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Series IV:
THE FABRIC OF LIFE
(Knowledge Essential to Contemporary Esotericism)

Study Set 4
The Mental Body


CONTENTS

Seed Thought
Reading Assignment
Written work to be Completed
Letter from the Teaching Staff 
Mind Defined
Concentration
The Three Aspects of Mind
The Creation of Thoughtforms
Refinement of the Mental Body
Conditions for White Magic


SEED THOUGHT

..... Some move ahead; he follows after.  Some move behind; he sets the pace.  He travels not alone.


Reading Assignment:

Seven Rays, Vol. II, Pages 448-520


WRITTEN WORK TO BE COMPLETED

All speech is creative. All speech of whatever kind, quality or content produces some effect or other on the listener and has some conditioning influence on space and influences the little invisible lives that inhabit and compose the subtle planes. For instance, a rousing political speech wins votes. A dull sermon dims thought and puts the congregation to sleep. A funny joke causes laughter, relieves tension and clears the air.

1. What effect or effects are produced by the following? Note the effects on more than one plane if possible:

a) Compulsive incessant speech. By compulsive is meant out of control; by incessant is meant the speaker goes on and on and on and cannot stop and cannot be stopped.

b) Speech that clearly explains.

c) Speech that expresses irritation.

d) The sounding of a mantram.

e) Prayer.

f) Pleasant inconsequential chit chat.

2.  In what ways can one develop a sensitive awareness of the effects of his speech on other people. Use your imagination and write fully on this.

3. What kinds of speech, written or oral, produce the following effects in others?

  Sense of companionship.
  Mental stimulation.
  Feeling understood.
  Feeling loved.
  Tranquility.


Dear Fellow Student:

As we continue to meditate daily over a sufficiently long period of time, we gradually move forward into the universal experience of all time meditators. For the effects of meditation upon the consciousness and upon the whole life, are universal. The latter stages of the Path of Evolution do indeed tend towards oneness.

One of the things all students learn rather early in the practice of meditation is that meditation stimulates the mind and that in turn enriches the thought life.

Meditation opens up a new supply of vitality because to touch ideas is to tap energy. The trained meditator is distinguished by his endurance; his thought life is a constant source of revitalization. He is able to endure the psychological stresses and strains of living a full life on two planes by the renewal of energy in meditation. (By two planes, we mean the outer life of obligation to family, business, community; and the inner life of meditation, preoccupation with the affairs of the soul, a thought life revolving around the Plan, and creative labor to sense, formulate and energize the new ideas and new ideals destined to shape humanity’s evolutionary advance. ) As one continues to meditate daily, and the thought life is controlled, with personal affairs dismissed from the mind for a short period, and full attention given to the soul and the values and purpose of the soul, the alignment of the personality with the soul becomes stabilized. By shifting our thoughts from personal objective to the higher objectives of the soul we start a flow of energy that has power to constantly renew our thought life, and in turn, revitalize the form nature.

The energy of the soul stimulates the lower nature of the personality as ell as its higher possibilities and we are aware of greater sensitivity to impulses coming from two directions. The energy received in meditation must be directed to that which should be vitalized in accordance with the soul’s intention. The soul’s intent and purpose is to further the evolution of consciousness. It is important to realize that it is the inner man, consciousness, that is evolving, and that the outer forms follow along and adjust themselves to the inner state of consciousness.

Meditation upon the values and principles of the soul starts a flow of energy of that higher quality into the consciousness of the person and stimulates the thinking process. Increased and improved use of the mind tends to produce other needed changes and to raise the vibratory quality of the triple form. The periods of accelerated stimulation are times of crisis for the individual for he must choose how he will use the new energy of his free will. It is also the time of opportunity for the soul, for it provides the momentum to move forward in consciousness and become an integral part of the company of serving souls.

New energy flows to the area where the attention is habitually focussed. While one remains identified with the personality vehicles the new energy will tend to over-stimulate one or other of these vehicles of contact. Examples of misdirected energy and how it affects the person are:

a. Mental over-stimulation leads to excessive and compulsive speech.

b. Emotional agitation leads to nervous disorders and over-excitation of the body cells.

c. In the etheric body it leads to the over-activity of busy bodies or meddlers, and to an over-stimulated sex life.

