Study Set 6
Beauty in Physical Form
Value of Written Work in the Meditative Life
Compendium on Diet
Glossary of Terms
Daily renewing of the mind in the light of the Soul's clear purpose
will inevitably bring about the necessary outer changes and rearrangements,
letting the beauty of the inner God shine through the outer form.
Reading Assignment: A Treatise on White Magic, Pages 511 - 561
QUESTIONS AND ISSUES FOR STUDY, REFLECTION, PONDERING:
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.
1.) Which of the questions in your Evening Review has been most spiritually
helpful to you?
2 .) What do you consider physical purity? What constitutes purity
on the physical plane? What is a pure physical form?
3.) How does beauty in physical form fit into the spiritual life?
a. Can spiritual qualities be expressed in ugly
forms? If so, please give several examples. If not, please explain.
b. Can you think of any beautiful physical forms
that have no spiritual value? Any ugly forms that have real spiritual value?
Please give examples.
4.) Have you observed any outer changes and rearrangements which you
attribute to "daily renewing of your mind in the light of the Soul's clear
VALUE OF WRITTEN WORK IN THE MEDITATIVE LIFE
(From the notebook of a member in a Meditation Workshop)
The written work you are asked to do (the monthly records of meditation
and the study papers) is quite essential to practicing the principles of
meditation. The meditative life only begins with the morning meditation
exercise. The total practice of meditation includes relating the energies
tapped during the morning meditation to the whole of the daily life. A
necessary link between the deeply interior experience of meditation of
the soul throughout the remainder of the day and night, is the regular
writing of the assigned papers.
The morning meditation builds an etheric structure by which the brain,
the mind and the soul are aligned and linked. Expressing on paper what
you think or understand about spiritual matters, puts to use the
soul-mind-brain alignment. For the server in training, it is not enough
to illumine the mind with the soul's light and wisdom; the soul's attitudes
and intent must somehow be:
(1) Made known to the waking brain consciousness.
(2) Anchored upon the physical plane in appropriate physical form.
Experienced meditators know that persistent effort to express on paper
their very best thinking, accomplishes several things that meditation and
study alone would not accomplish:
(1) Writing out the study papers obliges you to think more clearly.
(2) Writing out your ideas imprints upon the physical brain more of
the mind's contents than would otherwise reach the brain.
(3) Such writing will, in many instances, reveal to you more of the
contents of your own mind than you knew were there!
(4) When you write your papers intentionally, as an act of group participation,
it will probably invoke more energy from the plane of soul than you usually
bring into your mind. Thus, you may find that the quality of thinking expressed
in your written papers is of a higher order than the usual quality of your
(5) In time, you will learn to draw upon the group's "pool of light"
upon the mental plane; this is a reservoir of group knowledge, group experience,
group insight continuously fed and maintained by the work done by all of
us, daily, monthly, on the plane of mind.
Experiment with doing the written work as participation in a group effort.
See for yourself how the written work opens your consciousness in a way
that complements and fulfills the daily meditation and daily study; and
in a way that meditation and study, without the written work, would not
It is very easy to dissipate spiritual energy through talk before it
has been put to use through service in the daily life. Writing good papers
helps you to get the ideas into your brain before they have been dissipated
and lost forever.
The new insights will get into your consciousness and then into your
The thoughtful introspective student realizes the wisdom of this. The
more out-going student, if he is wise, will take it to heart.
The perception of beauty is a moral test.
Thoreau, JOURNAL June 21, 1852
It is perhaps the highest distinction of the Greeks that they recognized
the indissoluble connection of beauty and goodness.
Charles Eliot Norton, FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT
of Executive Committee of the Archaeological Institute of America
Discloses hidden beauty furled
In the commonplace stuff of the everyday world.....
Charles Frederick Johnson, THE SHAKESPEAREAN PHRASE
Beauty being the best of all we know
Sums up the unsearchable and secret aims
Robert Bridges, THE GROWTH OF LOVE
There will be always one or two who hold
Earth's coin of less account than fairy gold;
Their treasure, not the spoil of crowds and kings,
But the dim beauty at the heart of things.
