Series I
Study Set 7
Uses of Speech and Silence


Seed Thought
Reading Assignment
Written Work
Letter from Teaching Staff
Compendium in Uses of Speech and Silence
The Sacred Word
Glossary of Terms

Brothers, in all thy beginnings, remember the time of silence,
Then are you approached by the Messenger . . . . .
Henceforth I will limit the length of my hymns, 
And achievement shall be my prayer and I shall start it with silence.

Reading Assignment: WHITE MAGIC 565-597


Please answer the following questions out of your own thinking, rather than searching through the book or study set for quotable answers. You are urged to give considerable attention to this aspect of the subjective work. The more time, the more thought you give to it, the more spiritual help you will receive through your studies. These are quite searching questions. If you wish, try to formulate written answers to these questions. The effort you give to expressing your thinking about them is in itself a method of calling into activity hitherto unused parts of your mental equipment.

Every day during the 5 o'clock alignment we say (aloud or mentally) the following words:
"May I fulfill my part in the One Work through self-forgetfulness, harmlessness and right speech."
    a) When you say these words, what do you mean by "right speech"?
    b) Please make up a list of several rules for right speech.
    c) How would you expect the daily speech of a disciple to differ from the speech of the average person?

    a) What is the relation of listening to right speech?
    b) Which do you consider to be more creative, listening or speaking? Why do you think so?

    a) How do you use silence in your daily life?
    b) Do you use silence daily?
    c) How should a disciple-in-training use silence in daily relationships?

Dear Fellow Student:

At this stage of your study you may have discovered that the results of your effort are not quite what you had expected.

In arriving at this point in your work in Arcana, you have displayed the soul quality of PERSEVERANCE. This quality is essential to attainment of that high goal you have set for yourself; and the early stages of training constitute a real test of spiritual persistence, for it is during the first year or two of regular meditation that the student is confronted with two contrary developments within his own consciousness:
    a) Stimulation and strengthening of his aspiration;
    b) Rebellion on the part of his lower nature to the rhythmic regularity of group disciplines.
His own personality's rebellion is likely to be mirrored in his environment in such a way that personal circumstances and the people around him seem to stand in the way of his spiritual progress.

Note, we say "...... seem to stand in the way of his progress." Actually, his progress into deeper understanding of life and unfoldment of his own higher nature is the best contribution he can possibly make to the evolution of his environment. His ability to lift and strengthen others depends precisely upon his own sure-footedness along the ascending way. To lift and strengthen others, you must be strong and steadfast in spiritual on-going. Depending upon one's neighbors for moral strength and encouragement, is not the proper attitude for a serving disciple, is it?

Persistence despite obstacles, the ability to proceed steadily with the soul's high calling even when circumstances try to divert you, is a splendid result of learning to meditate. There are surely other results. The greater part of what is happening doesn't show for a while.

In Arcana we are learning to work from the inside of life, outward. We are learning to give more attention to causes than to effects. We are learning to apply the axiom: "The white magician works with consciousness rather than with form."

When growth proceeds from the inside out, transformation of the outer pattern is the last thing to show. First, inside, consciousness expands and becomes illumined. This leads to seeing what we see, in a new light. This in turn causes us to respond in a new way, and to respond to different stimuli and to different "calls" than heretofore. Our sense of values changes. Increasingly the soul's point of view guides our thinking and determines our choices throughout the day. Almost without our being aware of it, the outer aspects (behavior, expressed attitudes, manner of speech) change.

While you have your eye upon a goal that seems to become more distant as you exert yourself towards it, you tend to be absorbed into your own effort, while your companions on the path see a new person shining through your outer personality.

In Arcana we emphasize the inner growth; we urge the student to constantly examine his motives. If the inner growth is steady, if motives are selfless, the outer changes will meet the soul's requirements, given time. It takes time for the inner cause to produce the outer effect! This point, too, needs emphasis; failure to realize that inner growth is more rapid than outer improvements, accounts for occasional and very real discouragement on the part of earnest, capable students.

The meditation work is carefully and expertly designed to raise the energies from the lower etheric centers into the higher centers. This raising of the energies happens automatically when the assigned meditation work is followed carefully and conscientiously. (Don't concern yourself with the centers while you meditate. Do follow the meditation outline as carefully and accurately as you can!) This transference and lifting of the energies awakens and vitalizes those aspects of your nature that respond to and express the soul on its own plane, the Solar Angel; and at the same time devitalizes those aspects of your nature that must lose their hold on you, and that must be permitted to fade out of importance. The effect of such transference of energies and such shifting of the focus of your attention, is clearly pronounced and noticeable to those around you long before you realize the change.