The purpose of the inflow of new energy is to integrate the personality into a functioning unity controlled by the spiritual will and motivated by soul purpose so that the forces of the three bodies are transmuted, and –

a. Excessive speech will be controlled and become creative speech.

b. Emotional agitation will become stillness and serenity and the emotional body will be a clear reflector of the soul.

c. Sex life will be controlled and the creative power transferred to the mental plane and used to help with the building of a new world.

The process of transferring consciousness to a higher plane is gradual. For a long time we are obliged to learn from experience, to suffer through trial and error, to try again and again until we finally learn to register and follow the soul’s direction and become its willing instrument, Our awareness of opposing forces of energy impinging on our consciousness, and our inability to control our response to them, are what cause psychological stress. While we are learning to live on two planes simultaneously (the outer life of the good family member and good citizen, and the inner life of discipleship training), the conflicting impulses that assail us will create conflict and problems in our environment., Until impulses are consciously controlled,. the responses will alternate in direction and the person will suffer. The soul, however, does not suffer while the personality is making its gradual, sometimes painful adjustment.. The soul is constantly aware of its purpose and regularly directs energy to its reflection on the physical plane in order to strengthen response and create new conditions that will change the consciousness of man. A change in consciousness in turn will cause changes in the outer environment as the energy fulfills its purpose of vitalizing and renewing all planes of living.

"Watch and pray" the Master said; and this is good advice even now when meditation has superseded prayer. Let us watch how we are directing the energy we contact in meditation. Is it stimulating a new principle of universal value and transforming the lower expressions of life in form? Energy is directed by thought. So deep clear thought about the wisdom of God in organizing and directing and relating energies in the universe must, in time, bring wisdom into the affairs of men.

In loving companionship,

The Staff of ARCANA


MIND DEFINED

The function of the mind, in the majority of cases, is first of all to receive messages from the outer world, via the five senses, and transmitted by the brain. It is a great recording center for impressions of all kinds, upon which we act, or to which we refuse admission if we do not like them. The ideas of the psychologists and of science as to the nature of the mind are too many to touch upon here. Some regard it as a separate entity; others - as a mechanism, of which the brain and the nervous system are integral parts.

To the esotericist, it is simply a word standing for an aspect of man which is responsive in one direction -- the outer world of thought and of affairs -- but which could be equally responsive in another -- the world of subtle energies and of spiritual being. This is the concept we shall hold in our thoughts as we study the technique of meditation.

It is with mind as a quality emerging at a high level of evolution that we as human beings deal. It is for us a mode or means of contact, receiving information from various sources, and by different means. Through the five senses, information is conveyed, and the man becomes aware of the world of physical phenomena and of psychical life in which he is immersed. Not only that, but the mind registers impressions emanating from other minds, and the thoughts of men (both ancient and modern) are conveyed to him through the medium of reading and the spoken word, through the drama, through pictures and through music. Most of it is simply registered and stored up, finding later expression as memory and anticipation. Moods, emotional reactions, feelings and desires, are also recorded by the mind, whether of a high grade or a low, but with the average person that is all that happens. Very little real thinking follows upon the registering of information, and no clear formulation of thoughts occurs. The clothing of ideas with words which clearly express them is one of the functions of the mind, yet, how few people have ideas or originate really intelligent thoughts! Their minds respond to that which is conveyed to them from the outer world, but have no inherent or self-initiated activities of their own.

Therefore, the process at present controlling in the case of the average man is from the outside world inwards, through the senses, to the brain. The brain then "telegraphs" the information registered to the mind, which, in its turn, records it. That usually closes the incident.

But, in the case of the truly thoughtful, there is more than this. Upon the recording follows an analysis of the incident or the information, its correlation with other incidents, and a study of cause and effect. The "mind-stuff", as the Oriental calls it, is swept into activity, and thoughtforms are created and mental images built in connection with the presented idea. Then, if desired, the clear thinking of the man is impressed upon the brain and so a return activity is instituted. But, in the case of the mystic and of the man who is beginning to meditate, something further is discovered. He finds that the mind, when properly governed and disciplined, is capable of wider and deeper responses; that it can become aware of ideas and concepts which emanate from a deeply spiritual realm and which are communicated by the soul. Instead of impressions from the outer daily life recorded on the sensitive receiving-plate of the minor they may come forth from the kingdoms of the soul and are caused by the activity of a man's own soul, or by other souls with whom his soul may be in touch.