Lizzie M. Little, FAIRY GOLD
Beauty and Truth, tho' never found, are worthy to be sought.
Robert Buchanan, TO DAVID IN HEAVEN
Beauty is a pledge of the possible conformity between the soul and
nature, and consequently a ground of faith in the supremacy of the good.
George Santayana, THE SENSE OF BEAUTY
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
John Keats, ENDYMION, Book I.
Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.
Thomas Fuller, OF BUILDING
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -- that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats, ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE
What the Imagination seizes as Beauty must be Truth.
John Keats, LETTER Nov. 22, 1817
Art's perfect forms no moral need,
And beauty is its own excuse.....
Whittier, SONGS OF LABOR
Beauty is its own reward,
Being a form of Peace.
Nichols, THE WATER-LILY
Who walks with Beauty has no need of fear;
The sun and moon and stars keep pace with him.....
David Morton, WHO WALKS WITH BEAUTY
He used to say that personal beauty was a better introduction than
any letter; but others say that it was Diogenes who gave this description
of it, while Aristotle called beauty "the gift of God"; that Socrates called
it "a short-lived tyranny"; Theophrastus, "a silent deceit"; Theocritus,
"an ivory mischief."
Diogenes Laertius, ARISTOTLE
There comes one moment, once -- and God help those
Who pass that moment by! -- when Beauty stands
Looking into the soul with grave, sweet eyes
That sicken at pretty words.
Edmond Rostand, CYRANO DE BERGERAC
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
Kahlil Gibran, ON BEAUTY
COMPENDIUM ON DIET
Comment by M.R.: The following excerpts on diet should point up that:
Hierarchical teaching applies to various stages of human unfoldment.
Each serious aspirant needs to develop that precious sixth sense (common
sense!) in order to wisely see which passages apply particularly to himself,
The Ageless Wisdom, like Scripture, may be quoted out of context to
prove, or disprove, almost any perspective in these matters.
Especially needed, in group work, is firm self-restraint from setting
rules for another's way of life. True, we do see each other more clearly
than ourselves, BUT.... a group such as our workshop reflects even in its
early stages, this curious fact of soul relations: We are able to correctly
interpret a brother's situation only if we have already experienced that
situation. If his present problem or dilemma is one that lies ahead of
our own experience on the Path, we neither know the nature of his situation
nor do we recognize our own lack of understanding of it. This spiritual
fact -- and it is a fact -- enables esoteric students and investigators
at diverse stages of growth to work together comfortably and cooperatively.
Occult students have not sufficiently grasped the fact that objectivity
is an inevitable result of an inner conscious subjective life. When this
is better apprehended, bodies on the physical plane -- for instance --
will be purified, developed and beautified through a scientific attention
to the development of the psyche, to the unfoldment of the Soul, and to
the stimulation of the egoic vibration. The cause will be dealt with and
not the effect..... The lunar Lords have had their day; now Agni, as the
solar Lord of life and energy, will assume due importance in human life.
from A TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE p. 606
Among occidental hindrances to correct occult study, is the condition
of the physical body, which has been built up by the aid of meat and fermented
foods and drinks, and (in densely populated areas) nurtured in an environment
in which fresh air and sunlight are not paramount factors...........For
long centuries food that has been decomposing, and hence in a condition
of fermentation, has been the basic food of the Occidental races; and the
result can be seen in bodies unfitted for any strain such as occultism
imposes, and which form a barrier to the clear shining forth of the life
within. When fresh fruit and vegetables, clear water, nuts and grains,
cooked and uncooked, form the sole diet of the evolving sons of men, then
will be built bodies fitted to be vehicles for highly evolved Egos. They
patiently await the turning of the wheel, and the coming in of a cycle
which will permit of their fulfilling their destiny. The time is not yet,
and the work of elimination and adjustment must be slow and tedious.