In addition to the meditation work, you are learning through your reading and study more about the nature of the soul. Gradually, steadily, surely, the "sense of the soul" has been making its way into your brain consciousness. A change in your individual note is taking place. You are making a different sound in your environment. Your presence feels different to others because different energies emanate through you and from you.

During each morning meditation you are learning to touch and tap soul energy and to build that energy into thoughtforms. The genius of the soul relates a sensed need to that which will meet the need. Thus, spiritual creativity on the mental plane is collaboration between soul and mind and brain to channel out into the world of men, problem-solving energy. This is an interesting idea, isn't it, that the ability to solve problems depends upon the ability to channel spiritual energy? You are training yourself within the life of a group-in-training to channel problem-solving energy. Give it time. Persist in the training.

Having come this far, we are confident that your quiet steady progress will lead to results beyond your highest expectations; we might add, to results that may take unexpected form.

Your loving friends,
The Staff of ARCANA

Compendium on

My son, amidst attainment devote a time to silence of the spirit --
Then shall I approach thy inner being.
The seed of the Great Silence leads to the knowledge of Great Service.
Father, henceforth I will shorten my song of songs, and will limit the length of my hymns.
And achievement shall be my prayer and I shall start it with silence.
Brothers, in all thy beginnings, remember the time of silence.
Then are you approached by the Messenger.........

This house, dedicated to work and debate and the service of peace, should have one room dedicated to silence in the outer sense and stillness in the inner sense. A place where the door may be opened to the infinite land of thought and prayer. There is no symbol or altar (in this room) not because there is no God, but because it is dedicated to the God whom man worships under many names and forms. There is an ancient saying that the sense of a vessel is not in its shell but in the void. So it is with this room, it is for those who come here to fill the void with what they find in the center of stillness.
from a United Nations Meditation Room leaflet

Before the Soul can hear, the image (man) has to become as deaf to roarings as to whispers, to cries of bellowing elephants as to the silvery buzzing of the golden firefly.
Before the Soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united, just as the form to which the clay is modeled is first united with the potter's mind.
And then to the inner ear will speak THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE.

Taurus, as you know, rules the neck and the thyroid gland. This is essentially the region whence must emanate the creative activity of the man who is upon the Path. The throat is a point to which the energy of the sacral center must be lifted so that creation through love and by the will eventually will prove the sublimatory effect of the sex energy. The right use of the organs of speech gives the clue to the processes whereby the disciple must bring about certain basic changes. The Taurian upon the way of liberation would do well to employ the method of directed and motivated speech of an outgoing and explanatory nature in order to transform himself from one who goes willfully on his personality way into a wise cooperator with the Plan. By this I mean that, as man translates his ideals into words and acts, he brings about transformation, transmutation and eventually translation upon the mountain top of Initiation. The results of this creative work of materializing the vision must be carried to the point of effectual demonstration in Scorpio in which sign the final tests are applied to prove that the energy is flowing freely and without impediment and obstruction between the throat and sacral centers; to show that right direction has been achieved and that there is no longer any fear that the Taurian subject will blunder blindly forward again in his own self-interest but will, in the future, move intelligently upon the Way of Liberation -- the way that brings about his own release and at the same time sweeps him into those activities which bring about the release of others.

The occult significance of speech. The old Scripture saith: "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin," because in a tide of words at this stage of man's evolution, many are spoken purposelessly or from motives which (when analyzed) will be found to be based purely in the personality. The greater the progress that is made along the path of approach to the mysteries, the greater the care that must be taken by the aspirant. This is necessary for three reasons:

First, owing to his stage in evolution, he is able to enforce his words in a manner which would surprise him could he but see on the mental plane. He builds more accurately than the average men, his subsequent thought-form is more strongly vitalized, and it performs the function whereon it is sent by the "Sound" or speech with greater precision.

Second, any word spoken and consequent thought-form built (unless along the higher path and not based on personality impulses) is apt to cause a barrier of mental matter between a man and his goal. This matter or separating wall has to be dissipated before further advance can be made, and this process is karmic and unavoidable.

Third, speech is very largely a mode of communication on the physical levels; on the subtler levels whereon the worker stands, and in his communications with his fellow workers and chosen co-operators it will play an ever lessening part. Intuitive perception and telepathic interplay will distinguish the intercourse between aspirants and disciples, and when this is coupled with a full trust, sympathy and united effort for the plan we will have a formation wherewith the Master can work, and through which He can pour His force. The Master works through groups (large or small) and the work is facilitated for Them if the interplay between units of the group is steady and uninterrupted. One of the most frequent causes of difficulty in group work and consequent arrest of the inflow of force from the Master temporarily is based on misuse of speech. It brings about a clogging of the channel for the time being on the mental plane.

I mention these three factors for this question of group work is of vital importance and much is hoped from it in these days. If in any Organization on the physical plane the Masters can get a nucleus of even three people who mutually interact (I choose the word deliberately) and who disinterestedly follow the path of service, They can produce more definite results in a shorter space of time than is possible with a large and active body of people who may be sincere and earnest but do not know the meaning of trust in, and co-operation with each other and who guard not the gate of speech.

If a man succeeds in understanding the significance of speech, if he learns how to speak, when to speak, what is gained by speech, and what happens when he speaks, he is well on the way to achieving his goal. The person who regulates his speech rightly is the person who is going to make the most progress. This has ever been realized by all leaders of occult movements. That most occult order of Pythagoras of Crotona, and many other of the esoteric schools in Europe and Asia had a rule that all neophytes and probationers were not permitted to speak for two years after entering the school and when they had learned to keep silence for that period, they were given the right to speak, for they had learned a specific reticence.

It might be of value here if students realized that every good speaker is doing a most occult work. A good lecturer (for instance) is one who is doing work that is analogous on a small scale to that done by the Solar Logos. What did He do? He thought, He built, He vitalized. A lecturer, therefore, segregates the material with which he is going to build his lecture and which he is going to vitalize. Out of all the thought matter of the world he gathers together the substance which he individually seeks to use. Next he copies the work of the second Logos in wisely building it into form. He constructs the form, and then when it is constructed, he finishes up by playing the part of the first Person of the Trinity putting his Spirit, vitality and force into it so that it is a vibrant, living manifestation. When a lecturer or speaker of any kind can accomplish that, he can always hold his audience and his audience will always learn from him; they will recognize that which the thought form is intended to convey.

In everyday life when the student speaks, he is doing just the same thing, only the trouble frequently arises that in his speech he constructs something that is usually not worth while and vitalizes it with the wrong kind of energy, so that the form, instead of being a constructive, vital, helpful force, is a destructive one in the world. If we study the various cosmologies of the world, we shall see that the process of creation was carried on by the means of sound or speech or the Word. We have it in the Christian Bible, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made." Thus, according to the Christian teaching, the worlds were made by the Word of God.

In the Hindu Scriptures we will find that the Lord Vishnu, Who stands for the second Person of the Trinity, is called "The Voice." He is the great Singer Who has built the worlds and the universe by His song. He is the Revealer of the thought of God Who has constructed the universe of solar systems. Just as the Christian speaks about the great Word, the Word of God, the Christ, so the Hindu speaks of Vishnu, the great Singer, creating by means of His song.

In physical plane manifestation, we are known by our speech; we are known by our reticence, by the things we say, and by the things we leave unsaid and are judged by the quality of our conversation. We think of people in terms of what they say, because their words disclose the type of thought-matter in which they work and the quality of energy or life which they put behind their words. To the various Solar Logoi of the vast constellations that are apparent when we scan the starry heavens, the quality of the Logos of our solar system is seen through the medium of that great thought form He has built by the power of His speech, and which is energized by His particular quality of love. When God speaks, the worlds are made and at this present time He is only in process of speaking. He has not yet concluded what He has to say, and hence the present apparent imperfection. When that great divine phrase or sentence which occupies His thought is brought to a close, we will have a perfect solar system inhabited by perfect existences.

Through speech a thought is evoked and becomes present; it is brought out of abstraction and out of a nebulous condition and materialized upon the physical plane, producing (could we but see it) something very definite on etheric levels. Objective manifestation is produced, for "Things are that which the Word makes them in naming them." Speech is literally a great magical force, and the adepts or white magicians, through knowledge of the forces and power of silence and of speech, can produce effects upon the physical plane. As we well know, there is a branch of magical work which consists in the utilization of this knowledge in the form of Words of Power and of those mantrams and formulae which set in motion the hidden energies of nature and call the devas to their work.

Speech is one of the keys which opens the doors of communication between men and subtler beings. It gives the clue to the discovery of those entities who are contacted on the other side of the veil. But only he who has learned to keep silent, and has arrived at the knowledge of the times to speak can pass this veil and make certain esoteric contacts. Magic consists, we are told in the SECRET DOCTRINE, in addressing the Gods in Their own language; therefore, the speech of average man cannot reach Them.

Therefore, those who seek to learn the occult language, those who yearn to become aware of the words which will penetrate to the ears of those who stand on the other side, and those who seek to utilize the formulae and phrases which will give them power over the Builders, have to unlearn their previous use of words and to refrain from ordinary methods of talking. Then the new language will be theirs and the new expressions, words, mantrams and formulas will be entrusted to their care.

The laws of speech are the laws of matter and students can apply the laws governing physical plane substance to their use of words, for it concerns the manipulation of matter on other levels. Speech is the great medium whereby we make apparent the nature of the little system we are constructing -- that system of which each human unit is the central sun, for under the Law of Attraction he draws to himself that which he needs.

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sounds that in unison with the Personality note. The result is that a vacuum is formed (if I may so express it) and the liberated man with his informing soul, escapes upward to the Monad.

Therefore, in the sounding of the Sacred Word in meditation man should (if rightly sounding it forth) be able to do both the creative work and the destructive work as does the Logos. It will be the reflection in the microcosm of the cosmic process. He will attract to his bodies matter of the finer kind and cast out that which is course. He will formulate thought forms that attract to themselves finer matter and repudiate that which is of a lower vibration. He should so sound the Word that alignment will be automatically made, and the necessary vacuum created, eventuating in a downflow from above. All these effects can transpire when the Word is correctly intoned, and each meditation should see the man more aligned, should disperse some of the matter of low vibration in one or other of his bodies, should open up the channel to a greater extent, and so provide a more adequate vehicle for the illumination from higher levels.

But -- until correctness is possible -- the effect produced by the use of the Word is very little, which is fortunate for the man who uses it.

The student must remember, nevertheless, that he has first to find his personality note, and then the egoic, before he can touch the monadic chord. When he has done that he has, for himself, sounded his own threefold Word, and is now an intelligent creator animated by love. The goal is reached.


Mantric forms are collections of phrases, words, and sounds which by virtue of rhythmic effect achieve results that would not be possible apart from them.

There are mantric forms based entirely on the Sacred Word. These, sounded rhythmically and on certain keys, accomplish certain results, such as the invoking of protective angels; they lead to certain effects, either objective or subjective. These forms or mantrams are much more in use among Orientals and in the eastern faiths than at present among occidentals. As the power of sound is more completely understood and its effect studied, these mantrams will be adopted in the occident.

Some of them are very old and when enunciated in the original Sanskrit have unbelievably powerful effects. So powerful are they that they are not permitted to be known by the ordinary student and are only orally imparted during preparation for initiation.

There are a few very esoteric mantrams that exist in the original Sensa, and that have remained in the knowledge of the Brotherhood from the early days of the founding of the Hierarchy. They were brought by the Lords of Flame when They came to earth and are only thirty-five in number. They form the key that unlocks the mysteries of each subplane on the five planes of human evolution. The adept receives instruction on their use, and can employ them in the right place and subject to certain conditions. They are the most powerful known on our planet and their effects are far-reaching..... Mantrams in any tongue are founded on them, even though so far removed and unlike as to be practically useless.

Certain of these original mantrams are chanted in unison by the Brotherhood on great occasions, or when the united power of the Lodge is required to effect desired ends. Great events are inaugurated by the sounding of their key note with appropriate words employed; each rootrace has its mantric chord known to those who work with races.

Again there are, as you know, certain mantrams in Sanskrit that are employed by students in meditation to call the attention of some one Master. These mantrams are communicated to Their disciples, and by their means the Master's attention is attracted, and His assistance called for.

Other and greater formulas are sometimes imparted by which the three Great Lords may be contacted, and Their attention drawn in any specific direction.

A mantram, when rightly sounded forth, creates a vacuum in matter, resembling a funnel. This funnel is formed betwixt the one who sounds it forth and the one who is reached by the sound. There is then formed a direct channel of communication. You will see therefore why it is that these forms are so carefully guarded and the words and keys concealed. Their indiscriminate use would but result in disaster. A certain point in evolution has to be reached, and a similarity of vibration somewhat achieved, before the privilege is afforded the pupil of being custodian of a mantram whereby he may call his Master.

