The Hidden treasures of the ancient Qabalah (1)
Rabbi Eleazar, the beloved disciple of the Heavenly flame (Rabbi Simeon), was pondering over the words of the Psalmist, "And unto the broken in heart the Lord is nigh." "Master," he said, "why should it require the breaking of the heart in order to bring God nearer to us?" "My dear child," replied Rabbi Simeon, "the heart of man is ruled by a multitude of powers; their hold upon it is due to Karmic debts, and every attachment is an obligation of past lives. The ineffable light of the Holy One cannot shine through us until these obligations are discharged. It requires a transparent medium to reflect a flame; dense and opaque bodies do not transmit the light falling on them. It is the shine with the heart of man; when its bonds are broken, God draws nigh unto it."
The Vessel in which Transmutation Takes Place
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
THE VESSEL IN WHICH TRANSMUTATION TAKES PLACE
Man is fearfully and wonderfully made; he is the meeting point of descending and ascending nature; the arena in which the mighty Gods fight their battles, and principalities and powers strive for mastery over it.
The nature of man is so intricate and complex that even this physical constitution alone has not been exhaustively explored as yet.
There are still chambers within chambers and regions within regions, mysterious and unknown. Now if this is so the physical body, which is plainly visible to our senses and the organs and parts of which can be touched and handled, what about our mental and spiritual natures which are much more subtle and more elusive?
If we lack certainty as regards the body terrestrial, how great must our ignorance be when we approach the celestial vehicles?
And yet we cannot say we are without knowledge regarding our higher nature, and much has been given to this generation for which preceding ages longed and yearned in vain. Knowledge has been flowing into our minds for the last four or five decades which has dispersed both the superstitions of the Dogmatic Churches and the arrogant Dicta of the official scientists. But knowledge, no matter how plentiful and profound, is no remedy for human ills, unless it is accompanied by love and by the desire to apply it to its proper use. On the contrary, of two ill-disposed persons the one who knows most is the more dangerous because as his weapons are sharper, they can do more harm.
And, in fact, it so happened that with the advent of knowledge, its abuse grew apace, and side by side with the good, which it brought into the world, it gave birth to all sorts and conditions of evil.
The great mistake made by the seekers of knowledge, a mistake which proved most fatal to their spiritual welfare, was that they sought knowledge for its own sake. This was bound to result in failure and to frustrate the very object of their search. Man's mission on earth is to attain freedom; lie must be freed from all that binds him to earthly associations. This endeavor is the supreme task of man individually and of humanity collectively. The alchemists of old illustrated this pilgrimage of man towards liberation by their various processes, tinctures, and manipulations. Their vessels, laboratories, metals and transmutations were so many names for the one and the same thing, namely, the illumination of the human soul and her redemption from matter. The well-known saying, "To dissolve and to coagulate" meant nothing but to tear asunder the bonds of passion binding the soul to matter and having dissolved even the most subtle threads of desire and attachment, to turn the life stream upwards and to coagulate it with the pure elements of the
[paragraph continues] Soul. The vessel in which this process takes place is the body of man. This vehicle of manifestation is the crucible in which the pure gold is tried and proven, the alloy and the dross burned away, so that only the sterling substance remains
The human body is the real cross upon which crucifixion takes place. Each Ego chooses its own kind of cross according to its special need. If our body happens to be weak and handicaps us in life's race, it is not a misfortune, a misfortune though it seems.
It may be awkward from a material point of view, but looked at from the higher vistas of the spirit it is invariably a blessing and contains some great lesson of which the Ego is in dire need.
It must therefore be borne in mind that while transmutation takes place, and until it is complete, the vessel, which is the body, must needs suffer from the effects of the process going on within it. If the man has been living a riotous life in the past and then suddenly turns the other way about
and wishes to become a saint, he cannot do so in the twinkling of an eye; his various bodies, which as we know are living and knowing organisms, do not at once submit to the change of front on the part of their owner. They feel that they ought to have been consulted about the transaction and they make their grievances known by various pains and aches and discomforts. These are generally the symptoms accompanying the process of transmutation. The laboratories of Nature are conducted on the same principle everywhere. Whether it is the chemist trying to compound a medicine or the alchemist trying to create a new substance, they both base their practices upon the eternal and invariable law of affinity which governs the generation and growth of every thing in the vast realms of manifest nature. A little reflection will convince us of this perfect analogy subsisting between nature and man and will help us so to order our lives as to profit by all the wise provisions which she has made for the welfare of leer creatures in all the kingdoms.
When man first turns his eyes heavenward, praying to be lifted up, the task confronting him is tremendous indeed. The age-long associations of body, mind and soul have to be severed and new affinities have to be established. Looking at these things from outside we say one must exercise "self-control." I wonder whether any one of us realizes the fullness of the glory of that human being who has really overcome. It really amounts to the making of a new creature, one ceasing to be a man and beginning to be a God.
We understand, of course, that the real battle is going on inside the man. What we see on the surface are only moving hands on the dial of a clock; the clockwork is inside. The springs of conduct are hidden from our eyes; the cause of things is beyond our ken. We often believe we know ourselves and our interests, but the real man and his real needs pass our comprehension. In his infinite wisdom, the Supreme Lord has thus ordained it that self-knowledge should come to man by degrees. While his
nature is being transformed, the knowledge of Self filters in. Just look at the four kinds of yoga taught by the Eastern sages. They were designed to facilitate this introduction of Self-knowledge into the mind and the establishment of normal relations between the Divine and astro-mental parts of man. Raja Yoga was to purify the lower man, Karma Yoga was to turn his energies into sacrificial work, Gnani Yoga was to refine his manasic vehicles by mental exercises and study, and at last Bhakti Yoga was to unite him to God by love and devotion. To most of us it is not given to tread all the paths at the same time; we are limited by our congenital failings, and heredity and environment are against us, so as some of us enter the Path we usually progress along the lines of least resistance.
