The Mysteries of the Qabalah (1)
The Hieroglyphical Interpretation of the Hebrew Alphabet. *
Some men strive after wealth; some would like to be strong and healthy; others again wish for fame and renown. But the wise ones apply their hearts to knowledge, so that knowing, they may understand the purpose of their lives and work out their destiny before the night cometh.
—From the Writings of Moses Maimonides.
—Aleph.—Man himself as a collective unity, a principal, the lord and master of the earth. The universal man, and the human genre. Esoterically, unity, the central point, the abstract principle of a thing; as a sign it expresses power, stability, and continuity; the superlative, a kind of an article, as a prefix rendering the meaning more serious and enhancing its significance.
Its arithmetical value is 1.
—Beth.—The mouth as man's organ of speech, his interior, and his habitation; it denotes virility, paternal protection, and interior action, and movement. It is the integral and indicative article of the Hebrew language.
This letter in conjunction with the one preceding it—Aleph—forms all ideas of progress, of graduated advance, the passage from one state into another = locomotion.
Its arithmetical number is 2.
—Gimel.—The throat, and everything that is hollow. It denotes every kind of opening, outlet, canal, and all manner of things concave, hollow, and profound, it expresses organic covering, and serves to produce all derived ideas of the bodily organism and its actions.
Its arithmetical number is 3.
—Daleth.—Signifies breast, bosom. It is the emblem of the universal quaternary, that is the origin of all physical existence. Symbolically: every nourishing substance, and abundance of possessions.
It expresses division, and things divisible. Chaldaic: an article of a very distinctive nature.
Its arithmetical number is 4.
—Hai.—Everything that vitalizes, i.e., air, life, and being. It is the symbol of universal life, and represents the breath of man, the spirit, and the soul. Everything that vivifies. Life, and the abstract idea of being. It is an article, especially emphasizing and giving prominence to objects, and persons.
Its arithmetical number is 5.
—Waw.—Signifies the eye of man and becomes the symbol of light; it also represents the ear and becomes the symbol of the sound of the air, the wind. In its quality as a consonant it is the emblem of water, and represents the taste, and the appetite. As a grammatical sign it is considered to be the image of mystery most profound, and most incomprehensible, the symbol of the knot that unites, and of the point which separates Being and Non-being.
Its arithmetical value is 6.
—Zain.—Signifies whistling, and applies to all piercing noises which penetrate the air and reflect themselves in it. As a symbol it is represented by a stroke, a dash, and an arrow. Everything that tends to a given point. As a grammatical sign it is the abstract image of a tie which connects things with one another.
Its arithmetical number is 7.
—Cheth.—Signifies the principle of vital aspiration and is the symbol of elementary existence. It represents the field of man, his labour, and everything that requires an effort on his part; his care, his solicitude. As a grammatical sign it holds a middle place between the sign of life absolute and the sign of relative life. It also is the image of equilibrium, and of equality, and attaches itself to all ideas of effort and of normal action.
Its arithmetical number is 8.
—Teth.—Signifies an asylum, a refuge, which man provides for himself for his protection. As a grammatical sign it denotes resistance and shelter. Its esoteric meaning is that of a hiding wall erected to guard something precious, and a watch over a dear object in the midst of danger.
Its arithmetical number is 9.
—Yod.—Signifies all manifested power. It represents the hand of man, his pointing finger. As a grammatical sign it denotes potential manifestation in contradistinction to actual, and also intellectual duration and eternity. As a consonant it is of inferior value and means only material duration. Plato thought it designated everything tender or delicate.
Its arithmetical number is 10.
—Kaaw.—Signifies every subject that is hollow in general, and the half closed hand of man in particular. As a grammatical sign it is the symbol of reflection and assimilation, and typifies the assimilative nature and the passing life.
It is a kind of mould, receiving and communicating indifferently all forms. The movement which it expresses is that of similitude and of analogy.
Its arithmetical number is 20.
