right
of the world also. In fact the whole world action. It brings a brilliant future for that
is affected by a single event. A single man who lives according to this Universal
sensational article has wrought such Law. If all people understand this always
disastrous results. One event may be both correctly and discharge their daily duties
a cause and effect at the same time. The carefully they will rise to sublime heights
endless chain of cause and effect is kept in the ladder of spirituality. They will be
up all throughout. You cannot say that moral and virtuous and have a happy,
this link is useless or unnecessary. peaceful and contented life. They can bear
the burden of worldly life with patience,
This world is a relative plane. It endurance and strength of mind. There
contains good, evil, and a mixture of will not be any room for complaint when
good and evil. This is the reason why they see inequalities in birth, fortune,
Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “Good, intelligence and capacities. There will be
evil and mixed - threefold is the fruit of heaven on earth. ...
action hereafter for the non-relinquisher.”
(XVIII:12) Sivananda. Karma Yoga The main idea of Karma, then, is not
one of punishment for past failures,
There can be neither absolute good mistakes, wrongs and crimes, but that you
nor absolute evil in this world. ... may learn your lesson and gain as quickly
as possible the soul-qualities needed, that
... When you attain knowledge of you may fulfil your destiny, your special
Self, when you annihilate this little mind, place and work in the Grand Plan. Do all
you rest in your own essential nature. services unselfishly without egoism and
May that invisible Law-giver, Brahman, offer them at His feet with devotion. This
guide you in the attainment of final is devotion to the Lord. Samadhi will
beatitude of life! ... supervene of its own accord. ...

... If you do good to a man you are Law of Action and Reaction
really helping yourself. You are really
doing good to yourself because there is The grand law of causation in-
nothing but the Self. This virtuous action cludes the law of action and reaction, the
will react upon you with equal force and law of compensation and the law of
effect. It will bring you joy and retribution. If there is an action, there
happiness. ... must be a reaction. The reaction will be
of equal force and of a similar nature. The
Only the doctrine of Karma can world war brought out a strong reaction.
explain the mysterious problem of good There was depression in trade and the
and evil in this world. Only the doctrine of money market was tight. There was no
Karma can bring solace, contentment and peace in the country. People were not
strength to the afflicted and the desparate. happy. Many lives were lost.
It solves our difficulties and problems of

7
Every thought, desire, imagination causation, the law of action and reaction,
and sentiment causes reaction. Virtue the law of compensation and the law of
brings its own reward; vice brings its own retribution all operate together. He who
punishment. If I radiate joy to others, if I robs another robs himself. He who hurts
relieve the sufferings of others, I will another man hurts himself first. He who
doubtless get joy. If I hurt another man, if cheats another cheats himself first. Every
I cause misery and pain to another, I will wrong action causes punishment first in
in turn get misery and pain. God neither the inner nature or soul and externally in
punishes the wicked nor rewards the circumstances in the form of pain, misery,
virtuous. It is their own karmas that bring loss, failure, misfortune, disease, etc.
reward and punishment. It is the law of
action and reaction that brings the fruits. God never punishes the wicked nor
No one is to be blamed. The law operates rewards the virtuous. It is their own
everywhere with unceasing precision and karmas that bring reward and punish-
scientific accuracy. ment. Man is ignorant. He is swayed by
impulses, wrath, passion, attachment,
The law of action and reaction pride and repulsion. He does various
operates both in the physical and mental sorts of wicked actions. His intellect
planes. ... The character or personality of becomes perverted. He loses his
an individual is the total result of collective memory. His understanding gets clouded
totality of pervious mental action. Thoughts by selfishness and greed. He does not
change, habits change, character also know what he is exactly doing. Later on
changes. Our present character is the he repents. Discipline of the senses is
outcome of our past, and our future will be necessary. He should remember the law
shaped by our present acts. Man creates of causation, the law of action and
his own character and destiny. reaction, and the law of retribution at
every step, at every moment of his daily
Karma is insentient. There must be life. He should control his emotions and
a dispenser to allot the fruits for the impulses through the practice of
thoughts and actions of jivas. ... pranayama and meditation. ...

He who thoroughly understands this Law of Resistance


grand law of action and reaction will never
do any wrong action, because he knows If you eat a mango, if you do any
that it will react upon him and bring misery kind of work, it produces an impression
and pain. ... Dear friends! Understand this in the subconscious mind. This
law. Never violate it. Act according to the impression is called samskara. Whatever
law and rest in peace. ... you see, hear, feel, smell or taste causes
impressions. The acts of breathing,
Law of Retribution thinking, feeling and willing produce
impressions. These impressions are
Every wrong action or crime brings indestructible. They can only be fried in
its own punishment, in accordance with toto by asamprajnata samadhi. ... Control
the law of retribution. The Law of of habits is control of nature. ...