Then the mind enters upon a new and fresh usefulness and its range of contact includes not only the world of man but also the world of souls. Its function is to act as an intermediary between the soul and the brain and to transmit to the brain that of which the man, as a soul, has become aware. This becomes possible when the old mental activities are superseded by the higher, and when the mind can be rendered temporarily insensitive to all outer calls upon its attention. This, however, is not brought about by any methods of rendering the mind passive and receptive, or by any system of "blanking" the mind, or stunning it into negativity, or other forms of self-hypnotism. It is caused by the expulsive force of a new and bigger interest, and by the one-pointed attention of the focussed mental faculties to a new world of phenomena and of force.
    INTELLECT TO INTUITION pp.100-104


CONCENTRATION

The word "concentration" comes from the Latin words "con" - together and "centrare" - to center. It means the "bringing together or the drawing to a common center or focal point; it connotes the gathering together of our wandering thoughts and ideas, and holding the mind firmly and steadily focussed or centered on the object of our immediate attention, without wavering or distraction. It involves the elimination of all that is foreign or extraneous to the matter under observation. Patanjali defines it thus: "The binding of the perceiving consciousness to a certain region is attention or concentration."

This necessarily involves a distinction between the Thinker, the apparatus of thought, and that which is to be considered by the Thinker. We need, therefore, to distinguish between ourselves, the one who is thinking and that which we use to think with, the mind. Then there comes in the third factor, that which is thought.

Students would do well at the very beginning of their meditation work to learn to make these basic differentiation, and to cultivate the habit every day of making these distinctions. They must distinguish always between:

1. The Thinker, the true Self, or the Soul.

2. The mind, or the apparatus which the Thinker seeks to use.

3. The process of thought, or the work of the Thinker as he impresses upon the mind (when in a state of equilibrium) that which he thinks.

4. The brain, which is in its turn impressed by the mind, acting as the agent for the Thinker, in order to convey impressions and information.

Concentration is, therefore, the power to focus the consciousness on a given subject and to hold it there as long as desired; it is the method of accurate perception, and the power to visualize correctly, being the quality which enables the Thinker to perceive and know the field of perception. Another word for concentration is attention, that is, one-pointed attention. It is interesting to note what Father Marechal says in this connection. He points out that "attention is a direct path to full perception, to hallucination, or, more generally, to belief . . . . It brings about an at least momentary unification of the mind by the predominance of one mental group. . . . But this "mental unity", realized to some degree in the phenomenon of attention, is also the sole subjective condition which, we have seen, accompanies always the true or false perception of the real."

The question may be asked, what is the easiest way to teach oneself to concentrate? One might reply, in the words of the' French proverb: 'Le meilleur moyen de deplacer est de emplacer"; -- "the best way to eliminate is to substitute," and one way that may be employed is to utilize what has been called the "expulsive power of a new affection". To be profoundly interested in some new and intriguing subject, and to have one's attention focussed on some fresh and dynamic matter will automatically tend to make the mind one-pointed.

A second answer might be given: Be concentrated in all that you do all day every day. Concentration will be rapidly developed if we cultivate the habit of accuracy in all the affairs of life. Accurate speech would necessitate accurate attention to that which is said, read or heard, and this would necessarily involve concentration and so develop it. True meditation is after all an attitude of mind and will grow out of an attitude of concentration.

The objective, therefore of all our endeavor is to train the mind so as to make it our servant and not our master, and to cultivate the power of concentration preparatory to true meditation work. The earnest student, therefore, will carry this close attention into the affairs of everyday life and will thereby learn to regulate his mind as an apparatus for his thought.

Let me emphasize here the necessity of a constantly concentrated attitude to life. The secret of success can be expressed in the simple words: Pay attention in talking to people, In reading a book, in writing a letter, let us steadily focus our thought on what we are doing and so gradually develop the capacity to concentrate.

