The Glamors Which Hold Humanity in Thrall

Let me now elucidate these glamorous for you a little more in detail.

The Glamor of Materiality is the cause of all the present world distress, for what we call the economic problem is simply the result of this particular glamor. Down the ages, this glamor has held the race increasingly interested, until today the entire world has been swept into the rhythm of money interest. A rhythm emanating from soul levels has always existed, being established by Those Who have freed Themselves from the control of material requirements, from the thralldom of money and the love of possessions. Today that higher rhythm is commensurate with the lower rhythmic glamor, and hence the whole world is thinking in terms of the way out from this present material impasse. Those souls who stand in the light to be found upon the mountain top of liberation and those who are advancing upward out of the fogs of materiality are now sufficient in numbers to do some definite work in connection with the dissipation of this glamor. The influence of their thoughts and words and lives can and will bring about a readjustment of values, and a new standard of living for the race, based upon clear vision, a correct sense of proportion and a realization of the true nature of the relationship existing between soul and form, between spirit and matter. That which will meet a need that is vital and real ever exists within the divine plan. That which is unnecessary to the right expression of divinity and to a full and rich life can be gained and can be possessed, but only through the loss of the more real and the negation of the essential.

Students, however, need to remember that that which is necessary varies according to the stage of evolution which has been reached by an individual. For some people, for instance, the possession of that which is material may be as great a spiritual experience and as potent a teacher in life expression as the more elevated and less material requirements of the mystic or hermit. We are rated as regards action and point of view by our place upon the ladder of evolution. We are rated really by our point of view and not by our demand upon life. The spiritually minded man and the man who has set his feet upon the Path of Probation and who fails to attempt the expression of that which he believes, will be judged as caustically and pay as high a price as does the pure materialist – the man whose desires center around substantial effects. Bear this in mind and sit not in the seat of the judge or the scornful.

Today the glamor of materiality is lessening perceptibly. The peoples of the world are entering the wilderness experience, and will find in the wilderness how little is required for full living, true experience and real happiness. The gluttonous desire for possessions is not regarded as so reputable a desire as formerly, and a desire for riches is not producing the clutching hands as earlier in racial history. Things and possessions are slipping out of the hands which have hitherto tightly held them, and only when men stand with empty hands and a realized new standard of values do they again acquire the right to own and to possess. When desire is absent and the man seeks nothing for the separated self, the responsibility of material wealth can again be handed back to man, but his point of view will then be free from that particular glamor, and the fogs of astral desire will be lessened. Illusion in many forms may still hold sway but the glamor of materiality will be gone. It is the first destined to disappear. Students would do well to remember that all forms of possessions and all material objects, whether it is money, or a house, a picture or an automobile, have an intrinsic life of their own, an emanation of their own, and an activity which is essentially that of their own inherent atomic structures (for an atom is a unit of active energy). This produces counterparts in the world of etheric and astral life, though not in the mental world. These subtler forms and distinctive emanations swell the potency of the world desire; they contribute to the world glamor and form part of a great and powerful miasmic world, which is on the involutionary arc but in which humanity, upon the upward arc, is nevertheless immersed. Therefore the Guides of the Race have felt the necessity of standing by whilst the forces set up by man himself proceed to strip him and thus release him to walk in the wilderness. There, in what is called straightened circumstances, he can readjust his life and change his way of living, thus discovering that freedom from material things carries with it its own beauty and reward, its own joy and glory. Thus he is liberated to live the life of the mind.

The Glamor of Sentiment holds the good people of the world in thrall, and in a dense fog of emotional reactions. The race has reached a point wherein the men of good intention, of some real understanding and owning a measure of freedom from the love of gold (symbolic way of speaking of the glamor of materiality) are turning their desire to their duty, their responsibilities, their effects upon others, and to their sentimental understanding of the nature of love. Love, for many people, for the majority indeed, is not really love but a mixture of the desire to love and the desire to be loved, plus a willingness to do anything to show and evoke this sentiment, and consequently to be more comfortable in one’s own interior life. The selfishness of the people who are desirous of being unselfish is great. So many contributing sentiments gather around the sentiment or desire to show those amiable and pleasant characteristics which will evoke a corresponding reciprocation towards the would-be lover or server who is still completely surrounded by the glamor of sentiment.