8
If a new healthy habit is introduced Any deed or thought that causes an
even once and if you make even a single effect is called a karma. Wherever there is
attempt in planting a new good habit, the a cause, there an effect must be produced.
good habit will grow gradually. It will A seed is a cause for the tree which is the
also assert itself to gain a seat in the body effect. The tree produces seeds and
and mind. It will work itself till it gets becomes the cause for the seeds.
perfect success and defeats the old,
morbid habit. This is another law of Man is threefold in his nature. He
nature. ... If you struggle very hard the consists of knowing, feeling and willing.
new good habits will establish them- These fashion his karma. He knows objects
selves quickly. You will have rapid like chair, tree, etc. He feels joy and sorrow.
progress in the spiritual path. The pure, He wills to do this, or not to do that.
strong, irresistible will is bound to
succeed ultimately. It can do anything. Behind the action there are desire
Its powers are ineffable and wonderful. and thought. A desire for an object arises
in the mind; then you think how to get it
Sivananda. Karma Yoga. pages and then you exert to possess it. Desire,
102- 120 thought and action always go together.
They are the three threads, as it were, that
What is Karma? are twisted into the cord of karma.

The word ‘karma’ has several Desire produces karma. You work
meanings. In a broad sense it means and exert to acquire the object of your
action. It also means duty which one has desire. Karma produces its fruits as pain or
to perform according to his station of life. pleasure. You will have to take birth after
Karma means not only action, but also the birth to reap the fruits of your karmas.
result of an action. The consequence of This is the Law of Karma. (page 2)
an action is not really a separate thing. It
is a part of the action and cannot be Karma Yoga:
divided from it. Breathing, thinking,
talking, seeing, hearing, eating etc., are Karma yoga is the process of right
karmas. Thinking is mental karma. understanding in the performance of
Karma is the energy which an embodied action as worship of the Cosmic Being in
being generates - be it vital, mental, or and through dynamic selfless service of
moral - which keeps him in the mundane one’s fellow beings. It prepares the mind
world. for the reception of light or knowledge, it
expands the heart and breaks all barriers
Karma is the sum total of our acts, that stand in the way of unity or oneness.
both in the present life and in the He who does selfless work becomes a
preceding births. It has a deep meaning powerful yogi.
also. It signifies the destiny or the
storehouse of tendencies in man which A karma yogi knows the secret of
give rise to a man’s future birth. work. He develops a strong will and

9
strong character. He does not allow any Reform yourself first, then the whole
energy to be frittered away unnecessarily. world can be reformed. How can you
He knows the science of self-restraint. help the world when you yourself are
He conserves and regulates energy and weak and ignorant. It will be like a blind
utilizes that energy for good purposes man leading another blind man. Both
that can bring maximum good to a great must fall into a deep abyss.
number of people. This is skill in action
which the Bhagavad Gita speaks of in What is the object of service? Why
Chapter II. do you serve the poor and needy and
suffering humanity at large? Why do you
Every work is a mixture of good serve society and the country? Service
and evil. There can be neither absolute keeps you quite fit and healthy. Service
good work nor absolute bad work in this gives you immeasurable joy. Service
world. The physical universe is a relative prepares you to take up Vedanta. Service
plane. If you do some action it will do generates unity. Service pleases the
some good in one corner and some evil in gods. Service gives you longevity.
another corner. You must try to do such Therefore serve, serve, serve with the
actions that can bring maximum good and feeling that everything is the Self. By
minimum of evil. Good work will doing the service you purify your heart.
produce a good effect and bad work will Karma yoga is the yoga of action which
produce a bad effect. But, if you know purifies the heart and prepares the heart
the secret of work, the technique of karma and mind for the reception of divine light
yoga, you will be absolutely free from the or attainment of knowledge of the Self.
bondage of karma. That secret is to work
without any attachment and egoism. The The man who serves the world
central teaching of the Bhagavad Gita is really serves himself. The man who helps
non-attachment to work. others really helps himself. ... You will
have to serve humanity without any
You cannot remove completely all attachment or egoism. Egoism, hatred,
evils from this world. Just as in gout and jealousy, the idea of superiority, and all
rheumatism the pain and swelling shift the kindred negative qualities will vanish.
from one joint to another, and if one boil Humility, pure love, sympathy, tolerance
is cured another crops up in another and mercy will be developed. The sense
place, so also if one evil is eradicated in of separateness will annihilated. Selfish-
one place another evil manifests in ness will be eradicated. You will get a
another place. ... broad and liberal outlook on life. You
will begin to feel oneness and unity.
This world is very crooked. It is Eventually you will obtain knowledge of
like the tail of a dog. As soon as you take the Self. You will realize ‘One in all’ and
away your hands it will again become ‘all in One.’ You will feel unbounded
crooked. So many yogis, teachers, saints joy. (page 3-4)
and prophets came into this world and
preached. Still it is crooked; it is in the Karma yoga purifies the heart and
same stage. This can never be done. prepares the mind for the dawn of

10
knowledge (jnana). (page 19) spirit of restlessness slowly creeps in.
The quality of restlessness creates
Bhavana (Inner Attitude) selfishness and attachment ... page 25

