Illusion

The Nature of Glamor

In the preceding pages we dealt with certain definitions of the words (frequently used interchangeably) dealing with illusion and glamor. We found that:

Illusion is primarily of a mental quality and was characteristic of the attitude of mind of those people who are more intellectual than emotional. They have outgrown glamor as usually understood. It is the misunderstanding of ideas and thought-forms of which they are guilty, and of misinterpretation.

Glamor is astral in character, and is far more potent at this time than illusion, owing to the enormous majority of people who function astrally always.

Maya is vital in character and is a quality of force. It is essentially the energy of the human being as it swings into activity through the subjective influence of the mental illusion or astral glamor or of both in combination.

The Dweller on the Threshold, always present, swings however into activity only on the Path of Discipleship, when the aspirant becomes occultly aware of himself, of the conditions induced within him as a result of his interior illusion, his astral glamor and the maya surrounding his entire life. Being now an integrated personality (and no one is a disciple, my brother, unless he is mental as well as emotional, which is a point the devotee oft forgets) these three conditions (with the preponderance of the effect in one or other of the bodies) are seen as a whole, and to this whole the term the “Dweller on the Threshold” is applied. It is in reality a vitalized thought-form – embodying mental force, astral force and vital energy.

The problem, therefore, before all of you in this group is to learn first of all:

  1. To distinguish between these three inner illusory aspects.
  2. To discover what conditions in the environment or in the individual constitution induce these situations of difficulty.
  3. To find out what methods are effective in inducing a cessation of the bewildering deceiving conditions.

It must be remembered also that these distorting conditions, found in all of you, are the medium whereby you are tuned in on the world glamor and illusion. The emphasis has been laid in esoteric teaching on the training and liberation of the individual aspirant. This is, of course, necessary, for the mass is made up of the individuals, and in the steady release from the control of these inner delusions will come the eventual clarification of humanity. Therefore each of you in this group must of necessity work separately and apart with himself, and learn to induce those conditions of clarity and truth which will overcome the ancient rhythms and deep seated habits and thus steadily purify the aura. But this has now to be done as a group, and this group constitutes one of the first of the exoteric groups with which it is intended to work in the new age. Through the activity of such groups, the world glamor will be dissipated, but first of all the aspirant must learn to deal with individual and group glamor. It is necessary to remember the following three things. I am going to be brief and technical in teaching this group, for my time is short and you have an adequate technical knowledge with which to understand that whereof I speak.

First, the united auras of the group members ever determine the group condition, the group activity, usefulness, problem and glamor. Hence emerges individual group responsibility and individual usefulness. Each of you either hinders or aids the group, according to his auric condition, which is either in a state of glamor or illusion or is kept relatively free from these conditions.

Second, that the first job that each of you has to do is to determine his own peculiar problem. In giving you your individual instructions, I will take up with you in this instruction where the particular tendency in this direction of each of you lies, and whether it is glamor, illusion or maya to which you habitually succumb. I will deal with directness, for I have tested your sincerity and believe in your willingness to be told the truth. Once you have each determined the specific nature of your peculiar problem, you can then work with deliberation towards its solution – with deliberation, brother of old, and with no speed, but with due care and caution and with right understanding.

Thirdly, you must remember that as I look at the individual in any of these groups, I can at the same time gauge the quality of the group itself as a whole. The amount of inner light that can shine through and make its presence felt in your auras can be seen by me and indicate to me the strength and the efficiency and also the potency of your individual group influence, for the positive auras subordinate the negative auras. What is required is a combination of positive auras, deliberately subordinated to group work.

As you deal with illusion and as you free your minds from its effects, and as you dissipate the astral glamor in which you are all more or less immersed, you will enter into a greater freedom of living and usefulness. As the maya of distorted energy currents ceases to swing you into lines of undesirable activity, the light that is in you will shine forth with greater clarity. Incidentally the Dweller on the Threshold will slowly and surely disintegrate and leave your way, to the door of Initiation, free and unimpeded.

Strongly mental types are subject to illusion. This illusion is in reality a condition wherein the aspirant is being definitely controlled by:

A thought-form of such potency that it does two things:

    1. Controls the life activity or output.
    2. Tunes the aspirant in on the mass thought-forms, which are of a similar nature, and which are built by others under the dominance of a similar illusion.

This, in its worst aspect, produces mental insanity or idée fixe, but in its least dangerous and normal result produces the fanatic. The fanatic is usually – even if he realizes it not – a bewildered man, who has a potent idea of some kind or another, but who finds it quite impossible to integrate it into the world picture; to make those needed, and often divinely directed, compromises which profoundly help humanity; to find the time or place for the realities which are within his natural grasp.

When a man is highly developed, the mental illusion is built around a definite intuition and this intuition is concretized by the mind until its appearance is so real that the man believes he sees so clearly that which should be done or given to the world that he spends his time endeavoring in a fanatical manner to make others see it too. Thus his life slips away on the wings of illusion and his incarnation is a relatively profitless one. In a few rare cases, this combination of intuition and mental activity produces the genius in some field or another; but then there is no illusion, but clear thinking, coupled with a trained equipment in that particular field or enterprise.

The weaker and more average mental types of people succumb to the general field of illusion and of mass illusion. The mental plane manifests a different sort of distortion to that of the astral plane or the etheric. The faculty of discrimination which is being developed has produced sharper lines of demarcation, and instead of the dense fogs and mists of the astral plane or the swirling tides and currents of energy of the etheric plane, we have on the mental plane masses of sharply indicated thought-forms of a particular quality and note and tone, around which are grouped lesser thought-forms, created by those who respond to these forms, and to their note, quality and tone. Similarities are then seen to exist which constitute channels or avenues for the magnetic drawing power of the more potent thought-forms. Ancient theologies in modern garb, fixed presentations of half truth, the wild thinking of various world groups, and many similar emanating sources have – down the ages – produced the world of illusion and those mental states which have held humanity prisoner to wrong concepts and thoughts.

So many are these thought producing illusions that the effect in the world today has been to cause a general division of the human race into varying schools of thought (philosophy, science, religion, sociology, etc., etc.), into many parties and groups, all of them colored by an analogous idea, into groups of idealists fighting each other on behalf of their pet concepts, and into tens of thousands of participants in group mental activity.

These are today producing the world literature, through which the world platforms are colored; by their means the world leaders are inspired; and they are responsible at this time for the mass of experiments in the field of government, of education, and of religion which are producing so much of the world unrest, and consequently so much of the world illusion.

What is needed therefore at this time, are thinkers who are training themselves in that mental attitude and one-pointedness which is divorced from the danger of a negative receptivity and is responsive, at the same time, to the higher intuitional inspiration. It is mediating interpreters of ideas that are needed and not mediums.

The emotional types respond with facility to world glamor and to their own individual inherited and self-induced glamor. The bulk of the people are purely emotional with occasional flashes of real mental understanding – very occasional, my brother, and usually entirely absent. Glamor has been likened to a mist or fog in which the aspirant wanders and which distorts all that he sees and contacts, preventing him from ever seeing life truly or clearly or the conditions surrounding him as they essentially are. When he is a somewhat advanced aspirant, he is aware of the glamor and occasionally sees in a flash in what direction truth for him may lie. But then again the glamor settles down upon him and he is rendered powerless to release himself or to do anything constructive. His problem becomes further complicated by his consequent distress and his deep disgust with himself. He walks ever in a fog and sees naught as it truly exists. He is deceived by the appearance and forgets that which the appearance veils. The emanatory astral reactions which each human being initiates ever surround him and through this mist and fog he looks out upon a distorted world. These reactions and the surrounding aura which they constitute blend and merge with the world glamor and fog and form part of the miasmas and unhealthy emanations for which the masses of men, for millions of years, are responsible.

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Excerpted from:

Glamor – A World Problem – The Nature of Glamor

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul