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Series IV:
(Knowledge Essential to Contemporary Esotericism)

Study Set 7

Five Senses;
Lower and Higher Psychism


Seed Thought
Reading Assignment
The written Work to be Completed and Mailed
Letter from the Teaching Staff
The Training of Today's Psychics
Higher Psychism Defined


....A purse of gold, which he scatters not upon the Road but shares with others;.....

Reading Assignment:

SEVEN RAYS vol.I, pages 129-134

Vol.II, pages 555-615


  1.)  The following soul qualities are consistently expressed in the daily life of the soul infused person:

Love Group Consciousness
Beauty Healing (psychological healing and healing of the sore spots of tensions in human relations, as well as healing of impaired physical bodies).
Enlightenment Responsibility

a) How might these qualities be expressed in the daily life of a nation?

b) Who is responsible for cultivating these qualities in the national character?

2.)  In THE DESTINY OF NATIONS the Tibetan says, "All of the great nations are controlled by two rays, just as is the human being. All the nations are controlled by a personality ray, which is the dominant potent and main controlling factor at this time, and by a soul ray which is sensed by the disciples and the aspirants of any nation. This soul ray must be evoked into an increased functioning activity.....

What signs have you seen in recent years that the soul of a nation has expressed itself in international relations? Please name which nation or nations you have in mind.

3.)  Man has formulated rules of conduct for the individual that guide individuals toward harmonious relations. Nations write laws for individuals that direct the individuals' relation to the rest of society. But nobody has written a book of rules for nations. A system of international law has received some thought but has not been fully formulated.

We won't ask you to write a law book. But will you list some rules of behavior for nations that would improve international relationships?

Dear Fellow Student:

Since ESP became the object of scientific research, and has received some measure of educational attention at the college and university level, psychism of the more sensational kinds has received publicity in newspapers, periodicals and television programs.

We hope the material in this study set will serve to broaden your view of psychism, to help you to sort out one kind from another, and enable you to discriminate between the powers of the soul on the one hand, and sensitivity to astral phenomena on the other. The former transforms and transfigures the daily life, making each day's effort count in the curing of the world's ills and solving of the world's problems. Whereas the latter by its very power to fascinate and excite, tends to delay humanity's progress toward development and full use of the mind.

As the sentient energy once focussed in and through the solar plexus center is gradually transmuted and transferred upward into and through the heart center, the spiritual aspirant becomes aware of a new inner world: the world of ideas. His next adventure in sensitivity is developing sensitivity to ideas along with creative ability to express ideas in practical serviceable form. This development is precisely what meditation (at the present growing edge of man's evolutionary progress) is all about.

Perhaps there have been times when you have wondered how the glowingly beautiful ideas that you reach in the serenity of meditation can be related to your everyday life. How can ideas illumined with the soul's wisdom, ideas pertaining to the life of the soul, be applied to the mundane world?

As you probably realize, meditation forms the bridge between the formless world of spiritual ideas and the material plane of the daily life. This meditative bridge is built by the mind under the direction of the soul. Getting ideas into useful forms, which are expressive of Spirit and therefore inspiring and uplifting in effect, involves a step by step process:

1. Through meditation, we reach the world of ideas and holding the mind firmly on one idea,

2.  we build a thought form around that idea;

3. we turn the thought form over and over in our minds until

4. we assimilate the idea clothed in a thought form;

5. we find expression for the idea in our daily lives.

It is in allowing enough time for steps three and four that we make it possible for a good idea to reach the world of men in as true and beautiful a condition as it was when we first tapped it. The time factor is exceedingly important; it may take many years to assimilate an idea, especially if the idea is completely new to us.

Possibly it is this time factor, coming in between receiving an idea and living it, that causes some students to think that there is no relationship between their meditation work and their daily lives. They forget that the life they are living today is the result of thought forms they built many years ago. That which we think about today in our meditation is building the foundation for our future.

We must be willing to make a slow and careful preparation so that our future will be on a firm foundation, thus protecting and securing the Teaching which we seek to express.

The more time we are willing to give to assimilation of an idea, the more protected the idea will be from distortion. Hastily putting an idea into form is quite likely to distort that idea. Eventually we realize the importance of a slow and careful assimilation of each new idea.  Assimilation is an essential part of the creative process.

A meditating group is an agent of creativity in the life of the world community. A meditating group first shapes and then influences the thinking of the world of men because it channels the ideas which Hierarchical thinkers have been holding in readiness for humanity's next step.

A group of meditators, linked by love for each other, trained in the same meditative techniques, directed toward the same goal, sensitive to Hierarchical impression, can jointly receive Hierarchical impulses in the form of an idea. Through the interplay of the minds of the meditators, a thought form is built around the idea. Each member of the group lives with the idea clothed in a thought form; he mulls over it, he digests it, he incorporates it into his daily living, and he discusses it with his fellow group members. As the idea becomes clear to the group, they restructure their thought forms and continue with the process of assimilation. When the idea is seen with great clarity by the group and the thought form is considered to be a true expression of the originating idea, then the group becomes the idea and demonstrates the idea in the group life. Through writing or speech the group further expresses the idea and thereby influences those who are receptive to the group's thinking. The idea is then on its way, being received in ever widening circles of minds and eventually finding its way into the mass consciousness.

By this gradual process of filtering and disseminating the energy of ideas, changes are made in human thinking, and evolution continues its forward movement. Each of us has the privilege of contributing to the necessary changes in human attitudes which find reflection in the human institutions each society builds.

Toward more thoughtful building,

Your friends the Staff of ARCANA


Keynote.... Psychic unfoldment in the masses parallels the spiritual unfoldment of advanced humanity. This can be seen going on today on a large scale everywhere, and it accounts for the tremendous growth of the spiritualistic movement, and for the enormous increase in the lower psychic powers. Old Atlantean magic and the lower psychism are upon us again in the great turning of the wheel of life, but this time good may eventuate, if the world disciples and spiritually focussed people measure up to their opportunity.
SEVEN RAYS, v.I, p.381

The world war marked a climax in the history of mankind, and its subjective effect was far more potent than has hitherto been grasped.  Through the power of prolonged sound, carried forward as a great experiment on the battlefields all over the world during a period of four years (1914-1918), and through the intense emotional strain of the entire planetary populace, the web of etheric matter (called the "veil of the temple") which separates the physical and astral planes was rent or torn asunder, and the amazing process of unifying the two worlds of physical plane living and of astral plane experience was begun and is now slowly going on. It will be Obvious, therefore, that this must bring about vast changes and alterations in the human consciousness.  Whilst it will usher in the age of understanding, of brotherhood and of illumination, it will also bring about states of reaction and the letting loose of psychic forces which today menace the uncontrolled and ignorant, and warrant the sounding of a note of warning and of caution.

All true spiritual thinkers and workers are much concerned at this time about the growth of crime on every hand, by the display of the lower psychic powers, by the apparent deterioration of the physical body, as shown in the spread of disease, and by the extraordinary increase in insanity, neurotic conditions and mental unbalance. All this is the result of the tearing of the planetary web, and at the same time it is a part of the evolutionary plan and the providing of the opportunity whereby humanity may take its next step forward.

There is no denying the fact that great and frequently devastating forces have been let loose upon the earth, and that the effect is a cause of grave concern to all the Masters, Their disciples and workers.

The difficulty can, in the main, be traced back to the over-stimulation and the undue strain placed upon the mechanism of the bodies, which the world of souls (in physical incarnation) have to employ as they seek to manifest on the physical plane and so respond to their environment. The flow of energy, pouring through from the astral plane and (in a lesser degree) from the lower mental plane, is brought in contact with bodies that are unresponsive at first, and over-responsive later; it pours into brain cells which, from lack of use, are unaccustomed to the powerful rhythm imposed upon them; and humanity's equipment of knowledge is so poor that the majority have not sense enough to proceed with caution and to progress slowly. Therefore, they are soon in danger and difficulty; their natures are oft so impure or so selfish that the now powers which are beginning to make their presence felt, and so opening up new avenues of awareness and contact, are subordinated to purely selfish ends and prostituted to mundane objectives.  The glimpses vouchsafed to the man of that which lies behind the veil are misinterpreted and the information gained is misused and distorted by wrong motives. But whether a person is unintentionally a victim of force or brings himself in touch with it deliberately, he pays the price of his ignorance or temerity in the physical body, even though his soul may "go marching on."

It is of no use at this time to close one's eyes to the immediate problem or to endeavor to lay the blame for the sad failures, the occult wrecks, for the half-demented psychics, the hallucinated mystics and the feeble-minded dabblers in esotericism at the door of their own stupidity, or upon the backs of some teachers, groups or organizations. Much blame can indeed be placed here and there, but it is the part of wisdom to face facts and to realize the cause of that which is everywhere transpiring and which can be stated as follows.

The cause of the growth of the lower psychism and of the increasing sensitivity of humanity at this time is the sudden inflow of a new form of astral energy through the rent veil which has, until a short while ago, safeguarded the many. Add to this the inadequacy of the mass of human vehicles to meet the newly imposed strain and some idea of the problem can be grasped.

Let it not be forgotten, however, that there is another side to the picture. The inflow of this energy has brought many hundreds of people into a new and deeper spiritual realization; it has opened a door through which many will pass before long and take their second initiation, and it has let a flood of light into the world -- a light which will go on increasing for the next thirty years, bringing assurance of immortality and a fresh revelation of the divine potencies in the human being. Thus is the New Age dawning. Access to levels of inspiration, hitherto untouched, has been facilitated. The stimulation of the higher faculties (and this on a large scale) is now possible, and the coordination of the personality with the soul and the right use of energy can go forward with renewed understanding and enterprise. Ever the race is to the strong, and always the many are called and the few chosen. This is the occult law.

We are now in a period of tremendous spiritual potency and of opportunity to all upon the probationary path and the path of discipleship. It is the hour wherein a clarion call goes forth to man to be of good cheer and of goodwill, for deliverance is on the way. But it is also the hour of danger and of menace for the unwary and the unready, for the ambitious, the ignorant, and for those who selfishly seek the Way and who refuse to tread the path of service with pure motive. Lest this widespread upheaval and consequent disaster to so many should seem to you unfair, let me remind you that this one life is but a second of time in the larger and wider existence of thc soul, and that those who fail and are disrupted by the impact of the powerful forces now flooding our earth will nevertheless have their vibration "stepped up" to better things along with the mass of those who achieve, even if their physical vehicles are destroyed in the process. The destruction of the body is not the worst disaster that can overcome a man.

It is not my purpose to cover the whole ground possible in relation to the situation in the field of psychism caused by the inflow of astral energy at this time. I seek to confine myself to the effect of this inflow on aspirants and sensitives. These two words – aspirant and sensitives -- are employed by me in this article to distinguish the awakened seeker after control and mastery from the lower type of psychic, who is controlled and mastered. It is necessary here to remind you that psychism, so-called, can be divided into the following two groups:

Higher Psychism                 Lower Psychism

Divine                                    Animal
Controlled                              Uncontrolled
Positive                                 Negative
Intelligently applied                 Automatic
Mediatorship                          Mediumship

These distinctions are little understood, nor is the fact appreciated that both groups of qualities indicate our divinity. All are expressions of God.

There are certain psychic powers which men share in common with the animals; these powers are inherent in the animal body and are instinctual, but they have, for the vast majority, dropped below the threshold of consciousness and are unrealized and therefore useless.  These are the powers, for instance, of astral clairvoyance and clairaudience, and the seeing of colors and similar phenomena. Clairvoyance and clairaudience are also possible on mental levels, and we then call it telepathy, and the seeing of symbols, for all visioning of geometrical forms is mental clairvoyance. All these powers are, however, tied up with the human mechanism or response apparatus, and serve to put the man in touch with aspects of the phenomenal world for which the response mechanism, which we call the personality, exists. They are the product of the activity of the divine soul in man, which takes the form of what we call "the animal soul," which really corresponds to the Holy Ghost aspect in the human microcosmic trinity. All these powers have their higher spiritual correspondences, which manifest when the, soul becomes consciously active and controls its mechanism through the mind and the brain. When astral clairvoyance and clairaudience are not below the threshold of consciousness, but are actively used and functioning, it means that the solar plexus center is open and active. When the corresponding mental faculties are present in consciousness, then it means that the throat center and the center between the eyebrows are becoming "awake" and active. But the higher psychic powers, such as spiritual perception with its infallible knowledge, the intuition with its unerring judgment, and psychometry of the higher kind with its power to reveal the past and the future, are the prerogatives of the divine soul. These higher powers come into play when the head and heart centers, as well as the throat center, are brought into activity as the result of meditation and service. Let the student, however, remember two things:

That the greater can always include the lesser, but the purely animal psychic does not include the higher.

That between the lowest type of negative mediumship and the highest type of inspired teacher and seer are found a vast diversity of grades, and that the centers are not uniformly developed in humanity.

The complexity of the subject is great.. but the general situation can be grasped, the significance of the opportunity proffered can be understood, and the right use of knowledge be employed to being good out of the present critical period, and thus the psychic and spiritual growth of man be fostered and nurtured.


The first thing to be borne in mind is that negative, unintelligent mediumship and psychism reduces its exponent to the level of an automaton; it is dangerous and inadvisable because it deprives man of his free will and his positivity, and militates against his acting as a free intelligent human being. The man is not acting in these cases as a channel for his own soul, but is little better than an instinctual animal, if he is not literally an empty shell, which an obsessing entity can occupy and use. When speaking thus I am dealing with the very lowest type of animal mediumship of which there is far too much these days, and which is the cause of concern to the best minds in all the movements which foster mediumship. A mediumship which is entered into with a fully conscious focussed attitude and in which the medium knowingly and intelligently, vacates his body to an entering entity of whom he is fully aware and who takes possession with his conscious permission in order to serve some spiritual end and help his fellowman can be right and good. But how often is this type of mediumship to be seen? Few mediums know the technique governing the passing in or out of an informing entity, nor do they know how to carry on this work in such a way that never for a moment are they unaware of what they themselves are doing and the purpose of their activity. Definitely and with purpose they lend their body temporarily to another soul for service, preserving their own integrity all the time. The highest expression of this type of activity was the giving of his body by the disciple Jesus for the use of the Christ. It is in the word service that the whole story lies, and the safeguard. When this true mediumship is better understood, we shall have the medium passing out of his body in full waking consciousness through the orifice at the top of his head, and not, as is now the case in the majority of instances, through the solar plexus, with no preservation of awareness of the transaction, nor any recollection of what has transpired.

We shall then have the temporary entrance of a new tenant along the line of a synchronous vibration through the entrance in the head, and the subsequent use of the instrument of the loaned body in service of some kind or another. But this procedure will never be followed in order to satisfy idle curiosity, or an equally idle grief, based on personal loneliness and self-pity. At present many of the lower kind of mediums are exploited by the curious or unhappy public, and those peculiar human beings whose consciousness is centered entirely below the diaphragm and whose solar plexus is indeed their brain (as it is the brain of the animal) are forced to act as mediums to satisfy the love of sensation or desire for comfort of their almost equally unintelligent fellowman.

At the same time, there are mediums of a very much higher order whose lives are offered in service to advanced souls on the other side of the veil and who give themselves so that their fellowman may learn of them; thus, on both sides of the veil of separation, are souls aided and given opportunity to hear or serve. But these, too, would profit by a more intelligent training and by a more accurate understanding of the technique of their work and the organization of their bodies. They would then be better channels and more dependable intermediaries.

Above all, let the psychics in the world today grasp the necessity of controlling and of not being controlled; let them realize that all that they do can be done by any trained disciple of the Ageless Wisdom should the occasion warrant it, and circumstances justify such an expenditure of force. Psychics are easily deceived. For example, it is of course obvious that on the astral plane there is a thought-form of myself, your Tibetan brother. All who have received the disciples’ degree monthly instructions, all who read the books which I have sent out into the world with the aid of A.A.B., also all who are working in my personal group of disciples have naturally and automatically aided in the construction of this astral thought-form. It is not me, nor is it linked to me, nor do I use it. I have definitely disassociate myself from it and do not employ it as a means of contacting those I teach, for I work from choice entirely on mental levels thereby undoubtedly limiting my range of contacts but increasing the effectiveness of my work. This astral thought-form is a distortion of me and my work, needless to say, and resembles an animated and galvanized shell.

I appeal to all who are interested in the growth of psychic knowledge to study, and think, and experiment, and teach, and learn until such time as the entire level of psychic phenomena has been lifted out of its present ignorant, speculative and negative position to one of potent assurance, proved technique, and spiritual expression.

I appeal to such movements as the Psychical Research Societies in the world and the vast Spiritualistic Movement to lay the emphasis on divine expression and not so much on phenomena; let them approach the subject from the angle of service and carry their researches into the realm of energy, and cease to pander so much to the public. The opportunity offered them is great and the need of their work is vital. The service rendered has been real and essential, but if these movements are to avail themselves of the coming inflow of spiritual energy, they must shift their attention into the realm of true values. The training of the intellect and the presenting to the world of a group of intelligent psychics should be a main objective, and the astral plane will then be, for them, only a stage on the way to that world wherein all the spiritual Guides and Masters are found, and from whence all souls go forth to incarnation and all souls return from the place of experience and of experiment.

It might be asked what ground this training should cover. I would suggest that teaching should be given as to the nature of man and the purpose and objectives of the soul; training can be offered as to the technique of expression, and careful instruction also given as to the use of the centers in the etheric body and in the development of the ability to preserve inviolate the attitude of the positive on-looker who is always the directing, controlling factor. There will have to be careful analysis of the type and character of the psychic, and then the application of differentiated and suitable methods so that he may progress with the least hindrance. Training schools and classes which seek to develop the student must be graded according to his point in evolution, and his passing into a group, optimistically hoping that something will happen to him whilst in it, will have to cease.

The goal for the low-grade negative psychic should be the training of the mind and the closing of the solar plexus until such time as he can function as a true mediator; if this involves the temporary cessation of his mediumistic powers (and consequently of his commercial exploitation), then so much the better for him, viewing him as an immortal soul, with a spiritual destiny and usefulness.

The instruction given to the intelligent medium and psychic should lead him to a full understanding of himself and of his powers; it should develop those powers without risk and with care, and he should be stabilized in the position of the positive controlling factor. His clairvoyant and clairaudient powers should gradually be perfected, and the right interpretation of what he sees and contacts on the plane of illusion, the astral plane, should be cultivated.

Thus we shall gradually find emerging in the world a large body of trained psychics whose powers are understood and who function on the astral plane with as much intelligence as they function on the physical plane, and who are preparing themselves for the expression of the higher psychic powers -- spiritual perception and telepathy. These people will constitute eventually a body of linking souls, mediating between those who cannot see and hear on the astral plane because they are the prisoners of the physical body and those who are equally the prisoners of the astral plane, lacking the physical response apparatus.

The great need, therefore, is not that we should cease to consult and train our psychics and mediums, but that we should train them rightly and guard them intelligently and so link, through their means, the two worlds of the physical and the astral.

    excerpted from EXTERNALIZATION OF THE HIERARCHY, p.415


The first requirement is sensitivity. What exactly is this? It does not mean primarily that you are a "sensitive soul" -- the connotation of which usually means that you are thin-skinned, self-centered and always on the defensive; rather do I refer to the capacity whereby you are enabled to expand your consciousness so that you become aware of ever-widening ranges of contact. I refer to the ability to be alive, alert, keen to recognize relationships, quick to react to need, mentally, emotionally and physically attentive to life and rapidly developing the power to observe upon all three planes in the three worlds simultaneously. I am not interested in your personal relations where they concern your wrong personality sensitivity to depression, to self-pity, your defenses, your so-called sensitivity to slights, to misunderstandings, your dislike of your environing conditions, your hurt pride and qualities of this kind. These all cause you bewilderment and let loose in you the floodgates of compassion for yourself. But you do not need me to deal with them; of them you are well aware and can handle them if you choose. These faults are interesting only in so far as they affect the life of your group; they must be handled by you with care and with the open eye that senses danger from afar and seeks to avoid it. The sensitivity which I want to see developed is alertness to soul contact, impressionability to the "voice of the Teacher," an aliveness to the impact of new ideas and to the delicacy of intuitional responsiveness. These are ever the hallmark of the true disciple. It is spiritual sensitivity which must be cultivated; this is only truly possible when you learn to work through the centers above the diaphragm and to transmute solar plexus activity (which is so dominant in the average person), turning it into heart activity and the service of your fellow men.

The question of psychic powers is not so easy to explain. I do not refer to the lower psychic powers which may or may not develop as time goes on and the need for them arises. I refer to the following capacities, inherent in the soul, which must be developed in all of you if you are to do your share in meeting world need, and work for the Hierarchy in the field of world service. Let us briefly enumerate them:

1. Intuitional response to ideas.

2. Sensitiveness to the impression which some member of the Hierarchy may seek to make upon the mind of the disciple. It is for this reason that I am training you to utilize the Full Moon contact.

3. Quick response to real need. You had not regarded his as one of the psychic powers, my brother, had you? I refer not here to a solar plexus reaction but to heart knowledge. Ponder on this distinction.

4. Right observation of reality upon the soul plane. This leads to right mental perception, to freedom from illusion and glamour and to the illumination of the brain.

5. Correct manipulation of force, involving therefore, an understanding of the types and qualities of force and their right creative weaving into service upon the outer plane.

6. A true comprehension of the time element, with its cyclic ebb and flow and the right seasons for action -- a most difficult psychic power to master, my brothers, but one which can be mastered through the use of patient waiting and the elimination of hurry.

All these powers the disciple must eventually develop, but the process is necessarily slow.

excerpted from DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE, Vol. I, 47-50

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