—Lamed.—Signifies extension. As a symbolical image it represents the arm of man, and the wing of a bird; everything that extends or elevates itself, displaying its proper nature. It denotes a movement of extension, of direction, expressing reunion, coincidence, dependence, and possession.
Its arithmetical number is 30.
—Mem.—Signifies woman. It is the symbolic image of man's mother and companion. Everything that is fruitful and formative. Employed as a grammatical sign it denotes maternity, external and passive action. Placed at the beginning of words it expresses that which is local, and plastic, while at the end, it becomes the collective sign. It develops a being in infinite space as much as its nature permits, or it unites through abstraction one or two of the same species. It is the extractive article, and is used to designate an action divided in its essence, or something taken out from a number of similar things.
Its arithmetical number is 40.
—Mm.—Signifies the son of man, every being that is individualized, and distinctive. At the end of a word it denotes augmentation and extension. It has the double virtue of recoiling upon itself, and of spreading out. At the commencement of a word it expresses the former, while as a final it signifies the latter.
Its arithmetical number is 50.
—Samech.—Signifies to hiss. It is considered to be the type of a bow and esoterically represents the great cosmic bow, the string of which hisses in the hands of mankind. As a grammatical sign it is the circular movement having a definite relation to the limited circumference of every sphere.
Its arithmetical number is 60.
—Aim.—Signifies hearing. It represents the ear of man, and its interior parts, and is the symbol of all noises, and indistinguishable sounds. Everything that is devoid of harmony. It typifies the cavity of the chest.
As a grammatical sign it stands for the material sense, the image of emptiness and nothingness. It is used to describe everything crooked, low and perverse.
Its arithmetical number is 70.
Pei, פ or P, meaning the Open Mouth, Value 80.
The symbol of expression, that through which man makes himself known in the outer world, hence the literal meaning, mouth; the Second Race of Man.
The outlet; the outward and visible means for the Spirits' manifestation.
Tzaddi, צ or Tz, literal meaning Fish Hook or Dart. Value 90.
Esoterically relating to accomplished ends and the later Third Race.
The double hermaphrodite Caduceus.
The sign of protection and signifies guidance from above. God's favor shown to the Disciple on the Path.
Q-oph or Coo-eph. ק or Q, Value 100.
Literally the Ape, the sign of nature's submerged stratum; the Subliminal consciousness. The evolutionary stage which is behind us.
Reisch, ר R, Value 200, literally Meaning Head.
Symbol of the Fifth Race, determination and progress, individual movement.
Independence, self-help, self-initiated endeavor.
Direction, a center of generating motion starting of its own accord.
—Shein.—Signifies light movement, and sweet sounds.
Esoterically it symbolizes that part of a bow from which the arrow darts hissing. It is the sign of relative duration and of the movement appertaining to it.
At the commencement of a verb it gives it double power of conjunction.
Its arithmetical number is 300.
—Taw.—Signifies reciprocity. The ancient Egyptians regarded this letter as a symbol of the universal soul.
It stands for sympathy, and for perfection, of which it is the emblem.
Its arithmetical number is 400.
5:* This interpretation of the hieroglyphic meaning of the Hebrew letters is taken from a very rare and valuable manuscript in possession of Mr. Gewurz. He has in preparation a larger work, on "The Restoration of the Hebrew Language," into which this manuscript will be embodied. Those who are interested in ancient languages, and the lovers of the Hebrew tongue especially, will find this larger work a great help in their studies. Mr. Gewurz has already devoted to it over ten years of untiring labour, but it may take another year till it is complete.
Explanatory Note on the Letters.
The uses to which this science of the Hieroglyphical meaning of the Hebrew letters can be put are manifold. First and foremost, by its aid the student can reinterpret the Scriptures for himself by analyzing each word and then synthesizing the meanings of the letters entering into the composition of the word he wishes to understand esoterically.
The results which this process will yield to the really serious student will more than reward him for his initial trouble. It will open his eyes to see wondrous things in what hitherto have been meaningless Shiboleth and empty phrases. Every Hebrew word thus examined will reveal some truth of the inner life which will serve to guide the student in his quest for knowledge.