To this cultivated attitude there must be added definite concentration exercises, carried forward each day, with perseverance. This involves the fixing of the mind upon a particular object, or a chosen topic for thought. To this succeeds a process of steadily and quietly learning to abstract the consciousness from the outer world and exoteric conditions and focus it at will on any subject.

The regular unremitting work of daily concentration gradually overcomes the difficulty of control and brings about results which might be enumerated as follows:

1. The reorganization of the mind.

2. The polarizing of the man in his mental, instead of his emotional vehicle.

3. The withdrawal of the man's attention from the sense perceptions and his learning to center himself in the brain. Most people, like the animals, use the solar plexus.

4. The development of a faculty of instantaneous concentration as a. preliminary to meditation.

5. The capacity to focus the attention unswervingly upon any chosen seed thought.
 

The meditation process is divided into five parts, one part leading sequentially to another. We will take these various stages and study each of them separately, for in their mastery we can trace the steady ascent of the conscious spiritual man out of the realm of feeling into that of knowledge and then of intuitive illumination. These stages might be briefly enumerated as follows:

1. Concentration. This is the act of concentrating the mind, learning to focus it and so use it.

2. Meditation. The prolonged focussing of the attention in any direction and the steady holding of the mind on any desired idea.

3. Contemplation. An activity of the soul, detached from the mind, which is held in a state of quiescence.

4. Illumination. This is the result of the three preceding processes and involves the carrying down into the brain consciousness of the knowledge achieved.

5. Inspiration. The result of illumination, as it demonstrates in the life of service.

These five stages, when followed, lead to union with the soul and direct knowledge of divinity. For the majority of those who take up the study of meditation, the stage which should engross their attention for a long time :--- practically to the exclusion of the others -- is that of concentration, the gaining control of the mental processes. Aspiration is presumably present to some degree or there would be no desire to meditate. It should be pointed out, however, that aspiration avails nothing unless it is endorsed by a strong will, a capacity to endure, and patient persistence.


In all schools of advanced or intellectual mysticism, the first and necessary step is the attainment of mind control. Meister Eckhart, writing in the fourteenth century, tells us that!

"St. Paul reminds us that we being planted in the likeness of God may attain to higher and truer vision. For this St. Dionysius says we require three things. The first is possession of one's mind. The second is a mind that is free. The third is a mind that can see. How can we acquire this speculative mind? By a habit of mental concentration."

This is in the strictest conformity with the eastern method, which aims first to put a man in control of his. mental apparatus, so that he becomes the one who uses it at will and is not (as is so often the case) the victim of his mind, swayed by thoughts and ideas over which he has no control, and which he cannot eliminate, no matter how strong may be his desire to do so.

The same ideas that Meister Eckhart expressed can also be found in that ancient Indian Scripture, the BHAGAVAD GITA:

 "The mind wavers, Krishna, turbulent, impetuous, forceful; I think it is as hard to hold as the wind.

"Without doubt the wavering mind is hard to hold; but through assiduous practice . . . it may be held firm.

When thy soul shall pass beyond the forest of delusion, thou shalt no more regard what shall be taught or what has been taught.

When withdrawn from traditional teaching, thy soul shall stand steadfast, firm in soul vision, then thou shalt gain union with the soul."

The first step, therefore, is mind control. This means the power to make the mind do as you want, to think as you choose, to formulate ideas and sequences of thought under direction.
    INTELLECT TO INTUITION Pages: 104-108, 98-100


THE THREE ASPECTS OF MIND

Upon the mental plane the three aspects of mind, or the three focal points of mental perception and activity are to be found:

1. The lower concrete mind. This expresses itself most completely through the fifth Ray of Concrete Science, reflecting the lower phase of the will aspect of divinity and summarizing within itself all knowledge as well as the egoic memory. This lower concrete mind is related to the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus and is capable of pronounced soul illumination, proving eventually to be the searchlight of the soul. It can be brought under control through the processes of concentration. It is transient in time and space. Through conscious creative work, it can be related to the manasic permanent atom or to the abstract mind.