If we are of a practical turn of mind we become Karma Yogis, if students, we become Gnanis, if we are strong-willed we subdue our bodily and psychic natures and become Raja Yogis, and if our natures are affectionate and the love element is the
strongest then we become Bhaktis. All of these lead to the same goal and at last merge into one another.
He who strives for liberation must finally master all. Yoga like Alchemy requires the whole Man; compromise is out of place in these altitudes, and he, who reserves to himself a little foible or some pet indulgence and thinks it will be all right in spite of all, will find it very expensive indeed, because the ladder will give way and the rung he thought he would skip will prove a pitfall for his feet.
The analogy between Yoga and Alchemy is so perfect and so instructive that one cannot help admiring that wonderful spiritual guidance from on high which leas come down to the founders of both these sciences.
You are aware that Yoga comes from the East, while Alchemy comes from the West. I believe that no great work has ever been accomplished by man on earth without help from those Spirits of just men made perfect, who are always around us like clouds of witnesses to render help wherever needed.
Now the System of Yoga has been taught for centuries in India and the practices of Alchemy have been studied for ages in Europe. Both these schools have had helpers in the higher spheres who inspired their labors. That the teachings of both agree in their essential principles is one more proof of their Divine origin. Now the most salient feature of both Yoga and Alchemy is their agreement as to the vessel in which the operation is to take place. It is the body of man; by body I do not mean the physical vehicle only, but the mental body as well. Both have to be put in the furnace and purged from their old dross until the glorified spirit is free. "To produce gold one must have gold" is a Hermetic saying; well, the gold is the spiritual soul within us. It is she who has to be resurrected from the ashes of Self sense and sin so that she may enter into her rightful possessions of the Divine Gifts of virtue, wisdom, and love promised to her by the Giver of all good gifts, the Father of Lights from whom she comes. "Life itself," says
[paragraph continues] Patanjali, "is the great teacher of Yoga." The cosmic procession of life passing before our eyes is the High School par excellence in which the children of men graduate into Yogis of various degrees and rank. Every cycle pushes humanity a little further upon the high road of evolution, and as one spiral is passed and another reached, Man finds he has grown almost imperceptibly in all the graces and accomplishments incidental to the latest stage of unfoldment.
Those who wish to go ahead of their brethren must not wait for the generality of men; they must step out of the beaten track and—as it were—take a hand in their own making. The present moment is very favorable for this independent departure, because the cyclic law favors it and the new dispensation into which we are entering makes it easier of accomplishment. In the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, the units undergoing evolution are helplessly subject to the law governing the group-soul; on the human plane only does independent initiative come in.
Arrived at this stage the Jiva-Atma or the Spiritual Soul is at liberty to break loose from the mass and to start on its way back to the source of its origin. This way of return is through the chamber of ordeals, the crucible in which transmutation takes place. All metals must be purified and transformed into gold, which means that all outgoing tendencies must he mastered, drawn in, and turned upward so that they may serve to energize the pure Spirit—and help to manifest him according to his dictates instead of drawing him as hitherto after their own inclinations.
It is impossible to describe the process in particular as, owing to Karmic bonds, we all have different burdens to bear, but on the whole it is safe to say that at any time in our life we are to be found in just that place and surrounded by just those conditions which, if understood and respected, would invariably help us to fulfill the law and by so doing draw nearer to the goal, namely, the liberation of our souls from the bondage of illusion. But unfortunately we
are never quite reconciled to the hard facts of this world and this life, and even the best of us think we are in the wrong place and if it were not for this, that, and the other, we might be better off, and have a better chance to be happy and good. But my dear Brothers and Sisters, it is not so!
We are, as I said, at every moment of our lives, just where we ought to be, and happy the man who can realize this truth in all its wonderful simplicity. The vessel of transmutation into which we have been thrown will never give us up until we are quite ready and well done; let us not oppose the process and thus retard the advent of our freedom.
As you are aware, everything in this world is governed by analogy The law that governs the atom is the same which governs man, and the law that presides over the evolution of man is identical with the law that rules the universe. Bearing this in mind, how significant every act of ours becomes! Often even slight and seemingly unimportant actions of ours may, in their
ramifications, generate karmic results of tremendous importance to our fellow-men and to the world.
Especially is this true of people of high spiritual status. They are doubly responsible for their thoughts, words, and deeds, because they create corresponding effects upon the higher planes.
"To him to whom much is given, of him much shall be required"; that is to say, the man of power must be alive to it, that with the acquisition of power he increases his obligations, and the more powerful he grows, the more sacrificing must he be. When the lower elements of our constitution become transmuted and refined, we acquire great powers and many gifts, and the danger arises that we may not adequately appreciate the solemn duties attaching to them. The law of God can never be broken; it is we who break ourselves in violating its eternal decrees.
Having overcome most desires, as we finally do, in the process of transmutation, we must also overcome the greatest of and
most subtle of all desires, and that is the desire for power. Power for its own sake is not worth having, and more than that, it often throws the disciple far deeper down into the abyss than bodily self-indulgence. It is the same with spiritual pride—Pride is the sin against the Holy Ghost, which can never be forgiven. Therefore, when undergoing the transformation of our natures in the crucible of life, we ought to see to it that these subtle and poisonous elements are got rid of in the process.
Let us now recapitulate the main points: As soon as man begins to be dissatisfied with his old life and his old habits and learns to appreciate the grave beauties of the higher life, the process of transmutation is started within his constitution. He may not yet actually have done anything to begin the new life, but the mere resolution to do so plants his feet upon the path. Even to see only the futility of the vain, sinful and empty life, means half the battle won. When a definite step is taken and the desires truly renounced, the Karmic effects are mighty
and far-reaching. If the aspirant is strong enough to persist in spite of the trials springing up on every side, as he advances on the Path, then the work of transmutation enters the second stage, which is the stage of unification. Before this is reached, all passion, whether physical or mental, must be rooted out of his nature. Unification is the crown of the great work; it is the reward of ages of effort and æons of hard labor. Truly blessed is the man in whom the Divine Self has been united permanently to the astro-mental part which is all we see of one another while on earth. When this conjunction has taken place, man has ceased to be subject to the laws of man; for him, we have been told, "no law can be framed"; he has ceased to be a child of earth, for he has become in the truest and deepest sense, a child of God.