In The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, Dr. Franz Hartman tells us that the Great Teachers enjoin upon their pupils
never to express things quite openly and clearly because of the danger that the knowledge might be abused for unworthy ends. The methods of the sages was, and is, and ever will be, to give a hint and an outline or, as the Qabalists used to say, "Give him the Head of the Chapter." In accordance with this advice of the Great Ones we leave it to the serious students to find all the help they need out of the letters in their own meditation and study.
The Qabalistic Definition of the Snake Nachash (שחנ)
The word according to the secret tradition designates the deep interior feeling binding an entity to its own individual existence, making it ardently desire to preserve and enlarge it.
Nachash, the snake within man is the radical egotism which causes an individual being to make of itself a center and to relate everything else to it. Moses defines this sentiment as the seducing passion of elementary nature and the secret spring with which the Creator has provided all (animate) things in nature; we know it by the name of natural instinct. Nachash is not to be understood as a separate being, but rather as a central movement given to matter, a hidden spring acting in the depths of things.
The self-seeking elements within man, the blind passions common to us all in our early stages of evolution are the offspring of this snake—Nachash. This word stands
for an unreasoning self-centered instinct in all the oriental languages, it means an internal ardour, a centralized fire, agitated by a violent movement and seeking to extend itself. The Chaldaic derives from it all ideas of fear, sorrow, anxiety and evil, and painful passions. In the Arabic, Syriac and Ethiopian it signifies a tormenting affliction.
The Lesson of Nachash
All love emotions are expansive, all emotions of hatred are restrictive.
Hope and faith are of the nature of love and expand the soul, while fear and doubt and despair are of the nature of hate and contract our souls, making us feel uneasy, and unhappy. The snake stands for contraction, for tightness and indrawing; while men fight and quarrel with one another they always resemble more or less the old snake, each drawing to its side, anxious for self-preservation. Freedom from the snake's anguish can only be had by ceasing from the snake's ways, and learning to obey the law of love, the first dictate of which is self-sacrifice.
There is no death, there is no destruction, all is but change and transformation, first the caterpillar, then the chrysalis, then the beautiful butterfly. Likewise, first physical man, then the mighty mind, and at last a noble soul.
The Brotherhood of the White Lodge.
In the days of old, when physical force was the chief arbiter between man and man, those that loved knowledge were compelled to abandon the affairs of this world and to retire to the forests and hills in order to pursue their studies. They could never maintain their position among fighting and cruel tyrants, and were obliged to live solitary lives, contenting themselves with a few morsels of bread to satisfy their hunger and plain water to quench their thirst. They slept on the bare earth and from early morning till late at night they meditated and studied and prayed. These were the Gnanis and Bhaktas of the past. Nowadays there are schools and colleges and societies and institutions where the ancient wisdom can be studied quite comfortably in easy chairs, with the use of electric light and central heating systems to keep us oblivious to the hardships of the outside world.
In themselves these blessings of modern
civilization are quite harmless, but in an indirect manner they do injure us. The pure consciousness of man is not enriched by study per se, and the increase of knowledge is not the highest aim of man, it is only if knowledge is made subservient to love that it fulfills its mission. Therefore when the acquisition of learning is made possible in the midst of comforts, and even luxury, the danger always exists of hardening the mind and making it miss the beautiful lessons of charity, forgiveness and forbearance, while those who are trained by hardships and have to learn their lessons on empty or half-filled stomachs are more accessible to the appeals of suffering and want. Consequently the deprivations which the poor students had to undergo in olden times taught them as much (if not more) as their books, whereas the well-off students of today are ever in peril of losing their souls while enlarging their minds.
* * * *
The Brotherhood of the White Lodge is a body of great men whose souls have been made perfect through suffering, they watch over humanity from their exalted planes on
which their spiritual status enables them to live and pour down upon it knowledge and wisdom, and skill in the arts and crafts according as the world's Karma permits them to do so.