2. The Son of Mind. This is the soul itself, governed by the second aspect of all the seven rays -- a point I would ask you seriously to register. It reflects the lower phase of the love aspect of divinity and summarizes in itself the results of all accumulated knowledge which is wisdom, illuminated by the light of the intuition. Another way of expressing this is to describe it as love, availing itself of experience and knowledge. It expresses itself most fully through the love petals of its innate being. Through dedicated and devoted service it brings the divine Plan into activity in the three worlds of human accomplishment. It is therefore related to the second aspect of the Spiritual Triad and is brought into functioning activity through meditation. It then controls and utilizes for its own spiritual ends the consecrated personality, via the illumined mind, referred to above.. It is eternal in time and space.

3. The abstract mind. This reveals itself most completely under the influence of the first Ray of Will or Power, reflecting the higher aspect of the will of divinity or of the atmic principle; it summarizes in itself when fully developed the purpose of Deity, and thus becomes responsible for the emergence of the Plan. It energizes the will petals until such time as the eternal life of the soul is absorbed into that which is neither transient nor eternal but which is endless, boundless and unknown. It is brought into conscious functioning through the building of the antahkarana. This "radiant rainbow bridge" unites the illumined personality, focussed in the mind body, motivated by the love of the soul, with the Monad or with the One Life, and thus enables the divine manifesting Son of God to express the significance of the words: God is Love and God is a consuming Fire. This fire, energized by love, has burnt out all personality qualities, leaving only a purified instrument, colored by the soul ray and no longer necessitating the existence of a soul body. The personality has by this time completely absorbed the soul, or to put it perhaps more accurately both soul and personality have been fused and blended into one instrument for the use of the One Life.

This is but a picture or a symbolic use of words in order to express the unifying goal of material and spiritual evolution, as it is carried to its conclusion -- for this world cycle -- through the development of the three aspects of mind upon the mental plane. As this
process is carried forward, three great aspects of divine manifestation emerge upon the theatre of world life and on the physical plane. These are Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa.

Humanity is already the dominant kingdom in nature; the fact of the Hierarchy and of its imminent approach into physical appearance is becoming well known to hundreds of thousands of people today. Its recognized appearance will later set the stage for the needed preparatory phases which will finally lead to the exoteric rule of the Lord of the World, emerging from His aeonial seclusion in Shamballa, and coming forth into outer expression at the end of this world cycle.

Here is the vast and necessary picture, presented in order to give reason and power to the next stage of human evolution.

The point which I seek to emphasize is that only when the aspirant takes his stand with definiteness upon the mental plane, and. keeps his "focus of awareness" increasingly there, does it become possible for him to make real progress in the work of divine bridge building, the work of invocation., and the establishing of a conscious rapport between the Triad, the soul and the personality. The period covered by the conscious building of' the antahkarana is that from the final stages of the Path of Probation to the third initiation.

In considering this process it is necessary, in the early stages, to recognize the three aspects of the mind as they express themselves upon the mental plane and produce the varying states of consciousness upon that plane.
    SEVEN RAYS pp. 460 - 462


THE CREATION OF THOUGHTFORMS

The subject we are now to deal with cannot be handled too explicitly on account of the attendant dangers.....We might embody that which can be said in certain statements.

a. Much that is to be seen now of a distressing nature in the world can be directly traced to the wrong manipulation of mental matter by man; to erroneous conceptions as to the nature of matter itself, and to dangerous conditions brought about by the united creative attempts of human beings down the centuries.

b. At present much of the manipulation of mental matter and its direction into forms of some kind or another emanates from lower levels, and is the result of powerful desire based on physical attraction. The desire bodies, and not the mental bodies of the majority of men are the most powerful and set up such a strong vibration (due to the force of two groups of lunar lords) that the third group of lunar entities who construct the mental body are swept into a willing response, and the whole threefold lower nature is immediately engaged in the dire process of feeding the dreaded "Dweller". This direction of energy follows the line of least resistance. One of the primary works of the Ego, as we well know, is to impose a new rhythm upon his shadow and reflection., the lower man, and it is this imposition which in time deflects energy away from man's distorted creation, and brings his vibration into tune with that of his solar Angel.