You should practice for Bhavanas You do not lose anything in karma
yoga. Even if you do a little service to the
1. Samatva-bhavana: The atti- country or to society or to poor sick
tude of equanimity, which is character- people, it brings its own advantage and
ized by extreme tolerance and patience, benefits. it purifies your heart and
an absence of any feeling of grudge or of prepares the mind and heart for the
silent feeling of remorse while doing the reception of knowledge of Atma. The
service. It is working without the impressions of these good actions are
consideration, “This is inferior work; that indelibly imbedded in your subconscious
is superior work. ... mind. The force of these impressions will
again propel you to do some more good
2. Nimitta-bhavna: The feel- actions. Sympathy, love and the spirit of
ing “I am only an instrument in the hands patriotism and service will be developed.
of the Lord.” [Theosophists can substi- Nothing is lost when the candle burns.
tute Master, Nature, or Truth, (Marty)]
Study the autobiography of Ma-
3. Nishkama-bhavana: Untir- hatma Gandhi. He never made any
ing and ungrudging selfless service difference between menial service and
without expectation of the fruit, or of a dignified work. Scavenging and cleaning
reward; non-expectation of thanks or of the latrine was the highest yoga and
gratitude; giving up the idea “I served worship for him. page 29
him, I help him, “ feeling. instead, “He
gave me an opportunity for service. I am Distribute Knowledge: The High-
grateful to him. est Service

4. Atma-bhavana: The feeling Ignorant man foolishly imagines


that everything is the Self. ... Offer all that knowledge comes from without. It is
work as service to the Self. Each action is a sad mistake. All knowledge comes
a flower offered to the Self. Serve the from within. This external universe is
enemy seeing the Self in him also. page 5 nothing. It is a mere drop or dot in the
infinite. It is like a footprint of a calf.
Restlessness Creates Selfishness: What you get from outside is a simple
suggestion or external stimulus. The
The mind is so framed that it cannot whole magazine of knowledge is within,
think of any kind of work without in the Atman or the Self. Atman is the
remuneration or reward. This is due to storehouse for knowledge. An external
restlessness. Human nature is always like suggestion strikes against the source and
this. When discrimination dawns, when causes ignition, and knowledge flashes
the mind is filled with some more sattva out. All spiritual and yoga practices aim
or purity, this nature changes slowly. The at removing the veil only. When the veil

11
is removed, when the curtain drops, when misconceptions lies in the very last sentence. I
the sheaths are torn asunder, the seeker have heard Theosophists criticize those doing
shines in divine glory. He gets good works. I have even heard this criticism of
knowledge of the Self. The whole Mother Teresa.
mystery of liberation, the whole knowl-
edge of Atman is reveled like a fruit in the Remember that a “Saint” can feed the hungry and
hand. build hospitals and distribute food and clothing. A
saint has the knowledge of the Self and can
The greatest help or service you can mysteriously transmit this knowledge while doing
do to the world is the imparting of these good works. Knowledge of the Self lies
knowledge of the Self. Spiritual help is within and it is within that this knowledge is
the highest help you can render to transmitted. A karma yogi who practices the
mankind. The root cause of human “Bhavanas” of karma yoga and works on knowing
sufferings is ignorance. If you can Himself is also distributing the knowledge he is
remove this ignorance in man, then only attaining within, while doing good works by
can he be eternally happy. That sage who feeding the hungry and building the hospitals. We
tries to remove the ignorance is the must be careful not to confuse mere “talk of the
highest benefactor in the world. Self” with the actual practice.

If you remove the hunger of man by


giving food, it is only temporary physical
help. It is removal of physical want for David Reigle writes:
three hours. Then the hunger again
manifests. The man remains in the same Dear Dick,
miserable state. Building of hospitals,
dharamsalas and kitchens for distribution I had wanted to reply earlier to
of free food, clothes, etc. are not the “The Discrepancies” in regard to the
highest kind of help. Miseries are not Alice Bailey teachings, published in your
eradicated. The world continues to April 2001 issue, and do so now with the
remain in a miserable state, even if you thought that better late than never.
build millions of hospitals and feeding
places. We must all determine for our-
selves what teachings are in harmony
Get knowledge of the Self, with the Theosophical teachings, and the
distribute this knowledge everywhere comparative method is one of the most
and remove the ignorance in man and useful ways to do this. But as we all
evils can be completely eliminated. know, this method can be misleading,
page 64-65 since it usually does not take into account
the entire output of particular authors.
Sivananda. Karma Yoga. pages 1-
5, 19, 29, 64-65 If one had to choose a single word
to characterize the entire Alice Bailey
Marty writes: There lies some misconception in output, it would be “service.” These
the above paragraphs. The understanding of these books constantly speak of the need to

12
serve others, rather than to concentrate on THE SECRET DOCTRINE QUESTION
one’s own development. There are only
AND ANSWER SECTION
two other systems on earth where this
CONDUCTED BY GEOFFREY A.
teaching is central: Mahayana Buddhism
BARBORKA
and Theosophy.
Readers of The Canadian Theosophist are
This basic fact provides strong invited to participate in this feature by sending
support for the idea that one of these their questions c/o The Editors to be forwarded
actually is the source of the Alice Bailey to Mr. Barborka.
teachings. These teachings are attributed
to “the Tibetan,” who as such would Question. In regard to the recent
likely have been a Mahayana Buddhist. earthtakes which have been happening around
Theosophy in turn championed the the world, to mention a few: in Southern
Mahayana Buddhist Bodhisattva ideal, California, in Jugoslavia, in Turkey, in Italy, in
giving this to the world in the beautiful Chile. What does The Secret Doctrine have to
form of The Voice of the Silence. say about earthquakes?
In this, the most important sense,
there is no discrepancy between the Alice Answer. The Secret Doctrine is especially
Bailey teachings and Theosophy. Both concerned with cataclysmic earthquakes which
teach, above all, the path of altruism or result in complete changes of the face of the
service to others. earth.