They are always affiliated to those organizations on earth whose members are single-minded, and true hearted and genuinely desirous of the welfare of the race. Especially are they interested in the advancement of science, philosophy and religion, and all public bodies promoting these subjects are helped (without knowing whence the help cometh) by the Brotherhood of the White Lodge. For the last three decades there has been a steady and growing increase of knowledge in all departments of human activity. Inventions have multiplied, and discoveries of unsuspected laws of nature are being made on every hand. Philosophic and scientific thought has never been so abundant and so brilliant as it is today, but the receivers of the gifts know not the givers, and often frustrate the gracious purposes which were to be served by the bestowal of the gifts.
* * * *
The reason is not far to seek, it is to be found in the heart of man where is the spring of all actions. To serve faithfully the Masters of Wisdom, the givers of all good gifts, the heart must be pure and the whole nature must have been regenerated, but this is a process of slow growth and requires the subdual of the personality and the crushing of the lower nature. It is only those in whom personality has been suppressed who can be made perfect channels for the eternal truths; as long as the snake is alive, man can only be an inferior instrument of nature. When the old Adam dies and the snake has given up its ghost then can man become a servant of the great Lords and co-operate with them here on earth. Therefore it often happens that those that are to be honored by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords must first be slaves and servants and learn to obey before they are allowed to command. Thus in modern times disciples are thrown into all sorts of trials and sorrows.
Poverty, disease, and friendlessness, they must know them all, until the last vestige of pride and aloofness has disappeared from
their mental make up. . . . So it comes to it that like the poverty stricken Gnanis and the Bhaktas of old, the refined students of today have likewise to undergo the same training if they are to be fitted as Messengers of the White Lodge. They must taste the bitterness of the cup unto the very dregs, and through their own sufferings learn to sympathize with those of others.
This is the straight and narrow way which leadeth unto life eternal.
This is the working of the white law, the operations of which are often so puzzling to the eyes of flesh.
It is only our own blindness and the narrowness of our own life that makes us find fault with the law, which is both wise and good.
What we see in the outer life of an individual is but an infinitesimal particle of what is going on within him. The interior life of the soul is the reality that matters, and it is here that the work of redemption of every soul is going on.
Whenever the outer life is clouded, the inner is touched, and this method is resorted to by the Brotherhood of the White Lodge
to train their disciples on the earth plane.
The ancient sages came from the poorest families, and the prophets of the future will have to be saved from the gutter before they can deliver their message.
It behooves, therefore, those who are anxious to do the Master's will to be mindful of these facts. The White Lodge has its representatives on earth, its messengers and teachers, and pupils; what we see of all these is only as much as we deserve to see. Let us beware of putting a stumbling block in the path of even the least of these, lest in so doing we be found among those who work against the good law and against the will of its blessed custodians—The Brotherhood of the White Lodge.
Initiation according to the Qabalah, from a Scientific and Philosophical Point of View. *
Various explanations of the way of initiation have been given to the world which appeal to those who are purely upon the line of devotion—i.e., to the Bhaktis, but we must remember that the man of knowledge, the Gnani, plays an important part in this, our Fifth Race. To the scientific or philosophical mind an explanation must be given which will appeal especially to the intellect, not, let it be noted, to the hard materialistic mind, but to the true intellect which has sensed the right path and knows of the Goal to which it leads. For this explanation we have to turn again to the Qabalist who has already been of such service to us in our study.
* * * *
The scientific mind of this age requires a logical and well-reasoned foundation for
every statement that claims his attention. Credence is given to naught but the senses and their testimony. Even in the realms of psychology and metaphysical research, the man of scientific mind clings to this rule and demands compliance with his own conditions.
Naturally the Pilgrim on the Path to the Masters finds himself at a loss to reconcile the man of science, with his cold calculating mind and relentlessly exacting methods, to a manner of procedure which, even in its incipiency requires as a sine qua non, an article not to be found in the average scientist's stock-in-trade. This article is nothing else but the faith of a little child. Fortunately this does not sound as ridiculous now as it would have some fifty years ago. A great number of men distinguished for their learning and sound knowledge are very far from being strangers to the spirit and things spiritual. (If perhaps there be a few materialists who treat with scorn the dictum laid down as to the necessity of clearing the mind of all preconceived notions when confronted with new and strange teachings or happenings, to such it should
be said that their great prophet Huxley himself laid down the same rule as regards materialistic science). To this daily growing number these words may carry a message. Its source is the heart, the seat of Love, but the channel by which it has been conveyed is reason, the discerner: it makes its appeal to the heart, but it does not wish to evade the criterion of strict scientific discernment.
The Astral or Water initiation, the purpose of which is to call the attention of the disciple to the gulf fixed before him, is the lowest of all save that of the initiation of Earth, which, however, is rather a basis of operations than an initiation per se. It detaches the student from earthly things only so far as his active participation in the grosser joys and carnal pleasures is concerned. It does not yet touch his mind and his craving for these things—far from it. The fire of desire only gains momentum and the fierceness of passion shows itself in all its primeval vehemence whenever one turns to Yoga in earnest and is about to pass the Water initiation as we have termed it.
Tremendous are the consequences and
far-reaching the importance of the disciples’ conduct during this period of his trial. If he obeys and renders all allegiance to his Teachers, the heavier blows may be kept from him, but woe, a thousand times woe unto him if he takes it lightly and casts longing looks behind him upon his past mode of life, no Teacher cart then help him and no Master can save him.
The entrance to this path and the passing of this initiation are solemn facts in Nature and cannot be trifled with any more than the burning fire or the exploding dynamo. He who disregards the laws governing the inner life after entering the Sanctuary, pays for his disobedience not only by loss of bodily life, but by injury and possible loss of his mental and moral life which is a far more terrible lot than any mere physical dissolution.
To set one's foot upon the path and then to hesitate is to be lost indeed. To doubt the Powers is to perish. But the well-prepared and obedient aspirant, of a childlike heart and of single mind need have no such fears. Those that are for him are stronger than those that are against him,
and the multitude of witnesses always encompassing and watching the budding chela will hasten to his help whenever needed. There is indeed but one thing for the probationer to know who has been declared fit and ready for the task, for the arduous uphill climb to the Summit. He has to realize the position in which he has placed himself, with one foot upon the base of the mountain and the other hanging over the abyss of avidya. He cannot, nay, dare not, turn back for there is no foothold, so he has to fling himself bodily upon the base of the mountain clinging tightly thereto with all his might, holding on like grim death. This is his first trial and yet it is the most important and reflects in a way the last one, for here lie must exert his whole strength for the victory gained thereby will carry him on to the summit if only Ire keep to the narrow way and follow the landmarks and signs left by those who in former times trod this same weary path.
Guided by these realizations and firmly established in his faith, the Path to the heights is now open to the pilgrim and nothing can turn him away from the main
road leading to the ultimate fruition of all his travail except his own wavering and inconstant nature. The lesson, therefore, which the Astral or Water initiation is to teach is nothing less and nothing more than purification on the one hand and faith on the other. Briefly, it is a process of detachment, resignation and the cultivation of an implicit trust in what was hitherto only a tentative enterprise. Prior to the aspirant's entrance upon the Astral Plane and experiences, the body, the lower nature and mundane cares were his chief concern in life; teachings and self-knowledge came in as a kind of pleasantry or hobby, good enough for recreation, but now these things that were first must become the last and the last become the first.