The devas who are the sumtotal of the energy of substance itself care not what form they build. They are irresponsibly responsive to energy currents, and theirs is not the problem of dealing with sources of energy. Therefore, the place of man in the cosmic plan becomes more vital and apparent when it is realized that one of his main responsibilities is the direction of energy currents from the mental plane, and the creation of that which is desired on higher levels. Men, as a whole, are undergoing evolutionary development in order that they may become conscious creators in matter. This involves:

  • A realization of the archetypal plan,

  • An understanding of the laws governing the building processes of nature,

  • A conscious process of willing creation, so that man co-operates with the ideal, works under law, and produces that which is in line with the planetary plan, and which tends to further the best interests of the race,

  • A comprehension as to the nature of energy, and an ability to direct energy currents, to disintegrate (or withdraw energy from) all forms in the three worlds,

  • An appreciation of the nature of the devas, their constitution and place as builders, and of the words and sounds whereby they are directed and controlled.

 c. As yet but few of the human family work deliberately and consciously in mental matter only. The energy exerted by man is mostly kama-manasic or desire coupled with lower mind, with a preponderance, as might be expected, of desire force. The whole trend of evolution is to bring about ability to build in mental matter, and two things lie ahead of the race:

First. The gradual dissipation of the indefinite masses of kama-manasic matter which surround practically every unit of the human family, producing a condition of murkiness and fog within, and around, each aura. Gradually this will clear away, and men will be seen surrounded by clear-cut thought forms, characterized by a distinctive vibration and distinguished by a particular quality incident to a man's ray and therefore to his type of mind.

Second. The aggregate of human thoughtforms which now are of a personal character, vibrating around each human being as the planets vibrate around the sun, will tend to approximate a group center. Thought energy which now emanates from each human being as a comparatively weak stream of an indefinite conglomeration of mental matter, of no particular character, forming no particularly distinct forms and persisting in animating those forms for but a brief period, will be directed towards the creation of that desired by the group, and not solely towards that desired by the unit. This is the basis, very largely, for the antagonism that all constructive thinkers and group workers encounter. The stream of energy which they emanate, and which constructs vital thoughtforms, runs counter to that of the masses of men, awakens opposition, and produces temporary chaos. The prominent workers and thinkers of the human family, under the direction of the Lodge, are engaged in three things:

a. The imposition of the newer and higher rhythm upon men.

b. The dissipation of the murky clouds of half-vitalized indefinite thought forms which surround our planet, thus permitting the entry of inter-planetary force, and of force from the higher mental levels

c. The awakening within men of the power to think clearly, to energize their thought forms accurately, and to hold in vital form those thought constructions whereby they may attain their objective, and bring about desired conditions upon the physical plane.

These three objectives necessitate a clear comprehension among such vital thinkers and workers, of the power of thought; of the direction of thought currents, of the science of thought building, of the manipulation under law and order of mental matter, and of the process of thought manifestation through the two factors of sound and vitalization. It involves likewise the ability to negate or render futile all impulses arising from the lower self which are of a centralized and purely personal aspect, and the faculty of working in group form, each thought being sent upon the definite mission of adding its quota of energy and matter to some one stream which is specific and known. This last is of importance, for no worker for humanity becomes of real assistance until he (consciously and with full knowledge of his work) definitely directs his thought energy towards some particular channel of service to the race.

d. In all thought building therefore, of a high order, men have several things to do, which must be enumerated as follows:

    First, to purify their lower desires so that they are enabled to see clearly in the occult sense. No man has clear vision who is obsessed with his own needs, actions, and interests, and unconscious of that which is higher and of group activity. This clear vision brings about … an ability to lose sight of self interest in group interest, and thus co-operate with the plan, that enables him to become aware of the keynote of the race, and aware of the "cry of humanity’.

    Next, to secure the control over the mind. This involves certain important things: A realization of the nature of the mind and brain through concentration, an understanding of the relation which should exist between the physical brain and Man, the real Thinker on the physical plane, an ability, gradually developed once the mind is brought under control through concentration, to meditate in the occult sense, and thus bring through the plan from higher levels, ascertain his individual share in the plan, and then co-operate in the work of some particular Nirmanakayas. This is succeeded by a consideration of the laws of energy. A man discovers how to build a thought form of a particular quality and tone, to energies it with his own life, and thus have --- on mental levels – a small creation, the child of his will, which he can use as a messenger, or as a means for the manifestation of an idea.

    Finally, having constructed a thought form, the next thing the servant of humanity has to learn is how to send it on its mission, whatever that may be, holding it through his own vital energy in its due for, keeping it vibrating to its own measure, and eventually bringing about its destruction when it has fulfilled its mission. The average man is often the victim of his own thought forms. He constructs them, but is neither strong enough to send them out to do their work, nor wise enough to dissipate them when required. This brought abut the thick swirling fog of half-formed, semi-vitalized forms in which eighty five percent of the human race is surrounded.

In his work as thought builder, man has to show forth the characteristics of the Logos, the great Architect or Builder of the universe. He has to parallel His work as:

The one who conceives the idea,

The one who clothes the idea in matter,

The one who energizes the idea, and thus enables the form to preserve its outline and perform its mission,

The one who -- in time and space – through desire and love, directs that thought form, vitalizes it continuously, until the objective is attained,

The one who, when the desired end been accomplished, destroys or disintegrates the thought form by withdrawing his energy (occultly, the "attention is withdrawn" or "the eye is no longer upon it" ), so that lesser lives (which had been built into the desired form ) fall away and return to the general reservoir of deva substance.

Thus, in all creative work in matter, man is likewise to be seen as Trinity at work in mental matter, he is the creator, preserver, and destroyer.

e. In all occult work in mental matter which has to manifest upon the physical plane, and thus achieve objectivity, man has to work as a unit. This infers the ability, therefore, of the threefold lower man to be subordinated to the Ego, so that the dynamic will of the Ego may be imposed upon the physical brain.
   
Cosmic Fire, pp.947, 951-957


REFINEMENT OF THE MENTAL BODY

This is the result of hard work and discrimination. It necessitates three things before the plane of the mental unit is achieved, and before the causal consciousness (the full consciousness of the higher Self) is reached:

Clear thinking, not just on subjects wherein interest is aroused, but on all matters affecting the race. It involves the formulation of thought matter, and the capacity to define. It means the ability to make thought forms out of thought matter, and to utilize those thought forms for the helping of the public. He who does not think clearly, and who has an inchoate mental body, lives in a fog, and a man in a fog is but a blind leader of the blind.

The ability to still the mental body so that thoughts from abstract 1evels and from the intuitional planes can find a receptive sheet whereon they may inscribe themselves. This thought has been made clear in many books on concentration and meditation, and needs not my elucidation. It is the result of hard practice carried over many years.

A definite process brought about by the Master with the acquiescence of the disciple which welds into a permanent shape the hard won efforts and results of many years. At each initiation, the electrical or magnetic force applied has a stabilizing effect. It renders durable the results achieved by the disciple. Like as a potter moulds and shapes the clay, and then applies the fire that solidifies, so the aspirant shapes and moulds and builds, and prepares for the solidifying fire. The initiation marks a permanent attainment and the beginning of a new cycle of. Endeavor.

Above all two things should be emphasized:

1. A steady, unshaken perseverance, that recks not of time nor hindrance, but goes on. This capacity to persevere explains why the non-spectacular man so frequently attains initiation before the genius, and before the man who attracts more notice. The capacity to plod is much to be desired.

2. A progress that is made without undue self-analysis. Pull not yourself up by the roots to see if there is growth, it takes precious time. Forget your own progress in conforming to the rules and in the helping of others. When this is so, sudden illumination may come, and the re-realization break upon you that the point has been reached when the Hierophant can demand your presence and bestow initiation upon you. You have by hard work and sheer endeavor to conform to the Law and to love all, built into your bodies the material that makes it possible for you to stand in His Presence. The great Law of Attraction draws you to Him and nought can withstand the Law.
    LETTERS ON OCCULT MEDITATION, pp.340-341


CONDITIONS FOR WHITE MAGIC

In considering the factors requiring adjustment prior to undertaking the work of magic, we are dealing with that which is of eminent practical value. Unless students of magic enter upon this pursuit fortified by pure motive, clean bodies, and high aspiration, they are foredoomed to disappointment and even to disaster. All those who seek to work consciously with the forces of manifestation, and who endeavor to control the Energies of all that is seen need the strong protection of purity. This is a point which cannot be too strongly emphasized and urged, and hence the constant injunctions to self control, comprehension of the nature of man, and devotion to the cause of humanity. The pursuit of magical investigation is dangerous in three ways:

1. If a man’s bodies are not sufficiently purified and their atomic vibration is not sufficiently high, he is in danger of over-stimulation when brought in contact with the forces of nature, and this inevitably entails the destruction and disintegration of one or other of his bodies. At times it may entail the destruction of two or more, and when this is the case, it involves a definite setback to egoic unfoldment, for it requires, in such cases, a much longer interval between incarnations, owing to the difficulty of assembling the needed material in the sheaths.