Once a year the entire Hierarchy employs a composite mantram that creates a vacuum between the highest and the lowest members of that Hierarchy and on up -- via the seven planetary Logoi -- to the Logos Himself. It marks the moment of intensest spiritual effort and vitalization during the year, and its effects last throughout the intervening months.

Each ray has its own formulas and sounds which have a vital effect upon the units gathered on those rays. The effect of sounding it by the student of meditation is threefold:

1. It links him and aligns him with his Higher Self or Ego.
2. It puts him in contact with his Master, and through that Master with one of the Great Lords, -- dependent upon the ray.
3. It links him with his egoic group and binds all into one composite whole, vibrating to one note.

These mantrams are one of the secrets of the last three initiations and may not be sounded by the pupil before that time without permission, though he may participate at times in the chanting of the mantram under the Master's direction.

Mantrams, or formulas of words, sung by the pupil, which have direct effect on one of the three bodies.....are largely already in use -- though in a much distorted degree -- in the services of the religious bodies in all lands. Some light on them is being communicated in the ritual of the Church..... The passwords as used in Masonry -- though practically valueless now -- are based on the use of mantrams and some day when there is an Initiate Head to all these organizations (such as Masonry, various esoteric societies, and religious bodies) the old mantrams will be given back in pure form to the peoples.

There are also mantrams for use in healing, and for the development of certain psychic faculties. Some mantrams have a direct effect on the centers of the body, and will later be used under the guidance of the Master for increasing vibration, for causing fourth dimensional movement, and for the complete vivication of the center.

When the race has reached a certain point of development, and when the higher mind holds greater sway, these occult mantrams -- rightly imparted and rightly enunciated -- will be part of the ordinary curriculum of the student. He will start his meditation by the use of his ray mantram, thereby adjusting his position in the scheme; he will follow this with the mantram that calls his Master, and which puts him en rapport with the Hierarchy. Then he will begin to meditate with his bodies adjusted, and with the vacuum formed that may then be used as a medium of communication.
Excerpted from LETTERS ON OCCULT MEDITATION 159-163 or 162-166


CHAKRAS (char = to go) - The Sanskrit term for the etheric centers. Each chakra is composed of three wheels of light moving at first very slowly, but intensifying as soul unfoldment proceeds. See NADIS below.

KUNDALINI - Its literal meaning is circular or spiral. It is referred to as the "serpent fire" because it is power held latent, coiled at the base of the spinal column, until the final stage of man's spiritual unfoldment. Its true nature is only revealed when the consciousness aspect (the soul) has accomplished its work and man can act with wisdom and loving understanding. The eventual release of kundalini and its blending with the soul's energy via a cleared triple passage up and down the spine accounts for the impressive moral stamina and influence for good demonstrated by initiate servers. However, any effort to "raise kundalini" while the emphasis of the life is still below the diaphragm and prior to the awakening of the higher etheric centers, is very dangerous. The Tibetan warns in ESOTERIC HEALING, pages 181-182, "The whole subject of the kundalini fire has proved an exciting and enticing tale by the pseudooccultists of the world. The true occultist in training has naught to do with the kundalini fire as usually understood."

MACROCOSM - MICROCOSM - In understanding the significance of these terms, it is wise to remember that the microcosm, the little world of man is but a reflection of the macrocosm, the great world, the universe, deity. Man sometimes mistakes the inverted image for the real and is swept into illusion; but at the same time he is instructed, for all about him is the reflection of Deity constantly visible in nature.

NADIS - We may think of them as a network of energy channels carrying prana (life force) throughout the vital body, which is the etheric "double" of the dense physical body. These nadis exist in their millions and are minute lines of force which underlie the entire nervous system. They are the counterpart and also the animating agent of the nervous system, making sensitivity possible and producing that action and reaction which converts the mechanism of man into an intricate receiver of energy and director of force. They transmit energy from both the outer environment and the man's own subtle bodies, into the dense nervous system and thence to the glands; these energies are then distributed through the blood stream. Thus, the nadis relate the entire inner man to his dense physical instrument. Where the lines of energy (nadis) cross and recross so as to form a significant concentration of energy, a vortex is formed, an etheric center, or chakra. Of these there are major centers, minor centers and hundreds of lesser ones.

TATTVA (Tat = that) - as a noun it expresses the unutterable, because incomprehensible, divine principle. It means the knowledge of the principle, the essence of all things. The seven Tattvas are the Principles or Essences of the Cosmos, the seven divisions of the One Life. They are the sources of the manifested elements, the rudimentary stuff of the Cosmos.