from TREATISE ON WHITE MAGIC p. 84
There is a group of devas who form the health auras of all the three
middle kingdoms of nature (vegetable, animal and human) either collectively
or individually. Man is coming into contact with them along medical lines
and beginning somewhat to recognize them. One of the great errors into
which the human family has fallen has been the endeavour to administer
mineral drugs to man for medicinal purposes. It has resulted in a combination
of deva substances which was never intended. The relation of man to the
lower kingdoms, and particularly to the animal and mineral, has brought
about a peculiar condition in the deva world and has tended to complicate
deva evolution. The use of animal food (and the use of minerals as medicine
in a lesser degree) has produced a commingling of deva substance, and of
vibrations which are not attuned to each other. The vegetable kingdom is
in a totally different situation, and part of its karma has lain in the
providing of food for man; this has resulted in a needed transmutation
of the life of that kingdom into the higher stage (the animal) which is
its goal. The transmutation of vegetable life takes place necessarily on
the physical plane. Hence its availability as food. The transmutation of
the life of the animal into the human kingdom takes place on kama-manasic
levels. Hence the non-availability, esoterically understood, of the animal
as food for man. This is an argument for vegetarian living which needs
from TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE pp. 645-6
The development of the physical eye is proceeding under the law, and
inevitably the whole race of men will attain that dual focus which will
enable man to see both the dense, and the etheric, forms. At this stage
his inability to do so is largely due to a lack of pranic vitality. This
is mainly the result of wrong conditions of living, and the misuse of food.
The present general trend towards juster and purer conditions of life,
the return of man to simpler and saner ways, the widespread feeling for
bathing, fresh air, and sunlight, and the greater desire for vegetable
and nut foods, will result inevitably in a more ready assimilation of the
pranic fluids. This will produce certain changes, and improvements, in
the physical organs, and in the vitality of the etheric body.
from TREATISE OF COSMIC FIRE, p. 651
No set diet could be entirely correct for a group of people on differing
rays, of different temperaments and equipment and at various ages. Individuals
are every one of them unlike on some points; they require to find out what
it is that they, as individuals, need, in what manner their bodily requirements
can best be met, and what type of substances can enable them best to serve.
Each person must find this out for himself. There is no GROUP diet. No
enforced elimination of meat is required or strict vegetarian diet compulsory.
There are phases of life and sometimes entire incarnations wherein an aspirant
subjects himself to a discipline of food, just as there may be other phases
or an entire life wherein a strict celibacy is temporarily enforced. But
there are other life cycles and incarnations wherein the disciple's interest
and his service lie in other directions. There are later incarnations where
there is no constant thought about the physical body, and a man works free
of the diet complex and lives without concentration upon the form life,
eating that food which is available and upon which he can best sustain
his life efficiency. In preparation for certain initiations, a vegetable
diet has in the past been deemed essential. But this may not always be
the case, and many disciples prematurely regard themselves as in preparation
from ESOTERIC HEALING, p. 334
In Lemurian days, the healer achieved his ends by use of drastic physical
disciplines, thus gaining the needed purity. The goal, as you know, of
hierarchical effort in those days was to teach primitive man the uses and
purpose of the physical body and its intelligent control; the man who mastered
the body and was in control of it as a machinist is in control of a machine,
was then regarded as an initiate. Today, it is the mastering of the personality
which makes a man an initiate. Celibacy, careful modes of eating and a
measure of bodily cleanliness, plus the rudiments of Hatha Yoga (embryonic
physical, athletic control -- muscular control primarily) were strictly
emphasized. This achieved, so-called purity permitted the free flow of
the pranic currents from the healer to the patient, via the sacral center
and the throat center -- the spiritual healer working through the throat
center, and the point of reception in the patient being the sacral center;
neither the heart nor the head centers were used. Prana, to define it for
your purposes, is the vitality of the planet, its vital emanation; it is
this prana which is distributed or transferred by a natural healer (one
without any spiritual orientation). He heals but does not know how or why;
prana simply flows through him in the form of a strong current of animal
vitality, usually from the splenic center and not from any of the seven
These drastic physical disciplines are often attempted today by well-intentioned
aspirants; they practice celibacy, strict vegetarianism, relaxation exercises
and many kinds of physical exercises, in the hope of bringing the body
under control. These forms of discipline would be very good for the undeveloped
and the lowest type of human being, but they are not the methods which
should be employed by the average man or the practicing aspirant. Concentration
upon the physical body only serves to enhance its potency and to feed its
appetites and bring to the surface of consciousness that which should be
securely secluded below the threshold of consciousness. The true aspirant
should be occupied with emotional, not physical, control and with the effort
to focus himself upon the mental plane, prior to achieving a stabilized
contact with the soul.