A line of demarcation, invisible to ordinary sight but none the less substantial and real, divides the Astral from the Mental, the water from the air, which is symbolized by the horizon. The dwellers on the mental plane, to which we, as far as our mind-bodies are concerned, belong, have dominion and power over the two lower planes given them as their natural heritage from
the Cosmic Lords, consequently man as mind is the ruler and can control all the astral elements. Seeing that the astral is the birthplace and scope of desire, it follows that man, if he will, can, in the exercise of his natural sovereignty, subdue every one of them. His inclination towards them is due solely to the non-use of this prerogative, and he is like unto a King or an Emperor who is determined in his actions by the momentary disposition of his subordinates. But the King is a King if he only knew it. What deprives him of his power is his ignorance of his real capacity. What makes man yield to his passion is likewise his ignorance that he himself is its origin and procreator and in virtue of that can command its cessation.
Now a breach of the law on the astral plane, wrong though it may be, cannot by any stretch of imagination be compared in its bearing and influence to a breach of the law on the plane of mind. The unlawfulness of a mental plane act is so serious and its effects so far-reaching that punishment must be not only swifter, but more drastic also. This leads to the conclusion that sin
by a man awakened on the mental plane must always be visited upon him in the direst possible manner, because if that were not so the man would readily fall a prey to the Brothers of the Shadow and abuse his powers against the Good Law.
Powers and gifts without the corresponding virtues and devotion, can lead only to the left-hand Path and to ultimate destruction. In the infinite mercy, therefore, the Masters of the great White Lodge whenever They choose a disciple lead him in the first place into such conditions that will weed out all the excrescences of this Kamic and Manasic principles, which is equivalent to saying that he will be "smashed-up" and so humiliated that he will not be likely again to fall into the snares of the invisible enemies in his subsequent career.
When the disciple is thus guided by experience and trained by time and sorrow, he is preparing his spiritual weapons for the coming battle. He is evolved by our old friend Pain and made strong by our dear brother Anguish. There need be no feeling of shame and no trace of remorse in his mind at the remembrance of former
failings, for it has all been necessary and he would never be where he is nor what he is but for these past things of which he is now utterly ashamed.
We evolve from worm to angel and must do many things over and over again. These bring in their train the disgust of the Self which is of the nature of Light, with its lower instruments, and flinging them away sets our faces towards the brightness which is the entrance to the Path proper.
The spiral law governing cyclic evolution receives at this stage of the disciple's career a new impulse from the "Intelligible Sphere." Here everything is governed by pure reason, and an entity moving in this orbit must comply with the law of the sphere, else it would not only destroy its own life but affect harmfully the existence and usefulness of neighboring worlds. This holds good of the individual disciple and of his planetary correspondence. It is of not much account if a man makes a mistake ere he reaches this point, but it is equivalent to a cosmic crime and as disastrous in its consequences if a mistake is made having arrived thus far. This is the reason that
the Great Teachers from time immemorial put so much emphasis upon the need of purgation before the Path proper may be entered upon by the disciple. Ceasing to be an arbitrary factor in his and other people's lives, he becomes so much law-governed in his most minute movements of thought and as much prompted in his centres of action as are the laws of magnetism and electricity.
Hydrogen and Oxygen and any of Nature's minute phenomena are none of them moved by arbitrary impulse; the law that presides at their evolution and directs their mode of life and activity is, in its essential nature, the same as the everlasting laws that are the foundation of a Solar System, and (for all we may know) of the greater systems which in their turn embrace and comprehend what to us is the vastest expanse to be found within the boundaries of infinity.
The bubbles of air and drops of water and grains of sand, as well as the mighty Devas ruling great plants, are all manifestations of the Great Law which we call God. It is only man who has been pushed out from the normal course of evolution between
the animal and the angelic stages in order to suppress the former and unfold the latter in his constitution.
As soon as man acknowledges the Light of the Self as his true guide, and with undying love that neither rests nor hastes, works with the Law, he attracts in virtue of his striving all the affinities corresponding to his own nature from the higher spheres, and on the fruitful foundation of these affinities he mounts upwards to the great Fountain of Eternal Truth. He is helped by what we call invisible helpers, because the lenses of our mind are so focussed as to consider the things and beings that are most real to be invisible. Supported by these guides and pushed onward by the unfailing law, his mental initiation is going on smoothly and peaceably until it leads him to the shore where darkness is not and where the promised reward of a full revelation is near at hand.
The Teacher is about to reveal himself and that great coining event is casting its shadow before him. Peace, perfect peace, is falling now upon the hitherto harassed soul and the sweetest consummation of
æons of struggle expands the heart that has been broken, and prepares with its inexpressible joy and indescribable awe the Temple for the indwelling of the Most Holy One that is to take possession of him. The benediction of the Master draws him into the interior sanctuary and announces the coming of the Lord himself. This is the mental initiation.
The central point of the grand synthesis comprising the initiation on all planes is the Jiva-atma in its highest aspect. Its triple nature, that of knowledge, being, and bliss, is progressing towards its ultimate sublimation and absolute freedom from the bonds of Maya while undergoing the outlying trials and ordeals. Advancing on the crest of the wave which is raised by the evolutionary tide, the soul loses all its hold on matter in any shape or form. Even thought (which is only a finer form of matter) must now be considered to be a form of bondage, and every impact from the mental plane must be scrutinized and most closely examined as to its nature and mission.
To the ordinary mind, even of cultured
people, thought is so much identified with self that any mental movement within them is looked upon as the guidance of the Self. This is why they get angry when their wills are thwarted and their desires contravened. Taking their mind to be themselves, their spirit rushes out against the supposed enemy who dared to frustrate that which the mind had planned. The disciple, distinguishing between the eternal and evanescent, knowing the mind to be as unreal as the lower manifestations which he has already conquered, cannot by any possible chance get angry or wish ill to his opponents, no matter whether his grievance be real or fancied. The knower of Truth is far above the mind and its complications and has actually nothing to lose or gain, nobody to attack and nobody to defend, least of all himself. There may arise exceptional occasion when, for the sake of "younger souls" and their evolution, a defense may be made by an Occultist against slander where others are concerned with him, but this is a razor-edged path and needs careful treading.
When the disciple has mastered these
lessons and does not rush out any longer in self-defense so far as action is concerned, he has still to follow up this conquest by the additional and let it be confessed more difficult one of conquering the mind's savage progeny. For no sooner has the victory been attained on the outer plane than the Powers of the Air, as They are called, announce Their advent and throw into the face of the daring aspirant the challenge for a new battle. It is now that he must, in the language of the Alchemists, put a fiery sentinel at the door of his mind, with a flaming sword in its hand, asking every newcomer, "who goes there?"
This is the critical point, where it is finally decided if that part of the mind called Antakarana, meaning "before the causal," shall be saved from the wreckage of the lower personality or share its fate. The Antakarana, being the bond of union between the waking mind and the Higher consciousness, must at the final rupture of the lower and the higher, be either joined to the latter or disintegrate into its component parts by being drowned in the universal group-spirit governing the lower mind of
collective humanity at the present.
Those who transcend the personality and the passions completely can recover even here and now, in these bodies of flesh, the consciousness of the Higher Self, but those who are unable to soar so high, either by reason of their past Karma or because of present disabilities, cannot catch a glimpse of the hidden glory and must content themselves with the ordinary life and the ordinary progress of humanity in general. But those who have won the victory and scaled the heights, they return to testify to the Light, the brightness of which has left its reflection upon their faces.
We can see their shining auras and their glorified countenances, for they, without ceasing to be children of the earth, have become naturalized citizens of the celestial realms. They are now the twice-born sons and daughters of the Father of Lights, whose limitless splendor must remain a mystery to the world at large to the end of time. This is the Buddhic initiation.
The ultimate end of Science is to explain the facts of Nature. How does Science accomplish this? By generalization and
deduction, which means the ranging of the newly discovered fact or the newly revealed truth at the side of facts already known and truths already familiar to man. But in the nature of things Science must stop somewhere because the latest fact to which she appeals requires a further generalization in order to account for its own origin. Scientific methods lead thus to metaphysics, and the basis of all scientific research is the trinity of time and space and matter, which, according to the latest dicta of the savants, are themselves mental conceptions. Now, seeing that these fundamental conceptions of time and space which form the warp and woof are essentially spiritual notions and beyond the material grasp of the unenlightened scientists who see nothing beyond the knife and scalpel, it naturally follows that the subject cognising these must he above and independent of them.