Now there is one thought I would like to impress strongly upon our minds at this point. It is this: while this higher and nobler life is eminently desirable and all of us would fain attain unto it, we must not
forget the grim reality of this every day existence of ours arid, while reaching out for the higher life, let us not by some careless act or acts wreck this prosaic foundation upon which the poetical structure of the life beautiful is to be raised.
Many have made this mistake and destroyed themselves body, mind, and estate, in order to develop spiritually. What they really did achieve was entire ruin both physical and spiritual. Let us in our endeavor to live the higher life be as practical as we are in the management of our mundane affairs. Above all, let us be guided by reason and let us discard everything that is cloudy and vague, and after having done all we possibly can do to guard against the blind forces of the lower nature and to master all that is beneath us, let us remember that we are infinitesimal expressions of the one great law, and we can do nothing better than commend ourselves to its Supreme Author, the great Law-giver. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He loves us better too.
And therefore we say unto this last, "Into Thy hands do we commit our Spirit and our souls into Thy keeping."
The Feminine Elements in Man and their Redeeming Power
Much shall be forgiven unto her who loveth much.
Love on, through doubt and darkness, and believe
THE FEMININE ELEMENTS IN MAN AND THEIR REDEEMING POWER
Strength and beauty are the two attractive elements of our nature, but the masculine strength and the feminine beauty are in reality one and the same thing. That which we admire as strength in the man is the same element that fascinates us as beauty in the woman.
The difference consists in the way of their manifestation only. When the spirit has gained sufficient power on the outgoing path and is strong enough to hold the power that is his in eternal potentiality, then beauty appears on the scene and transforms the aggressive forcefulness of the man into the gentle attractiveness of the woman.
To be quite exact, beauty is strength on a higher spiral; when strength ripens, it becomes beauty. This is the spiritual aspect
of it, that seems to have been voiced by all the sages of antiquity.
Even savage man of prehistoric times was subject to the attractions of the physically much weaker female, thereby acknowledging her superiority over his brute force.
The law which governs the generation of energy on the inner planes of being also presides over the evolution of beautiful forms; the source whence strength springs is identical with the origin of all that is pleasing to our sight.
Man is by nature the aggressor, the moving factor, whose energy makes the plasticity of the world-soul yield her latent treasures.
Woman, on the other hand, contains these treasures. She is identical with the World-Soul, and in her the strength of man becomes transformed into beauty, which is the higher aspect of strength. Right here I must remind you that in every man is concealed the womanly element just as every woman has masculine qualities. In fact there are such things as womanly men and
manly women. Here we are concerned with the spiritual nature, and as regards this, it is well for us to bear in mind that the feminine nature is far superior to the masculine both in its sensitivity to the unseen, and in its capacity of sacrifice and devotion to the ideal.
I do not wish to be understood as depreciating "the mere man." I could not very well do that, but what I want to emphasize is this, that true greatness and nobility of soul are due to those qualities within us which are feminine by nature.
It matters not whether the physical body one wears is that of a male or a female; It is the perfection of the spiritual nature that counts.
Before man can be redeemed his nature must become feminine. Man stands for positive action, while woman is the symbol of passivity. The idea of power is generally associated with active energy, but it requires a stronger will to refrain from action that to act. Therefore is woman's sphere above that of man, and her kingdom
must come before man realizes his true nature.
The dissecting and analytical function of the mind is of a masculine character, while the synthesis, the gathering up and consummating, is altogether womanly. This applies to all the realms of nature; to everything under the sun. In the battle of life, while making his pilgrimage through this wilderness of earthly existence, man is like a strong oak, or a trusty, sturdy oaken stem, but woman like a vine clinging in grace and beauty to him.
This expression of female tenderness on the physical plane is only an emblem of the true relation on the plane of spirit. There the companionship is free from the vicissitudes of earth, and partakes of the Divine nature only. The relations between the sexes on the higher planes are in accordance with the heavenly law governing those planes. Those whose good fortune it was to know the pure friendship of a woman on the earth plane have had, even in this life, a foretaste of the Heavenly condition. Its effect upon
the physical nature is the same as when the sun draws up the muddy water of a stagnant pool by the roadside, and, changing its vibrations, returns it as the gentle life-giving rain, softening the dry earth.
Thus is the effect of the sweetness and light emanating from a pure soul in whom passion has been stilled and desire transmuted.
It is through this recognition of the spiritual elements within us which are of a feminine nature that the atoms, molecules and particles of the physical body become glorified and healed and the mind becomes illuminated.
The human soul is in possession of the greatest of all Divine gifts—the power to heal other souls; mark you—not only bodies, but Souls.
The gift of healing is in itself a great boon to mankind, but, when to it is added the power to heal the heavy-laden soul of man then the possessor thereof is indeed a favored mortal whom the Gods delight to honor. This spiritual gift of healing can
only be exercised by that man or by that woman in whom the mind has been dualized, that is to say, it has become male-female in one. In those in whom this process of mind-dualization has been effected, a new life springs up which, compared to the old one, is like light unto darkness. It is here, right here that the redeeming power of the feminine elements in man is seen. At the first birth man is endowed with the earthly mind, but at the second birth he receives the heavenly one. To the twice-born sons and daughters of God all things are possible.
To some of us this exalted state may seem a dream, but dreams and longings are founded upon true being for no one can long for that which has no existence or the possibility of existence. Perception of coming things is only possible through conception. The physical life we live and all the desires of the flesh that appertain to it are like the sacred lotus of Oriental lands. The root of this lotus is buried in mud and slime, but from this lowly condition it rises
through the currents of the river until at last it reaches the air. Here the plant blossoms forth in luxuriant purity, a type and symbol of the highest spiritual development.
Thus it is with sex life. Sex life has its roots in the mud of material life; it rises through the flowing waters of mentality and finally blossoms in the clear air of our spiritual nature, pure, sacred, divine.
Those whose feet have climbed the rugged steeps of the spiritual heights and who have at last reached the summit will understand the need of their trials, and the wisdom which ordained them. It is at the very top of the mountain that the spiritual consciousness opens and man becomes aware of his dual nature. Then, when this highest part of his constitution is mature, he can draw unto himself from surrounding nature that which corresponds to this highest and most potent part in himself.
If he has the Gold (Love) within him, he can draw the very highest from the vast expanse of space by virtue of the law of affinity which makes like attract like.
There is a fundamental difference between the atomic elements of the masculine and feminine principles in nature and this causes the difference in the external form of male and female.
It is a peculiarity of atoms well known to chemists that their behavior depends upon their arrangement, though their nature is not changed. Thus the difference in the constitution between a molecule of ozone and a molecule of oxygen is quite imperceptible, but their properties differ widely. Why this should be so is a mystery which is perfectly unfathomable to physical science. The key to this mystery is to be found elsewhere; it lies in the spiritual forces governing nature from within. The power that determines the mode of life and activity of an atom, or a molecule, is beyond the reach of the microscope and the scalpel; it is a spiritual power which acts in accordance with laws not yet known to the scientific world. These laws are as beneficent as they are wise, and they invariably make for human well-being. Now if we ascend the
scale of creation and examine the workings of these atomic arrangements on the higher planes we find the same law holds good and that duality of sex and its effects upon the life of the human species is just as much a mystery as it is on the lower planes. You often hear of the new mental type which is emerging from the present one; this new type is to be a dualized mind. The holy Qabalah teaches that every thought and emotion is represented structurally in invisible substance, the highest and purest aspirations and emotions consist atomically of bisexual human beings dualized in their mental nature and patterned after the shape of primal man. These forces, however, can only operate through those mortals who are struggling to regain their lost condition of pristine purity by long preparations, severe moral discipline and self-denial. Those who have given themselves to the service of humanity, consecrating their life, thought and substance to the furtherance of God's Kingdom and the doing of God's will on earth, will find that all their old passions
and desires, having once been transmuted, will now spring up as powers for good within them. Eliphas Levi, the great Qabalist, left his testimony to this effect. The strength of his devotion to the light he had keen, he assured his pupils, was in exact ratio to the strength of his former passions, a force of which he had by severe discipline subdued and turned into a servant of the God within.
All desire is centrifugal, outgoing, while will, pure spiritual will, is centripetal and attractive. Thus do the feminine qualities in our constitution exercise a redeeming power over our old Adamic nature, and, until man understands this bi-une arrangement of his internal make-up, and, understanding it, strives to awaken and deepen the Divine Consciousness within himself so as to become continually and increasingly aware of his duality, there is little chance of his transcending the level of ordinary humanity. But, when this miracle has happened and the eyes of the soul have been opened and the torch of faith has been lit, then man
becomes more than man; he has established his right to be a ruler of man.
Christ, the everlasting symbol of all that is true and good and really great, was of a feminine nature. He only wore the body of a man, but His soul was womanly. His life, His labors, His final sacrifice were just the means to fill the measure before His departure from the valley of tears, in which He was to learn all lessons and to suffer all manner of pain, in order that He might be able to help those whose lot in life it was to suffer and to endure. If we wish to benefit by the redeeming power of the feminine elements within us, let us recall the memory of the Lord of Compassion and the agonies of His spiritual crucifixion. It is an ordeal we all must pass through, sooner or later. Let it be sooner.
The supreme message of this ordeal to us is that we may not try to escape from our Karma, but whatever betide us, we should say: "Let this cup pass from me, yet not my will, but thine be done." Thus shall we learn
to be patient under tribulation and strong in the day of trial.
Millions of human beings, our brothers and sisters, are waiting for our help. We cannot help them until we have ourselves overcome. The physician must first heal himself if he is to be of any use to the patient. It is a hard path to tread, the path of overcoming; it has been called the path of woe, but it is also the path of glory. When we some day arrive at the end of it, we shall understand the words of the Conquering Christ ringing down through the ages—"It is finished"—"Consumatum est," as the Latin Bible has it. Yes, then, we too shall say "It is finished"; we have fulfilled the cycle of our destiny. Whenever this comes to pass, our sole concern in this life and the things of this life will only be so far as they relate to the spirit's welfare. Henceforth all our striving, if we strive at all, will be, that, as the days pass by, we may grow juster and fairer and purer, more kind and more true, more silent and more humble, and having attained ourselves, to
point out the way to the younger souls corning after us. It is the only means we have to repay the blessed Masters for Their sacrifices, which alone have made our lives worth living.
THE HOLY SUPPER
The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
Spiritual Companionship Between Man and Woman
What matter if I stand alone?
SPIRITUAL COMPANIONSHIP BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN
In the ancient temples of Egypt and Chaldea they used to tell the neophyte that whenever he met some truly congenial companion during his subsequent career, it would he a sign that the time of his probation was nearing to the end and that he was soon to be recognized and accepted as a disciple of a great Master. As a rule, those who enter upon the path must dwell alone; solitude and loneliness are their lot. It is only when they have learned to stand alone and to remain unshaken that they are allowed the companionship of a friend. The social life of a man distracts the soul and makes it depend upon the whirl and change of events for its sustenance. When the soul is to awaken to its new and true life, these kaleidoscopic changes must give way to
constancy and unity. This cannot be the case until man has been tried and proven in the furnace of affliction. When he has tasted of the bitterness of life's cup and emptied it to the very dregs, when one after the other of what we call life's joys have been taken from him and he has lost his health, his possessions and his friends too, then a sense of utter loneliness comes upon him and he enters what the mystics call the great void. Here he has to stand his trial. If he passes it successfully, he is admitted into the inner court of the temple, and permitted to know the true character of his Karma and the laws under which it operates.
Ordinarily the children of men are ignorant of Karmic law, and they do not know the ways and the means by which they are judged. But the disciple does know these things and this knowledge enables him to work with the law consciously and intelligently. As soon as he can do that, Karma relaxes its rigidity and, instead of the measure of judgment, the Lords of Karma grant
him the measure of mercy. That is to say, he can now partake of the things of this world and be in it, without being of it.
Spiritual companionship is one of the blessings that come into the disciple's life at this period. He begins to recover his friends, but this time they are friends of the soul and hound unto him by ties of spiritual affinity. What a comfort and a joy to the suffering soul when she finds a sister soul here on earth in whose company she can make her pilgrimage to the other shore! Blessed are the souls that do find one another while on their journey homeward bound. The help they can render each other covers many planes; the various forces human beings are possessed of, magnetic, electric, sympathetic, mental, psychic and moral are all capable of being raised to higher planes of activity. They are all biological in their essence, and, as such subject to the dominance of the spiritual will.
The union of two beings strengthens the dominion of the will, and especially is this the case if the union is between members of
the opposite sex. The reason for this is the difference in the magnetisms of the male and female bodies. Every atom in our constitution is surrounded by a magnetic circle. This magnetic circle consists of positive and negative particles, balancing each other. The mental and spiritual particles of our higher bodies are likewise constituted. Between two human beings of the opposite sex—provided their mentalities are congenial—the same relation exists on a larger scale. The electric elements preponderating in the male organism are balanced by the magnetic currents of the female body acid the harmonious exchange of the magnetisms thus generated is the cause of that feeling of exhilaration and joy which a pure companionship between man and woman invariably produces. So much so, that it often seems that the physical bodies have no weight, but appear to float along without effort. No wonder that the participants in such a union looked forward with great delight to the time when they would meet. The old-fashioned conception of life, the
prudery and restraint in the social intercourse of men and women, were responsible for a great deal of harm. Untold misery was the result of most of the marriage-relationships, because the partners did not know each other sufficiently. But apart from it, the most innocent contact between the sexes was looked upon askance by people whose minds have not been pure enough to think of love as a Divine gift that can be expressed on many planes much higher than the physical. Happily, these notions are gradually passing away and man and woman can sustain friendly relations to each other. The evil-minded person, who thinks of wrong at the sight of what is God's most perfect gift to the children of men, that person condemns himself because the evil he sees is in his own mind only. "To the pure all things are pure." To return to our subject, the magnetisms streaming out from the auras of man and woman are differently constituted. Through their interblending, positive and negative life-elements are obtained. This interblending creates life, and
life is not a material substance, but a spiritual element, highly refined and potential with great possibilities and with great power.
Now all these benefits to be derived from the association between man and woman are non-existent for those who have not yet mastered their passions and lower emotions. People who live on the lower planes of life may derive a certain pleasure according to their evolutionary status, but this is not what we are here concerned with. The aspirant striving to enter the temple of knowledge and wishing to taste of the heavenly joys of pure and undefiled love must have subdued his desire nature; his mind must be like a limpid lake, calm and tranquil, on the surface of which not a ripple is to be seen.
Having accomplished this purification, man and woman are fit to be spiritual companions, but not otherwise. That it is worth while to go through this ordeal has been testified to by all who have attained unto the goal. There is a love which few have known. It is the love that opens the soul's
inner portals and admits our spirit into the holy of holies, the sanctuary of the pure soul. There the glory of the Divine image is restored, and nature crowns the victor with the laurels of a consummate happiness, of which in ordinary life there is naught to serve us as an illustration.
Wisdom, the ultimate aim of life, can only be acquired if the law leas been fulfilled. The fulfillment of the law implies that we have had our share of all experiences—if some of them are missed our education is incomplete. Before we attain unto final liberation we must ascend the ladder of earthly life and view from every rung of it the world around us. It is this which is meant when we are told "to look intelligently into the heart of men." We must learn our own lessons, even the highest, by passing through the full gamut of the things which human life has to offer. There are, however, two ways of passing it—the lawful one and the lawless one.
The lawful way of gaining experience on earth is the partaking of all it has to offer
under the guidance of the Spirit and only in proportion to the Spirit's actual needs. Lawlessness steps in when we desire for the sake of desire and do not respect the Soul's protestations. The disciple to whom desire is only a means of gaining knowledge uses it in accordance with the eternal design which called it forth. On whatever plane desire exists, it is only a means to an end for him and he does not allow it to tarnish his higher nature, or to create within him the germ of attachment to any form or shape of it. This resignation in the midst of the objects of desire is productive of great and lasting strength. The continual balancing of the centrifugal and centripetal forces of spirit generates the Divine power of overcoming all the ailments of body and soul and endows us with the supreme virtue of healing all manner of disease.
The spiritual companionship between man and woman has the acquisition of this power for its purpose. Owing to her experience in past lives, woman's interior nature is more centered in love than man's and consequently
she supplies the necessary welding power to hold man's psychical and spiritual natures to a given centre. The Divine self though ever present in both sexes cannot appear to us, unless the love and power elements are blended and eternal silence has been borne in the soul.
As man and woman grow in spiritual worth, their power and influence for good go on increasing and they become focal points for the hosts of heaven watching over humanity. Under the guidance of these guardians, and, while doing their bidding and cultivating their higher nature, man and woman grow in all excellence.
Those treading the path of discipleship find great help in such a congenial companionship. The continuous transmutation of bodily structure is attained and furthered through such soul communion; and through the mental activity consequent upon it, the body is changed cell by cell. This transmutation is the same as the alchemic process by which food and drink and breath are changed into blood, from blood into aerial
fluid and then into etheric or mental substance. Then the ego touches it by its own vibrations and it becomes more etherealized into soul or auraic essence.
Every conscious effort we make to uplift and refine the physical body is a step towards the quickening of our spiritual faculties, the deepening of our insight and the increase in wisdom and understanding. The process of life is a continuous chain of sublimation and refinement.
Beginning with the lowest and crudest forms of matter right up to the highest expression of life, everything is undergoing evolution and transformation. Speaking of matter, we are thinking of tangible material such as we can see or touch or recognize by the physical senses, but air is matter and we live completely immersed in it and in other airs, that is to say, finer elements than the one we call air. In these tenuous regions our evolution is going on while we are unaware of it. But all the same is the substance of those planes subject to the universal law of transmutation. We are, as it were, unconscious agents of nature on those
planes, and she uses us to effect her designs everywhere.
The higher virtues of love and devotion subserve this purpose of refinement on the higher planes. You often heard it stated by our great teachers that the sentiment of love purifies the emotional body; so does the sentiment of devotion. It virtually then comes to it that, even when we think that we are acting in a most spontaneous way, bestowing our love upon the object of our affection, or offering our devotion to our ideal, even then we are only instruments of nature who works through us like a clever craftsman in the execution of his plans.
At the same time, we must bear in mind that when we are used as agents on those higher planes, it is well with us because we are then free from the lower forms of Karma to which those on the material plane of life are still subject. This is one of the benefits of spiritual companionship; it advances us by planting within us the seeds of love and veneration and turning the emotional and passional forces of our nature
towards the inmost and the highest, thus giving us a foretaste of the pure and selfless Divine love which we shall some day realize on the higher ranges of cosmic life.
To conclude, let us review the main benefits derivable from the association of man and woman in a pure spiritual companionship. First, the relation must be established between people of congenial natures; they must love the same things and be devoted to the same ideal; the more such ideals they have in common, the better for them, for their ties are strengthened thereby.
Second in importance, but not to be underestimated, is the physical constitution of those associating. Some people think they can slight this aspect but it is not so. Though true sympathy is of an interior nature, it must not be forgotten that our senses are avenues to the spirit and things that are to commend themselves to the Spirit must be pleasing and acceptable to its sentinels outside, which we call our senses.
Perfect sympathy can only subsist between partners whose bodily constitutions
only introduce true harmony into their relationship. Where the slightest repulsion exists, owing to external antipathy, the bond of union must needs be weakened. If harmony has been established on the physical, mental and spiritual planes, and the purpose of the given association is to serve the highest which both partners cognize, then Divine revelation comes to them and enlightens them in all things. It is the Voice of God in the garden telling how to crown the sanctified life with beauty and joy and how to make it a milestone for the wayfarers of succeeding generations.
Star to star vibrates light, why not soul to soul? If the purpose of life is beneficent, as we know it is, is it not the duty of each being to serve as a channel for the spread of light and the increase of joy? When two human beings are united for this object on earth, the angelic hosts on high bless their union and take them into their charge. They are led through the highways and byways of life and shown the untold misery and suffering calling for aid and comfort. Looking
round them, they learn how to love those who know not what love is, how to pity, how to help and how to grow God-like. Thus strengthened by their own devotion to each other, they pass along on their mission of mercy, pouring out their benedictions upon the needy and distressed with whom their Karma brings them in contact. Their own pure personal love has taught them love Divine which is purer still.
Having profited by their association in body, mind and soul, they now work on the plane of spirit, as servants of the most high God. Truly blessed is the portion of such, for they have found favor above all other mortals, and, even when all things of earth shall pass away, their loving deeds will live. For such there is no fear of death, for, having fulfilled the cycle of their destiny on earth, they will continue their labors of love in the regions beyond, in the gracious presence of the Lord of Hosts, of whom we are told that "His mercies endure forever and his compassions never fail."
The Knowledge of God Obtainable Through Love Pure and Undefiled
A picket frozen on his duty,
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD OBTAINABLE THROUGH LOVE PURE AND UNDEFILED
The vague notions still prevailing among leaders of thought as to what constitutes the summum bonum, the highest happiness, are responsible for most of the chaos of our social life and our systems of education. As long as we are not quite certain as to what the goal of humanity really is, we cannot possibly order our lives to the best advantage. Man's chief glory is the faculty whereby he knows. As long as material conditions constrain him to spend the greater part of his life in manual labor, he cannot of course devote much time to the cultivation of his intellect; but, since the advent of scientific devices for labor-saving, humanity has been in a better position to care for the intellectual upliftment of the masses. The Higher Education has been increasing,
art and literature are flourishing and every one, no matter how humble he be, seems to be anxious for knowledge and eager for culture. With the progress of the sciences, however, the problem arose how to utilize their application so that it might result in the greatest happiness for the greatest number. This is indeed a mighty problem, worthy of the attention of the best and bravest of men. How can we use these God-given gifts of inventors and their discoveries, so that they may not result in multiplying human misery but rather in its reduction and final elimination? The answer has not yet been found so far as practical life is concerned. We still use our best energies and the most clever intellects to manufacture implements of war and to organize bodies of men against one another. Our economical conditions too are in a state of perpetual disorder. Each man is for himself; millions are perishing annually for lack of the very necessaries of life, and few of us seem to care. There is plenty of food and an abundance of everything
to make life comfortable, but the good will seems to be lacking to make all these good things subserve their proper purpose, namely, the welfare of all.
As man masters nature and frees himself from her tyranny, the need for utilizing all her forces to increase the sum total of human happiness dawns upon him. He realizes the vanity of all things which narrow his horizon and the poverty of even the greatest of pleasures if they serve only the petty self. In this age and generation, the waves of social sympathy rise very high and, amidst the indifference of the rich and mighty ones, many a man says to himself, "I am my brother's keeper; his troubles are mine, and I am responsible for his wellbeing." The public institutions we possess, all the social arrangements for the welfare of the poor and helpless ones, who have fallen by the wayside, are due to the efforts of those chosen ones who have realized the seriousness of life, and, wishing to make the best of it, are devoting their possessions and their energies to ameliorate the conditions
of the oppressed and downtrodden ones so as to bring a little of the sweetness and light of civilization into the aching hearts of the eternally disinherited. But man does not live by bread alone, and his need of spiritual and intellectual sustenance is just as great and as pressing as that of physical nourishment. The strongest desire of man is to know. He wants to know the world in which he lives, the body he calls his own, the soul he believes inspires him and the God from whom she comes. All these things man wants to know, and the more time advances towards the end of the cycle, the greater grows his eagerness for that knowledge.
After securing the comforts of life and ease and leisure, man hungers for mental and spiritual satisfaction. Of all the defects of the present organization of society and of the cruelties consequent upon it, none is so fatal to the welfare of man as the denial of knowledge to the enquiring mind and of the chance of culture to the aspiring soul. The absence of these opportunities
is the most blighting factor of the competitive system, because it deprives man of his natural and legitimate right to acquire all the knowledge he can about himself and his environment. The greatest privileges of man being his capacity to know, anything that denies to him the exercise of this faculty is an unmitigated evil. But it is not only knowledge of material things which the mind craves; the desire to know comprehends things unseen as well. The soul of man yearns for nothing more deeply than for the knowledge of God. The vistas of knowledge are infinite, but not even the highest can satisfy the heart of man. It is only in the knowledge of God that man can find lasting peace. "It is possible to know God," says an occult writer, but it is not easy to acquire that knowledge. The Rosicrucians used to say, "In order to know God one must be God," which means that we must transcend ourselves altogether, and reach out to the sublime heights of the Eternal. Unknown to the indifferent and slothful, God reveals
himself to the searching heart and rewards its persistent labors and earnest seeking by the supreme gift of the knowledge of Himself.
"To know God is life eternal," says the apostle; the two are identical. For in ordinary life our perspective is limited to this mundane plane, and we can only know by means of the lower mind, but, when our intuition takes the place of reason, and illumination that of speculation, we know, even as we are known.
Here is a Heavenly promise to man: "Those who seek me, shall find me, if they seek me with all their heart and all their soul." The trend of modern life is towards the spiritual side of things. Science and philosophy are both engaged in paving the way to a more intimate acquaintance with things spiritual. Man as a unit, and as a member of the collective body of the human race, seeks for God in everything he does, but he does not always seek Him rightly, which is the reason of his partial success; but the tendency of human endeavor is
growing more and more towards the spiritual. In all departments of life men begin to realize the need for a readjustment of values and for the subordination of the material side of life to the ideal one. This leads to numerous improvements in the methods of labor and to social reconstruction.
The love of God, being the crown of the inner life, is thus expressed in practical life in the service of man. That passion, which formerly made for acquisition, is now under the influence of growing knowledge transmuted into the passion for doing good.
Ambition having fulfilled its purpose in former cycles, when infant humanity wanted it as a spur to exertion and action, is now stepping into the background and her place is taken by man's desire to serve and to be useful. "God's own synonym is use," says a wise proverb, and, as we were made in the image and likeness of God, it behooves us, also, to be of use; only thus do we grow Godlike.
The knowledge of God is best acquired
by the practical expression of the Divine attributes in actual life. It is the loving service we render wherever it is called for, which endows us with these attributes. Love, pure and undefiled, expressed in practical every-day life is God's own activity performed by His deputies in human form on earth.
There are two paths of union with God, according to the mystics of old; the path of Knowledge and the path of Love. Those who unite themselves to God by knowledge will sooner or later see the need of love to strengthen the bond of union, while those whose lives are full of devotion must supplement their endeavors by searching and seeking after the deeper mysteries of God-hood revealed by knowledge. The ancient Sages, the great Masters of the Inner Wisdom, taught that the knowledge of God, when obtained, makes of mortal man an immortal. The pure love which helped the acquisition of that knowledge while the disciple was treading the Path, provides him with his glorious garments when he
arrives at his destination. These garments are woven of good deeds done, and of noble causes helped during the earthly life; on the heavenly planes their memory becomes the germinating seed for deeds of mercy to be done in future lives. The path of beauty and joy, the path of peace and bliss, converge at the same point. From all sides do the wanderers arrive, but the object of their pilgrimage is the same. It is the temple of wisdom from whence light streameth out in all directions. Humanity has to battle through the iron age with all the horrors incidental to it, before man attains unto his spiritual consciousness. While the battle lasts, every effort counts and every single step taken by the individual pioneers brings mankind nearer to the portals of the sanctuary in which all mysteries will be solved and all tears will be dried. There man will learn to understand the secret of his voyage through the cycles of time, and the purpose of his sojourn on earth. Until that time arrives all our work is only preparatory.
To utilize the fleeting moments, to obey the Spirits’ guidance, to detach ourselves from all that drags us down and to join forces with all that lifts us upward, that is our task for the present. The knowledge of God is obtainable and will be ours, but the only way we can attain unto it is by the constant practice of charity in thought, word and deed, and by the expression of love pure and undefiled.
The Mystery of Time and Space
O, sometimes comes to soul and sense
THE MYSTERY OF TIME AND SPACE
Time and space are the fundamental conceptions which form the warp and woof of our thought. We cannot think of anything except it is, was or is to be, and yet, in their very essence, time and space are the most elusive of problems and can never be grasped by the mind of man. What is time? What is space? What existed before time began, and what will remain when time is no more? What does space mean? Is it a homogenous substance of one kind? or is it heterogeneous and formed of a variety of elements? Where does space cease to be? What is there where space is not? Now these are a few questions very interesting indeed and pregnant with thought. We may not succeed in finding a final solution to the lot of them, but we may perchance succeed in contributing a mite towards a
better understanding of them.
Science, the interpreter of the laws of nature and of the principles underlying them, cannot help us in our search to solve the mystery of time and space. The proper domain of Science is the physical universe.
This modern archangel (science) has no wings. An invincible giant, when her feet touch the earth, her marvelous power, her initiative, wisdom and penetrating intelligence are all gone the moment she rises above the soil, and, though it be only a few inches, upon this battlefield she is overcome at once—faint and almost inanimate in an unequal battle because she could not readjust her energies to new conditions. At present science is a child of earth and waits for her redeemer, through whom she will be born again a child from heaven.
In the matter of positive investigations, science has no equal; she is almost infallible, but she is at once rendered powerless when confronted by a problem of the spiritual order, or even when it concerns a—so
to say—mixed problem (such as the genesis of matter or the abnormal organic growths of animals or plants) science is silent, or perhaps just stammers.
Now that which the seemingly almighty scientific mind cannot accomplish by its own unaided efforts, the spiritually awakened soul can, and often does, accomplish. Time and space do not exist for the soul of man. The mystery which they constitute to the earthly mind is non-existent to the enlightened spirit. Time, or the succession of events pertain to things material. On the spiritual planes we live in feeling and thought, and it is the feebleness or strength of these which determines the quality of our life on those planes, and distinguishes one being from another. Space again is equally illusory to the soul. Spirit is not separated from spirit by distance, but by discord of nature, and on the other hand spirit is not united to spirit except by the affinity subsisting between them. We can be thousands of miles away from our loved ones but we do not get estranged from them
thereby, whereas we may be very close in space to one wishing us ill, and the fact of spatial proximity will not bring our souls nearer to each other. The eternity of time and the infinity of space can be viewed and grasped by those beings only whose minds have learned to function beyond those concepts. Just like the law of Karma which must be transcended in order to be understood, so must the limits of time and space be got rid of by the spiritualization of our thought before we can grasp their meaning. To incarnate humanity, dependent in a thousand different ways upon material conditions, time and space are necessary conceptions; without them there would be chaos in our minds. But for the liberated soul, even on the earth plane, time and space can be relegated to the limbo of things superfluous.
When man once makes up his mind to live the higher life and to think of every experience as related to the spirit and either helpful or hurtful to it, then time and space will matter little to him. His motive and
his action and the spirit that prompts them are all that he cares for, from the moment of his surrender.
The dignity and meaning of our lives do not depend upon the years we have lived, nor does the height of our spiritual stature hear any relation to our physical dimension in space. It is only the things which make for growth in perfection that really do count.
And, on the other hand, only those events injure us which weaken our faith and obscure the larger hope. The education and spiritualization of our will being the immediate object of our terrestial existence, time and space signify to us only as much as they serve that object. The only other purpose which time and space serve is the lessening of the evils inherent in the lower life of the race.
The evils from which humanity suffers are not eternal, but confined io the limits of time. They diminish and their intensity decreases in the same proportion as humanity expands its life both in space and in
time. The end of all those evils will be their ultimate disappearance by being reduced to what geometry call the "infinitely little." It will happen in the same way—to use a simple illustration—as would be the case if a pound of salt were thrown into a bucketful of water; it would strongly salt it, while, if it were thrown into a cistern, it would only very slightly do so. In a pond, its taste would hardly be noticeable, and absolutely nothing would remain of its effect if it were thrown into a river. Humanity's evils, too, will disappear in the infinity of space and the eternity of time.
Time and space are the remedies which can cure the evils afflicting mankind. These evils would be incurable had Adam (the universal man, or group soul) preserved its life unchangeably. He had to be divided in space, in order to be healed and for the sake of his reduction and division ad infinitum by means of time; whenever this division is accomplished time will come to an end, and divisible space will disappear. Then will Adam (the universal life) return to its
primitive state of an indivisible and immortal unity.
Death is only a phenomenal change, and of no more consequence to man than the other changes he has to undergo in the course of his evolution. It simply transmutes the human being from the state of visible nature into that of formless and invisible substance, just like birth manifests what was formerly in a state of substance, on the plans of visible nature.
The old Kabbalists used to express it in a like manner: "There is no birth, nor death, only continual change and transformation from state to state. This makes up the being and existence of all the kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, animal and human."
So time and space fulfill their mission by curing the evils from which mankind must needs suffer in its early stages of evolution and by providing the race with the means of redemption from all that is base and unworthy.
Having freed himself from the limitations of time and space, man realizes that
he is a citizen of this grand cosmos and that his rights and privileges, as an immortal and eternally progressive being, cannot be gainsaid. In the infinity of the universe man feels for the first time at home. He never again fears spiritual extinction, for his deathless soul ensures for him life everlasting. If man identifies himself with nature, he has to be transformed by her, if, with the Spirit, he is redeemed by God.
There is no death anywhere, except the unconsciousness of God's presence. To acquire an abiding consciousness of God's presence means to have transcended both time and space, to live in the spirit and to prepare one's self for service in the higher worlds and vaster systems, where there is neither time nor space, but where the Divine Spirit grows in all excellence and perfection.
To the world at large these things sound strange, but to the children of light, whose affections are set on things above, a glimpse comes now and then of the glories awaiting the man who has overcome.
The process of overcoming is an individual one and can only be known by the soul that experiences it. The words of the prophet remain forever true, "and to him that overcometh I will give to eat of the hidden Mannah, and a white stone will I give him, and on it shall be written a new name which no one knoweth save him who receiveth it."