We respond: This letter could not have “The continents perish in turn by
come at a more appropriate time with the fire and water: either through earth-
discussion of Karma Yoga. We need to consider quakes and volcanic eruptions, or by
these points when comparing Theosophy with any sinking and the great displacement of
religion. We still say: “One can serve others while
waters. Our continents have to perish
he is working on his own Self Development.” We
owing to the former cataclysmal
therefore issue this challenge:
process. The incessant earthquakes of
“Name me one `Enlightened Saint’ who died
this and the past years may be a
just after his enlightenment without ever giving warning.” (S.D. II, 776 fn.; II, 820 3rd
service to suffering humanity.” In fact, we don’t ed.; IV, 345 6-vol. ed. -- written in
think they could have become “enlightened” 1888).
without rendering some service to others.
As to the causes of earthquakes and other
We need to take a deeper look at the disasters on earth:
definition of a Pratyeka Buddha in a future issue.
“We are assured by Archaic
Scientists that all such geological
cataclysms-from the unheaval of oceans,
deluges, and shifting of continents,
down to the present year’s cyclones,
hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic erup-

13
tions, tidal waves, and even the sanctuary knew anything certain either
extraordinary weather and seeming as to its duration or particulars. The
shifting of seasons which perplexes all Winter of this year was called the
European and American meteorolo- Cataclysm or the Deluge-the Summer.
gists -are due to, and depend on the the Ecpyrosis. The popular traditions
moon and planets; aye, that even taught that at these alternate seasons the
modest and neglected constellations world was in turn burned and deluged.
have the greatest influence on the This is what we learn at least from the
meteorological and cosmical changes, Astronomical Fragments of Censorinus
over, and within our earth, let us give and Seneca.” (Isis Unveiled, I, 30-1)
one moment’s attention to our sidereal
despots and rulers of our globe and Question. Has H. P. Blavatsky given any
men. Modern Science denies any such hint about the time-period involved in these
influence; archaic Science affirms it.” cyclical cataclysmal events? What about the
(S.D. II, 699; II, 738-9 3rd ed.; IV, 268- 16,000 year period which was mentioned in The
9, 6-vol. ed.) Secret Doctrine?

Elsewhere H. P. Blavatsky refers to a Answer. A 16,000 year period is indeed


passage in Isis Unveiled which should be read in mentioned on page 331 of Volume II. Let us see
this connection: if it is applicable to the period here referred to,
by quoting some paragraphs relating thereto.
At the close of what Censorinus But first the significance of “Vaivasvata Manu’s
wrote should be called the “greatest Humanity” and “Sub-races” should be ex-
year”, “. . . our planet is subjected to a plained. Vaivasvata is the name of one of the
thorough physical revolution. The Manus, who are regarded by the Brahmans as
polar and equatorial climates gradually Rectors or Planetary Watchers of the Earth.
exchange places; the former moving There are 14 Manus and they are regarded as
slowly toward the Line, and the tropical supervisors of the Rounds. Vaivasvata is the
zone, with its exuberant vegetation and Root-Manu of the Fourth Round. Consequently
swarming animal life, replacing the Vaivasvata Manu’s Humanity signifies the First
forbidding wastes of the icy poles. This Root-Race of the Fourth Round on this Earth. A
change of climate is necessarily Sub-race does not indicate a race which is lower
attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, in degree or in a lower evolutionary stage. Using
and other cosmical throes. As the beds the terminology of Root-Races as equivalent in
of the ocean are displaced, at the end of meaning to a Major Evolutionary Develop-
every decimillennium and about one mental Stage, then each Root-Race is composed
neros, a semi-universal deluge like the of Seven Sub-races-which indicates seven
legendary Noachian flood is also minor evolutionary developmental stages to one
brought about.” major evolutionary stage. A Family Race
represents a racial group which exists for a
But in regard to the `greatest year’ period of approximately 30,000 years.
of Censorinus, “. . . no one outside the

14
“Thus, since Vaivasvata Manu’s
Humanity appeared on this Earth, there True, the non-occultist has the
have already been four such axial disadvantage that he has no such far
disturbances; when the old continents- distant times to rely upon. He knows
save the first one-were sucked in by the nothing, through exact Science, of what
oceans, other lands appeared, and huge took place nearly 10,000 years ago; yet
mountain chains arose where there had he may find consolation in the
been none before. knowledge or-if he so prefers-specula-
tion on the fate of every one of the
The face of the Globe was modern nations he knows of-about
completely changed each time; the 16,000 years hence.
survival of the fittest nations and races Our meaning is very clear. Every
was secured through timely help; and sidereal year the tropics recede from the
the unfit ones-the failures-were dis- pole four degrees in each revolution
posed of by being swept off the earth. from the equinoctial points, as the
Such sorting and shifting does not equator rounds through the Zodiacal
happen between sunset and sunrise, as constellations.
one may think, but requires several
thousands of years before the new Now, as every astronomer knows,
house is set in order. at present the tropic is only twenty-
three degrees and a fraction less than
“The Sub-races are subject to the half a degree from the equator. Hence it
same cleansing process, as also the side has still 21/2, degrees to run before the
branchlets (the family Races). Let one, end of the Sidereal year; which gives
well acquainted with astronomy and humanity in general, and our civilized
mathematics, throw a retrospective races in particular, a reprieve of about
glance into the twilight and shadows of 16,000 years.” (S.D. II, 330-1; II, 345
the Past. 3rd ed.; III, 329-30 6-vol. ed.)

Let him observe, take notes of Question. In connection with the reference
what he knows of the history of peoples to America and the races: is it to the Sixth Root-
and nations, and collate their respective Race or to the Sub-race?
rises and falls with what is known of
astronomic cycles-especially with the Answer. The Secret Doctrine’s statement
Sidereal yeari, equal to 25,868 of our definitely mentioned the Sixth Sub-race,
solar years. although it specified the germs of the Subrace
not the Sub-race itself, and that the Americans
If the observer is gifted with the had become a nation apart.
faintest intuition, then will he find how
the weal and woe of nations is “Pure Anglo-Saxons hardly three hundred
intimately connected with the begin- years ago, the Americans of the United States
ning and close of this sidereal cycle. have already become a nation apart, and, owing

15
to a strong admixture of various nationalities
and intermarriage, almost a race sui generis, not Question. Is not the Kama principle just as
only mentally, but also physically. ... dual as the Manas principle? Should not both be
recognized as equally important in evolution as
‘Thus the Americans have become in only instruments for the soul, so to speak?
three centuries a ‘primary race, pro tem., before
becoming a race apart, and strongly separated Answer. Yes, certainly. It all depends upon
from all other now existing races. how the principle of Kama is used as to whether
the results will be for good or the reverse. The
They are, in short, the germs of the Sixth same is true in regard to the Mind principle,
sub-race, and in some few hundred years more, Manas. The Sanskrit word Kama is derived from
will become most decidedly the pioneers of that a verbal root kam, meaning to wish, to desire;
race which must succeed to the present hence Kama is rendered the Desire Principle.
European or fifth sub-race, in all its new But it is also the energic principle, that which is
characteristics. involved in the wish to achieve, to attain, or to
better one-self. H. P. Blavatsky has excellently
After this, in about 25,000 years, they will brought out the dual aspects of Kama:
launch into preparations for the seventh sub-
race; until, in consequence of cataclysms-the “As the Eros of Hesiod, degraded
first series of those which must one day destroy into Cupid by exoteric law, and still
Europe, and still later the whole Aryan race (and more degraded by a later popular sense
thus affect both Americas), as also most of the attributed to the term, so is Kama a most
lands directly connected with the confines of our mysterious and metaphysical subject.
continent and isles-the Sixth Root-Race will
have appeared on the stage of our Round. The earlier Vedic description of
Kama alone gives the keynote to what
he emblematizes. Kama is the first
When shall this be? Who knows save the conscious, all embracing desire for
great Masters of Wisdom, perchance, and they universal good, love, and for all that
are as silent upon the subject as the snow capped lives and feels, needs help and
peaks that tower above them. All we know is, kindness, the first feeling of infinite
that it will silently come into existence; so tender compassion and mercy that
silently, indeed, that for long millenniums shall arose in the consciousness of the
its pioneers-the peculiar children who will grow creative ONE FORCE, as soon as it
into peculiar men and women-be regarded as came into life and being as a ray from
anomalous lusus naturae, abnormal oddities the ABSOLUTE.
physically and mentally.
Says the Rig-Veda, ‘Desire first
“This process of preparation for the Sixth arose in IT, which was the primal germ
great Race must last throughout the whole sixth of mind, and which Sages, searching
and seventh sub-races.” (S.D. II, 444-5; II, 463- with their intellect, have discovered in
4 3rd ed.; III, 442-3 6-vol. ed. ) their heart to be the bond which