Prior to this stage, man can never think of anything except it is, was, or will be. Likewise can we never think of anything which does not occupy any space at all, or being devoid of all matter whatever. But the Atmic consciousness when fully awake
in us needs no such support to substantiate the operation of its interior sight. It works on the formless plane, and its experiences are so far removed from our earthly ones that any terms we may use for their description must necessarily be as inadequate as are our minds in comparison to the fully enlightened divine soul.
However, the imperfection of the instrument does not detract from the excellence of the master, and the insufficiency of temporary channels does not lessen the fulness of the eternal fountain. In like manner does the shortness of our sight and the narrowness of our horizon leave untouched the limitlessness of the Divine Wisdom and of the great ranges it provides for the exercise of its perfected children among whom the soul at this stage of development takes her rightful place.
These truths were known to all Initiates of ancient times as they are now being revived and proclaimed anew to a doubting world, they are all founded upon the same principle on which the Cosmos itself is founded, namely, Love. But while being rooted and grounded in the very nature of
things, and identical with the Self in all creatures, they are—we must not forget—meant to be revealed to the few only, the majority of the race being as yet insufficiently prepared for them.
Love, the motive power of all that lives and breathes, must be the guiding star of every disciple who has entered and is making progress upon the Path. It is not only his safety valve at every step of the way, but serves also to fathom the depths of the water surrounding him during his voyage to the other shore. The storms and the winds threatening his tiny barque which he calls Individual Life may often be of such vehemence that constant reliance and steadily increasing faith in the Powers above are needed in order to insure the firmness of his anchorage whenever he tries to find a haven of refuge. The rage of the waves environs the disciple continually, the subtlety of their onslaught is beyond the description of words, it varies with each case and is adapted to everyone's Karmic needs. It is only faith and hope and love which can save the disciple from destruction. His enemies are many and mighty,
their number and their power keep increasing as he nears the goal, and his only chance of escape from their jaws is to hide himself in the bosom whither naught that is evil can follow him, the bosom of the Eternal Father and Mother—God.
But love, the well-known panacea for all ills of mind and spirit, has been too often looked upon as a sort of goody goodiness which means half weakness and half fear, and it is this which has robbed it of all the precious fruit it otherwise would have produced for those who worshiped at its shrine.
It is the purpose of these pages to show that love is not a concession of the weaker to the stronger, or a baseless surrender of privilege by the stronger for the unmerited benefit of the weaker, but rather the outcome of the spirit's own unfoldment within man and a proof of the awakening of the slumbering "Lord of lords" within his breast. It is the merit of this exposition to which we humbly call the attention of the intelligent reader, that the subject of all subjects, viz., Love, is treated at the same time in a rational and methodical, logical and scientific manner.
To the doubting world this may still be fancy and childish talk, but we can wait patiently until the doubters grow in knowledge and the gainsayers increase in insight. In the measure that wisdom is being justified of its children, in the course of time these truths will become common knowledge and be no more doubted or wondered at than is at present the beneficial influence of fresh air and its efficiency in the healing of bodily ills.
The Alchemists, who will forever remain our philosophers, friends and guides in these matters, knew long ago that the whole universe is one homogeneous whole and that we, being members of one another, serve our ends best by living for others.
Sacrifice, therefore, is the highest form of life and self-renunciation the highest form of self-realization. The proofs adduced in favor of this conclusion are so numerous and so substantial as to amount to nothing less than a mathematical demonstration.
The worthiest method of praising God is—to be silent. (The Qabalah.)
Wisdom ripens into silence
Wisdom ripens into silence
31:* The following teaching is taken down verbatim from Mr. Gewurz's dictation while in a semi-entranced condition.