In Atlantean times, the shift of the attention from the dense physical
body to the emotional vehicle began slowly to be made. The initiate of
that time began to teach his disciples that the physical body was in reality
only an automaton, and that it was the desire body, and the nature and
quality of their habitual desires which should be considered if purity
was to be attained. It was in this race therefore, that personal magnetism
first began slowly to show itself. The early and the primitive Lemurian
was not in the least magnetic as we understand the word, but in Atlantean
days a certain measure of magnetic radiation showed itself, though not
to the extent which is now frequent and possible. The first dim outline
of the halo could be seen around the heads of advanced Atlanteans. Magnetic
purity became a possibility and a goal, but was dependent upon emotional
control and the purification of the desire nature; this produced automatically
a much greater measure of purity in the dense physical vehicle than the
Lemurian initiate ever achieved. Diseases of the body became more subtle
and complex, and the first psychological diseases appeared and the various
ills which are definitely based upon the emotions. With this type of difficulty
we have dealt in an earlier part of this treatise. The healer in those
days worked through the solar plexus center and (if an initiate) through
the heart. There was still no magnetic area or field of energy in the head.
Today, in our Aryan race, magnetic purity is not dependent upon the
from ESOTERIC HEALING Page. 578-580
This rule (Rule 6 for Applicants) might be summed up in the trite instruction
to each disciple that he be strictly vegetarian. The lower nature becomes
clogged and heavy, and the inner blaze cannot shine forth when meat is
included in the diet. Aspirants can choose to eat meat or not as they prefer,
but at a certain stage upon the path it is essential that all meat eating
of every kind be stopped, and the strictest attention must be paid to diet.
A disciple must confine himself to vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts.
Only thus can he build the type of physical body which can stand the entry
of the real man who has stood in his subtler bodies before the Initiator.
Should he not do this, and should it be possible for him to take initiation
without having thus prepared himself, the physical body would be shattered
by the energy pouring through the newly stimulated centers, and dire danger
to the brain, the spine, or the heart would eventuate.
It must, of course, here be recognized that no hard or fast rules can
ever be laid down, except the initial one that for all applicants for initiation
meat, fish, and fermented liquors of all kinds, as well as the use of tobacco,
are absolutely forbidden.
from INITIATION, HUMAN AND SOLAR 196-7
The Sixth Rule (for Initiates) is the polar opposite of the rule as
it was given to Applicants. There, if you will refer to my exegesis of
that rule in Initiation, Human and Solar, you will find that the
objective of that rule was physical purification with the emphasis upon
the need for a vegetarian diet at a certain stage of the preparatory process.
The reasons for such a discipline were two in number: purification and
the necessity for the applicant (at that stage) to refrain from the sharing
of the benefits incident to the so-called "taking of life". But, my brother,
can one take life? I think not. Life IS. Naught in heaven or on earth can
touch or affect it. This is a point oft forgotten. The rule as given to
applicants consequently concerns their ability to accept and adhere to
a self-imposed discipline. Through the means of that discipline, the control
of the physical and astral natures is demonstrated by the applicant to
himself and the effect of the discipline is to reveal to him certain
inevitable and basic weaknesses, such as the control of the animal nature,
the powerful imposition of desire, a sense of superiority, of pride and
separativeness. His ability to sustain the discipline and his appreciation
of himself for so doing, plus a sense of superiority to those who are not
so disciplined are all indicative of essential weaknesses.
His fanaticism, latent or expressed, emerges in his consciousness with
clarity and -- when he is sincere -- he is conscious of having brought
about a measure of physical purity but, at the same time, he is left with
the awareness that he perhaps may be starting with the outer and the obvious
when he should be beginning with the inner and with that which is not so
easily contacted and expressed. This is a great and most important lesson.
The true disciple does not need vegetarianism or any of the physical
disciplines, for the reason that none of the fleshly appetites have any
control over him. His problem lies elsewhere and it is a waste of his time
and energy to keep his eyes focussed on "doing the right thing" physically
because he does it automatically and his spiritual habits offset
all the lower physical tendencies; automatically these developed habits
enable him to surmount the appeal of those desires which work out in the
fulfillment of lower desire. No one is accepted in the circle of the Ashram
(which is the technical name given to the status of those who are on the
eve of initiation or who are being prepared for initiation) whose physical
appetites are in any danger of controlling him. This is a statement of
fact. This applies particularly and specifically to those preparing for
the first major initiation. Those preparing for the second initiation
have to demonstrate their freedom from the slavery of ideas, from a fanatical
reaction to any truth or spiritual leader, and from the control of their
aspiration which -- through the intensity of its application -- would sacrifice
time, people and life itself to the call of the Initiator -- or rather,
to be correct, to what they believe to be His call.
..... Many Disciples today who should be functioning in the Hall of
Wisdom are still fanatically working in the Hall of Knowledge and are still
so earnest over the physical disciplines that the disciplines of the soul
are ignored. I would ask you to reflect on this.
from TREATISE ON THE SEVEN RAYS, Vol. V "The Rays and the Initiations"
THE MASTER SAID:
Faith is of three kinds; it is according to the innate character
of embodied beings, either of Substance, or of Force, or of Darkness.
Everyone is according to the nature of his faith... For man is formed
of faith; what his faith is, that verily is he.
Those of Substance worship bright deities; those of Force, deities greedy
and passionate; the others, the men of Darkness, worship the hosts of darkness,
the spirits of night.
And the favorite food of each is also divided threefold. Learn the divisions
Foods that increase the life-force, power, strength, health, well-being,
happiness, foods that are savory, mild, strengthening, vigorous, are dear
to the men of Substance.
Foods that are acrid, bitter, salt, over-hot, sharp, stinging and burning,
are the foods dear to the men of Force, and bring pain and sorrow and sickness.
Foods that are stale, whose savor has departed, which are decayed and
corrupt, things that are leavings and impure are the choice of the men
from BHAGAVAD GITA, Book XVII, Charles Johnston's translation
of terms encountered in your Reading Assignment and which may be
new to you:
ANIMA MUNDI - The life and soul of the One Life which permeates all
and in which all embodied existences live and move and have their beings.
The "Soul of the World", the divine essence which permeates, animates and
informs all, from the smallest atom of matter to man and God.
ARMAGEDDON - The battle at the end of the sixth root race, before the
emergence of the seventh root race, fought on the battleground of the three
lower bodies. A preliminary form of this battle will be fought at the close
of the sixth root race.
DEVA - Angel or archangel. All such lives are organized to work as builders
of all forms on all planes. They exist in varied grades paralleling but
distinct from the various stages of human evolution. Devas, the Greater
Builders, control and work through the elementals: the Lesser Builders,
who are blind (unconscious) forces obedient to sound.
3) abstention from theft
4) abstention from incontinence
5) abstention from avarice.
The five commandments constitute the universal duty and are irrespective
of race, place, time or emergency.
1) internal and external purification
3) fiery aspiration
4) spiritual reading
5) devotion to Ishvara.
MAHABHARATA - The "great war" celebrated in the epic poem of India,
which includes the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita.
PRANA - The breath of life, the vital principle which, circulating through
the etheric web, enables the One Life to animate form.
PRANAYAMA - (Prana=life force and yama=abstention from wrong acts) Right
control of the life-force by suppression or regulation of the breath. It
is the science which leads to proper organization of the etheric body.
SENZAR - Mystical name for the secret sacerdotal language, or the "mystery
speech" of the initiated Adepts, all over the world.
SHAMBALLA - The center of the invisible government of the planet. The
city of the Gods. It is located on the etheric plane, not the dense physical
TETRAKTYS - 1+2+3+4=10, a sacred formula usually attributed to Pythagoras
but more ancient in origin; a variation of the Tetragrammaton indicating
the nature of deity.
One symbolized The One, a dot or circle.
Two symbolized duality, a line.
Three symbolized surface power, the triangle, energy ascending
Four symbolized the solid cube and the world of physical form.
Together they equal ten, the number of perfection or completion.