16
connects Entity with non-Entity,’ or The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Manas with pure Atma-Buddhi.
“The Book of the Spiritual Man”
There is no idea of sexual love in An Interpretation by Charles Johnston
the conception.
20. For the others, there is spiritual
Kama is preeminently the divine consciousness, led up to by faith, valour, right
desire of creating happiness and love; mindfulness, one-pointedness, perception.
and it is only ages later, as mankind
began to materialize by It is well to keep in mind these steps on the
anthropomorphization its grandest ide- path to illumination: faith, valour, right
als into cut and dried dogmas, that mindfulness, one-pointedness, perception. Not
Kama became the power that gratifies one can be dispensed with; all must be won. First
desire on the animal plane. This is faith; and then from faith, valour; from valour,
shown by what every Veda and some right mindfulness; from right mindfulness, a
Brahmanas say. In the Atharva-Veda, vision as the soul.
Kama is represented as the Supreme
Deity and Creator. In the Taitariya-
Brahmana, he is the child of Dharma, 21. Spiritual consciousness is nearest to
the god of Law and Justice, of Sraddha those of keen, intense will.
and faith.” (The Theosophical Glos-
sary, pp. 170-1). The image used is the swift impetus of the
torrent; the kingdom must be taken by force.
However, of even greater significance is Firm will comes only through effort; effort is
the concept presented in the Esoteric Philosophy inspired by faith. The great secret is this: it is not
in regard to Kama: that it has seven aspects; for enough to have intuitions; we must act on them;
that matter, each one of the seven principles we must live them.
forming the human constitution has seven
aspects.That is to say, each one of the seven
principles may be subdivided into seven, each 22. The will may be weak, or of middle
one of the subdivisions representing an aspect of strength, or intense. Therefore there is a
the seven principles. As stated in The Mahatma spiritual consciousness higher than this.
Letters to A. P. Sinnett:
For those of weak will, there is this
“Every element having its seven counsel: to be faithful in obedience, to live the
principles and every principle its seven life, and thus to strengthen the will to more
sub-principles ...” (p.90, 3rd edition) perfect obedience. The will is not ours, but
God’s, and we come into it only through
obedience. As we enter into the spirit of God, we
are permitted: to share the power of God. Higher
From The Candian Theosophist, than the three stages of the way is the goal, the
Vol. 52, No. 4 Sept., 1971 end of the way.
(To be continued)
17
the Teacher of all souls, which, by their entrance
into the Oversoul, by realizing their oneness
23. Or spiritual consciousness may be with the Oversoul, have inherited the kingdom
gained by ardent service of the Master. of the Light. For the Oversoul is before Time,
and Time, father of all else, is one of His
If we think of our lives as tasks laid on us children.
by the Master of Life. If we look on all duties as
parts of that Master’s work, entrusted to us, and
forming our life-work; then, if we obey, 27. His word is OM.
promptly, loyally, sincerely, we shall enter by
degrees into the Master’s life and share the OM: the symbol of the Three in One, the
Master’s power. Thus we shall be initiated into three worlds in the Soul; the three times, past,
the spiritual will. present, future, in Eternity; the three Divine
Powers, Creation, Preservation, Transforma-
tion, in the one Being; the three essences,
24. The Master is the spiritual man, who is immortality, omniscience, joy, in the one Spirit.
free from hindrances, bondage to works, and the This is the Word, the Symbol, of the Master and-
fruition and seed of works. Lord, the perfected; Spiritual Man.

The Soul of the Master, the Lord, is of the


same nature as the soul in us; but we still bear the 28. Let there be soundless repetition of
burden of many evils, we are in bondage through OM and meditation thereon.
our former works, we are under the dominance
of sorrow. The Soul of the Master is free from This has many meanings, in ascending
sin and servitude and, sorrow. degrees. There is, first, the potency of the word
itself, as of all words. Then there is the manifold
significance of the symbol, as suggested above.
25. In the Master is the perfect seed of Lastly, there is the spiritual realization of the
Omniscience. high essences thus symbolized. Thus we rise
step by step to the Eternal.
The Soul of the Master is in essence one
with the Oversoul, and therefore partaker of the
Oversoul’s all-wisdom and all-power. All 29. Thence come the awakening of interior
spiritual attainment rests on this, and is possible consciousness, and the removal of barriers.
because the soul and the Oversoul are One.
Here again faith must be supplemented by
works, the life must be led as well as studied
26. He is the Teacher of all who have gone before the full meaning can be understood. The
before, since he is not limited by Time. awakening of spiritual consciousness can only
be understood in measure as it is entered. It can
only be entered where the conditions are
In the beginning, the Oversoul has been present: purity of heart, and strong aspiration,

18
and the resolute conquest of each sin. a psychic state, a barrier to the interior
This, however, may easily be understood consciousness of the spiritual man.
that the recognition of the three worlds as resting
in the Soul leads us to realize ourselves and all life
as of the Soul; that, as we dwell, not in past, 31. Grieving, despondency, bodily rest-
present or future, but in the Eternal, we become lessness, the drawing in and sending forth of the
more at one with the Eternal that, as we view all life-breath, also contribute to drive the psychic
organization, preservation, mutation as the work nature to and fro.
of the Divine One, we shall come more into
harmony with the One, and thus remove the The first two moods are easily understood.
barriers in our path toward the Light. We can well see how a sodden psychic
In the second part of the first book, the condition, flagrantly opposed to the pure and
problem of the emergence of the spiritual man is positive joy of spiritual life, would be a barrier.
further dealt with. We are led to the consideration The next, bodily restlessness, is in a special way
of the barriers to his emergence of the overcoming the fault of our day and generation. When it is
of the barriers, and of certain steps and stages in the conquered, mental restlessness will be half
ascent from the ordinary consciousness of conquered, too. The next two terms, concerning
practical life, to the finer, deeper, radiant the lifebreath, offer some difficulty. The surface
consciousness of the spiritual man. meaning is harsh and irregular breathing; the
deeper meaning is a life of harsh and irregular
impulses. .
30. The barriers to interior consciousness,
which drive the psychic nature this way and
that, are these: sickness, inertia, doubt, light- 32. Steady application to a principle is the
mindedness, laziness, intemperance, false way to put a stop to these.
notions, inability to reach a stage of meditation,
or to hold it when reached. The will, which, in its pristine state, was
full of vigour, has been steadily corrupted by
We must remember that we are consider- self-indulgence, the seeking of moods and
ing the spiritual man as enwrapped and sensations for sensation’s sake. Hence come all
enmeshed by the psychic nature, the emotional the morbid and sickly moods of the mind. The
and mental powers; and as unable stand and see remedy is a return to the pristine state of the will,
clearly, because of the psychic veils of the by vigorous, positive effort; or, as we are here
personality. Nine of these are enumerated, and told by steady application to a principle. The
they go pretty thoroughly into the brute principle to which we should thus steadily apply
toughness of the psychic nature. Sickness is ourselves should be one arising from the reality
included rather for its effect on the emotions and of spiritual life: valorous work for- the soul, in
mind, since bodily infirmity, such as blindness others as in ourselves.
or deafness, is no insuperable barrier to spiritual
life, and may sometimes be a help, as cutting off
distractions. It will be well for us to ponder over 33. By sympathy with the happy,
each of these nine activities, thinking of each as compassion for the sorrowful, delight in the

19
holy, disregard of the unholy, the psychic nature
moves to gracious peace. 36. As also will a joyful, radiant spirit.

When we are wrapped up in ourselves, There is no such illusion as -gloomy


shrouded with the cloak of our egotism, pessimism, and it has been truly said that a
absorbed in our pains and bitter thoughts, we are man’s cheerfulness is the measure of his faith,
not willing to disturb or strain our own sickly Gloom, despondency, the pale cast of thought,
mood by giving kindly sympathy to the happy, are very amenable to the will, Sturdy and
thus doubling their joy, or by showing courageous effort will bring a clear and valorous
compassion for the sad, thus halving their mind. But it must always be remembered that
sorrow. We refuse to find delight in holy things, this is not for solace to the personal man, but is
and, let the mind brood in sad, pessimism on rather an offering to the ideal of spiritual life, a
unholy things. All these evil psychic moods contribution to the universal and universally
must be conquered by strong effort of will. This shared treasure in heaven.
rending of the veils will reveal to us something
of the grace and peace which are of the interior
consciousness of the spiritual man. 37. Or the purging of self-indulgence from
the psychic nature.

34. Or peace may be reached by the even We must recognize that the fall of man is a
sending forth and control of the life-breath. reality, exemplified in our own persons. We
have quite other sins than the animals, and far
Here again we may look for a double more deleterious; and they have all come
meaning: first, that even and quiet breathing through self-indulgence, with which our psychic
which is a part of the victory over bodily natures are soaked through and through. As we
restlessness, then the even and, quiet tenor of climbed down bill for our pleasure, so must we
life, without harsh or dissonant impulses, which climb up again for our purification and
brings stillness to the heart. restoration to our former high estate. The
process is painful, perhaps, yet indispensable.

35. Faithful, persistent application to any


object, if completely attained, will bind the mind 38. Or a pondering on the perceptions
to steadiness. gained in dreams and dreamless sleep.

We are still considering how to overcome For the Eastern sages, dreams are, it is
the wavering and perturbation of the psychic true, made up of images of waking life,
nature, which make it quite unfit to transmit the reflections of what the eyes have seen and the
inward consciousness and stillness. We are once ears heard. But dreams are something more, for
more told to use the will, and to train it by steady the images are in a sense real, objective on their
and persistent work: by “sitting close” to our own plane: and the knowledge that there is
work, in the phrase of the original. another world, even a dream-world, lightens the
tyranny of material life. Much of poetry and art

20
is such a solace from dreamland. But there is consciousness, like a pure crystal, takes the
more in dream, for it may image what is above, colour of what it rests on, whether that be the
as well as what is below, not only the children of perceiver, perceiving, or the thing perceived.
men, but also the children by the shore of the
immortal sea, that brought us hither, may throw This is a fuller expression of the last Sutra,
their images on this magic mirror: so, too, of the and is so lucid that comment can hardly add to it.
secrets of dreamless sleep with its pure, vision, Everything is either perceiver, perceiving, or the
in even greater degree. thing perceived; or, as we might say,
consciousness, force, or matter. The sage tells us
that the one key will unlock the secrets of all
39. Or meditative brooding on what is three, the secrets of consciousness, force and
dearest to the, heart. matter alike. The thought is, that the cordial
sympathy of a gentle heart, intuitively
Here is a thought which our own day is understanding the hearts of other, is really a
beginning to grasp: that love is a form of manifestation of the same power as that
knowledge: that we truly know any thing or any penetrating perception whereby one divines the
person, by becoming one therewith, in love. secrets of planetary motions or atomic structure.
Thus love has a wisdom that the mind cannot
claim, and by this hearty love, this becoming one
with what is beyond our personal borders, we 42. When the consciousness, poised in
may take a long step toward freedom. Two perceiving, blends together the name, the object
directions for this may be suggested: the pure dwelt on and the idea, this is perception with
love of the artist for his work, and the exterior consideration.
compassionate search into the hearts of others.
In the first stage of the consideration of an
external object, the perceiving mind comes to it,
40. Thus he masters all, from the atom to preoccupied by the name and idea convention-
the Infinite. ally associated with that object. For example, in
coming to the study of a book, we think of the
Newton was asked how he made his author, his period, the school to which he
discoveries. By intending my mind on them, he belongs. The second stage, set forth in the next
replied. This steady pressure, this becoming one Sutra, goes directly, to the spiritual meaning of
with what we seek to understand, whether it be the book, setting its traditional trappings aside
atom or soul, is the one means to know. When and finding its application to our own
we become a thing, we really know it, not experience and problems.
otherwise. Therefore live the life, to know the The commentator takes a very simple
doctrine: do the will of the Father, if you would illustration: a cow, where one considers, in the
know the Father. first stage, the name of the cow, the animal itself
and the idea of a cow in the mind. In the second
stage, one pushes these trappings aside and,
41. When the perturbations of the psychic entering into the inmost being of the cow, shares
nature have all been stilled, then the its consciousness, as do some of the artists who

21
paint cows. They get at the very life of what they degrees, to that pure nature which has no
study and paint. distinguishing mark.

As we ascend from outer material things


43. When the object dwells in the mind, which are permeated by separateness, and
clear of memory-pictures, uncoloured by the whose chief characteristic is to be separate, just
mind, as a pure luminous idea, this is perception as so many pebbles are separate from each other;
without exterior consideration. as we ascend, first, to mind images, which
overlap and coalesce in both space and, time,
We are still considering external, visible and then to ideas and principles, we finally come
objects. Such perception as is here described- is to purer essences, drawing ever nearer and
of the nature of that penetrating vision whereby nearer to unity.
Newton, intending his mind on things, ‘made his Or we may illustrate this principle thus.
discoveries, or that whereby a really great Our bodily, external selves are quite distinct and
portrait painter pierces to the soul of him whom separate, in form, name, place, substance; our
he paints, and makes that soul live on canvas. mental selves, of finer substance, meet and part,
These stages of perception are described in this meet and part again, in perpetual concussion and
way, to lead the mind up to an understanding of interchange; our spiritual selves attain true
the piercing soul-vision of the spiritual man, the consciousness through unity, where the parti-
immortal. tion wall between us and the Highest, between
us and others, is broken down and we are all
made perfect in the One. The highest riches are
44. The same two steps, when referring to possessed by all pure souls, only when united.
things of finer substance, are said to be with, or Thus we rise from separation to true
without, judicial action of the mind. individuality in unity.

We now come to mental or psychical


objects: to images in the mind. It is precisely by 46. The above are the degrees of limited
comparing, arranging and superposing these and conditioned spiritual consciousness, still
mind-images that we get our general notions or containing the seed of separateness.
concepts. This process of analysis and synthesis,
whereby we select certain qualities in a group of In the four stages of perception above
mind-images, and then range together those of described, the spiritual vision is still working
like quality, is the judicial action of the mind through the mental and psychical, the inner
spoken of. But when we exercise swift genius is still expressed through the outer,
divination upon the mind-images, as does a poet personal man. The spiritual man has yet to come
or a man of genius, then we use a power higher completely to consciousness as himself, in his
than the judicial, and one nearer to the keen own realm, the psychical veils laid aside
vision of the spiritual man. .

47. When pure perception without judicial


45. Subtle substance rises in ascending action of the mind is reached, there follows the

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gracious peace of the inner self. what he has at heart.

We have instanced certain types of this


pure perception: the poet’s divination, whereby 50. The impress on the consciousness
he sees the spirit within the symbol, likeness in springing from this perception supersedes all
things unlike, and beauty in all things; the pure previous impressions.
insight of the true philosopher, whose vision
rests not on the appearances of life, but on its Each state or field of the mind, each field
realities; or the saint’s firm perception of of knowledge, so to speak, which is reached by
spiritual life and being. All these are far mental and emotional energies, is a psychical
advanced on the way; they have drawn near to state, just as the mind picture of a stage with the
the secret dwelling of peace. actors on it, is a psychical state or field. When
the pure vision, as of the poet, the philosopher,
the saint, fills the whole field, all lesser views
48. In that peace, perception is unfailingly and visions are crowded out. This high
true. consciousness displaces all lesser conscious-
ness. Yet, in a certain sense, that which is
The poet, the wise philosopher and the viewed as part, even by the vision of a sage, has
saint not only reach a wide and luminous still an element of illusion, a thin psychical, veil,
consciousness, but they gain certain knowledge however pure and luminous that veil may be. It
of substantial reality. When we know, we know is the last and highest psychic state.
that we know. For we have come to the stage
where we know things by being them, and
nothing can be more true than being. We rest on 51. When this impression ceases, then,,
the rock, and know it to be rock, rooted in the since all impressions have ceased, there arises
very heart of the world. pure spiritual consciousness, with no seed of
separateness, left.

49. The object of this perception is other The last psychic veil is drawn aside, and
than what is learned from the sacred books, or the spiritual man stands with unveiled vision,
by sound inference, since this perception is pure, serene.
particular.
Johnston, Charles, Patanjali, The Yoga
The distinction is a luminous and inspiring Sutras of, The Canadian Theosophist Vol XIII
one. The Scriptures teach general truths, pages 37-42
concerning universal spiritual life and broad (To be contined)
laws, and inference from their teaching is not
less general. But the spiritual perception of the Johnston, Charles, Patanjali, The Yoga
awakened Seer brings particular truth concern- Sutras of, The Canadian Theosophist, vol.
ing his own particular life and needs, whether XIII, pages 70, 99, 130, 168, 201, 230, 275,
these be for himself or others. He receives 307, 340, 371
defined, precise knowledge, exactly applying to

23
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