2. Unless a man is strengthened in his endeavor by right motive, he is liable to be led astray by the acquisition of power. Knowledge of the laws of magic puts into the hands of the student powers which enable him to create, to acquire, and to control.. Such powers are fraught with menace to the unprepared and unready, for the student can, in this case, turn them to selfish ends, use them for his own temporal material advancement, and acquire in this way that which will feed the desires of the lower nature. He takes. Therefore. The first step towards the left hand path, and each life may see him progressing towards it with greater readiness, until ( almost unconsciously ) he will find himself in the ranks of black masters. Such a state of affairs can only be offset through the cultivation of altruism, sincere love of man, and a steady negation of all lower desires.

3. The third danger which menaces the unwary student of magic lies in the fact that when he tempers with these forces and energies he is dealing with that which is akin to his lower nature. He, therefore, follows the line of least resistance; he augments these energies, thereby increasing their response to the lower and to the material aspect of his nature. This he does at the expense of his high nature, retarding its unfoldment and delaying his progress. Incidentally also, he attracts the attention of those masters of the left hand path who are ever on the lookout for those who can be bent to their purposes, and he becomes ( unwittingly at first ), an agent on the side of evil.

It will be apparent, therefor, that the student has need of the following qualities before he undertakes the arduous task of becoming a conscious Master of magic:

Physical Purity. This is a thing not easily to be acquired, but entailing many lives of strenuous effort. Through abstinence, right continence, clean living, vegetarian diet, and rigid self-control, the man gradually raises the vibration of his physical atoms, builds a body of ever greater resistance and strength, and succeeds in "manifesting" forth in a sheath of greater refinement.

Etheric Freedom. This term does not convey all that I seek to impart, but it suffices for need of a better. The student of magic who can safely undertake the enterprise, will have constructed an etheric body of such a nature that vitality, or pranic force and energy, can circulate unimpeded; he will have formed an etheric web of such tenuosity that it forms no barrier to consciousness. This is all that can be said on this subject, owing to the danger involved, but it suffices for the conveyance of information to those who are beginning to know.

Astral Stability. The student of magic aims, above all, to purify his desires, and so to transmute his emotions that the lower physical purity and the higher mental responsiveness and transmutative power may equally be available. Every magician has to learn the fact that, in this solar system, during the cycle of humanity, the astral body is the pivotal point of endeavor, having a reflex effect on both the other sheaths, the physical and the mental. He, therefore, aims at transmuting (as has often been said) lower desire into aspiration; at changing the lower cruder colors which distinguish the astral body of average man, for the clearer, purer tones of the spiritual man, and of transforming its normal chaotic vibration, and the "stormy sea of life", for the steady rhythmic response to that which is highest and the center of peace. These things he effects by constant watchfulness, unremitting control, and steady meditation.

Mental Poise. These words are used in the occult sense, wherein the mind ( as it is commonly understood ) becomes the keen steady instrument of the indwelling thinker, and the point from which he can travel onwards to higher realms of comprehension. It is the foundation stone whence the higher expansion can be initiated.

Let not the would-be student of magic proceed in his investigations and his experiments until he has attended to these injunctions, and until the whole bent of his thought is towards their manifestation and their demonstration in his every day life. When he has so worked, ceaselessly and untiringly, and his physical. plane life and service bear witness to the inner transmutation, then he can proceed to parallel this life with magical studies and work. Only the solar Angel can do the work of the white magician, and He effects it through the control of the lunar angels and their complete subjugation. They are arrayed against him, until, through meditation, aspiration, and control, he bends them to his will and they become his servants.
    A TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE, pp. 993 - 996


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