It is this pseudo-love, based primarily on a theory of love and service, which characterizes so many human relationships such as those existing, for instance, between husband and wife, parents and their children. Glamored by their sentiment for them and knowing little of the love of the soul which is free itself and leaves others free also, they wander in a dense fog, often dragging with them the ones they desire to serve in order to draw forth a responsive affection. Study the word “affection,” my brother, and see its true meaning. Affection is not love. It is that desire which we express through an exertion of the astral body and this activity affects our contacts; it is not the spontaneous desirelessness of the soul which asks nothing for the separated self. This glamor of sentiment imprisons and bewilders all the nice people in the world, imposing upon them obligations which do not exist, and producing a glamor which must eventually be dissipated by the pouring in of true and selfless love.

I am but touching with brevity upon these glamors for each of you can elaborate them for yourselves, and in so doing will discover where you stand in the world of fog and glamor. Thus, with knowledge, you can begin to free yourselves from the glamor of the world.

The Glamor of Devotion causes many probationary disciples to wander circuitously around in the world of desire. This is primarily a glamor which affects sixth ray persons and is particularly potent at this time owing to the agelong activity of the sixth Ray of Devotion during the rapidly passing Piscean Age. It is today one of the potent glamors of the really devoted aspirant. They are devoted to a cause, to a teacher, to a creed, to a person, to a duty, or to a responsibility. Ponder on this. This harmless desire along some line of idealism which confronts them becomes definitely harmful both to, themselves and to others, because through this glamor of devotion they swing into the rhythm of the world glamor which is essentially the fog of desire. Potent desire along any line, when it obliterates the wider vision and shuts a man within a tiny circle of his own desire to satisfy his sentiment of devotion, is just as hampering as any of the other glamors, and is even more dangerous because of the beautiful coloring which the resultant fog takes on. A man gets lost in a rapturous mist of his own making, which emanates from his astral body and which is composed of the sentimentalizing of his own nature about his own desire and devotion to the object of his attracted attention.

With all true aspirants, owing to the increased potency of their vibrations, this devotional sentiment can be particularly difficult, and bring about a lengthy imprisonment. One illustration of this is the sentiment of devotion poured out in a glamorous ecstasy by probationary disciples upon the Masters of the Wisdom. Around the names of the Members of the Hierarchy and around Their work, and the work of the initiates and the disciplined disciples (mark that phrase) a rich glamor is created which prevents Them ever reaching the disciple or his reaching Them. It is not possible to penetrate the dense glamor of devotion, vibrating with dynamic ecstatic life, which emanates from the concentrated energy of the disciple, working still through the solar plexus center.

For this glamor there are some age-old rules: Contact the greater Self through the medium of the higher Self and thus lose sight of the little self, its reactions, its desires, and intentions. Or: The pure love of the soul which is not personalized in any way and which seeks no recognition can then pour into the world of glamor which surrounds the devotee, and the mists of his devotion (upon which he prides himself) will melt away.

Upon the Probationary Path there comes the swing, consciously registered, between the pairs of opposites until the middle way is sighted and emerges. This activity produces the Glamor of the Pairs of Opposites, which is of a dense and foggy nature, sometimes colored with joy and bliss and sometimes colored with gloom and depression as the disciple swings back and forth between the dualities. This condition persists just as long as the emphasis is laid upon feeling – which feeling will run the gamut between a potent joyfulness as the man seeks to identify himself with the object of his devotion or aspiration, or fails to do so and therefore succumbs to the blackest despair and sense of failure. All this is, however, astral in nature and sensuous in quality and is not of the soul at all. Aspirants remain for many years and sometimes for many lives imprisoned by this glamor. Release from the world of feeling and the polarizing of the disciple in the world of the illumined mind will dissipate this glamor which is part of the great heresy of separateness. The moment a man differentiates his life into triplicities (as he inevitably must as he deals with the pairs of opposites and identifies himself with one of them) he succumbs to the glamor of separation. Perhaps this point of view may aid or perhaps it will remain a mystery, for the secret of world glamor lies hid in the thought that this triple differentiation veils the secret of creation. God Himself produced the pairs of opposites – spirit and matter – and also produced the middle way which is that of the consciousness aspect or the soul aspect. Ponder deeply on this thought.

The triplicity of the pairs of opposites and of the narrow way of balance between them, the noble middle path, is the reflection on the astral plane of the activity of spirit, soul and body; of life, consciousness and form, the three aspects of divinity – all of them equally divine.

As the aspirant learns to free himself from the glamors upon which we have touched, he discovers another world of fog and mist through which the Path seems to run and through which he must penetrate and thus free himself from the Glamors of the Path. What are these glamors, my brothers? Study the three temptations of Jesus, if you would know clearly what they are. Study the effect that the affirmation schools which emphasize divinity (materially employed) have upon the thought of the world; study the failures of disciples through pride, the world savior complex, the service complex, and all the various distortions of reality which a man encounters upon the Path, which hinder his progress and which spoils the service to others which he should be rendering. Emphasize in your own minds the spontaneity of the life of the soul and spoil it not with the glamor of high aspiration selfishly interpreted, self-centeredness, self-immolation, self-aggressiveness, self-assertiveness in spiritual work – such are some of the glamors of the Path.

Next, we will consider glamor on the etheric plane and the theme of the Dweller upon the Threshold, and thus complete the brief outline of our problem which the first part of this teaching was intended to convey.

Before taking up this subject in some detail, I would like to add something to our previous consideration of the problem of glamor. In your last instruction, I elaborated somewhat upon the subject of the various types of glamor and left with you the concept of their great importance in your individual lives. The battlefield (for the man who is nearing accepted discipleship or who is upon the path of discipleship, in the academic sense) is primarily that of glamor. That is the major problem and its solution is imminent and urgent for all disciples and senior aspirants. It will be apparent, therefore, to you why the emphasis has been put, during the Aryan age, upon the necessity for the study of Raja Yoga, and the cultivation of submission to its discipline. Only through Raja Yoga can a man stand steady in the light, and only through illumination and the achievement of clear vision can the fogs and miasmas of glamor be finally dissipated. Only as the disciple learns to hold his mind “steady in the light,” and as the rays of pure light stream forth from the soul, can the glamor be discovered, discerned, recognized for what it essentially is and thus be made to disappear, as the mists of earth dissolve in the rays of the rising sun. Therefore I would counsel you to pay more adequate attention to your meditation, cultivating ever the ability to reflect and to assume the attitude of reflection – held steady throughout the day.

You would find it of real value to ponder deeply upon the purposes for which the intuition must be cultivated and the illumined mind developed, asking yourselves if those purposes are identical in objective and synchronous in time. You would then discover that their objectives differ, and the effects of their pronounced unfoldment upon the personality life are likewise different. Glamor is not dispelled through the means of the intuition nor is illusion overcome by the use of the illumined mind.

The intuition is a higher power than is the mind, and is a faculty latent in the Spiritual Triad; it is the power of pure reason, an expression of the buddhic principle, and lies beyond the world of the ego and of form. Only when a man is an initiate can the exercise of the true intuition become normally possible. By that I mean that the intuition will then be as easily operative as is the mind principle in the case of an actively intelligent person. The intuition, however, will make its presence felt much earlier in extremity or on urgent demand.

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Excerpted from: “Glamor – A World Problem – The Nature of Glamor”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl