Deep Voice Mantra – Protection

Following on from this morning’s dream I have just finished a tantric protection ritual. First, I allowed some incense smoke onto my vajra and bell. Then I went next door. I sat, sounded my bell and began in deep voice.

There are multiple repetitions of each mantra, but I will only place one here

Purification:  OM AH HUM

I placed my vajra in my left hand

To develop tantric abilities: VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM

Mental interlude whilst chanting with the vajra placed point downwards on the table

Strike the circle blue electric

Strike the fire electric

Make that fire reflective

Build the dome protective

To develop skilful means and power: OM VAJRA PANI HUM PHAD – OM VAJRA PANI PHAD

Mental interlude whilst chanting with the vajra placed in my right hand.

Visualize a full blown wrathful Vajrapani behind me and above me, towering over me and protecting us.

Lift the vajra and point it at anybody who might be attacking me in some way or another. Emanate tantric power out of the focal point of the vajra.


Triple cyclic A-U-M

Purification: OM AH HUM

Clap hands once loudly to close and ground me back.

Sound my bell and let it resonate.

Towards Freedom – Freedom…


It is impossible to have long lasting equanimity without freedom. A bold statement perhaps, but freedom as I use it here is a state of mind and again is a relative term. With each increasing freedom comes a liberty to be. In this sense one can be free in mind yet physically incarcerated. For mind is where both freedom and equanimity are to be found. Once there is a liberty to be it is possible to move beyond mere existence into expression, and it is via expression that freedom comes. To begin the long journey of freedom one must ease off the shackles of dependency and societal conditioning, to remove the manacles of ought and should.

In normal life there are many dependencies, we each have our hooks and barbs into each other and to these are strings attached. A brief tug on the string and balance is lost, calm evaporates, and emotional turbulence sets in. Pulled in so many directions life is off centre and hectic. This plague of being busy and the terror of missing out is not free. It comes at a cost of dependency and co-dependency. If you are forever concerned about what others think of you and say about you, then you are not free. There is ever a worry. And this worry drains and inhibits. I am not advocating a kind of reckless sociopathy, rather a gradual freeing up and an increasing detachment from the emotional weather; to step back and see it for what it is. 

Upon the road to freedom we each have baggage, by the truckload. And it is this baggage that must be opened up and the contents discarded but not before each garment has been examined and unpicked. For each scar, each hurt and anger, has to it something of value to be garnered on the road to objectivity. Holding it up to the sun, some measure of light comes through. This analogy for expression is part and parcel of gaining freedom. To be burdened by baggage is to be burdened and inhibited. Again, I am not suggesting wanton behaviour.

This raises the question; do you want to be free? Do you seek freedom? Or would you like to be just a little freer than you currently are? Even freedom is relative and though politicians bang on about freedom, that in its own context is also relative. The freedom of mind as ideal sounds good but the tendency of hive and herd pulls the opposite way. It takes courage to be free of mind and to step outside the herd altogether. With only relatively little freedom of mind comes only a little equanimity.

The idea is not a step function jump off a cliff, rather a gradual, as and when, freeing up.  For unless you own your own mind you cannot have equanimity or a centre. Mind will chase off after in the prevailing weather. So, what I am leading up to is understanding mind, understanding self and going perhaps beyond any notion of self whatsoever. For this self and its image is not real. It is a façade. If you know that your façade is inaccurate and a lie, how can there ever be any lasting equanimity? There cannot be. There will always be a worry that you are going to be found out.

In this it should be easy to see that freedom is sourced in knowledge first of façade then of self and then not self. The key to freedom is understanding. Such a carte blanche statement is true yet simplistic, it is a cover all which has much behind it.

This kind of freedom from dependency may imply loneliness, a fear and a dread to many. A little careful thought might suggest that the dread is a part of dependency and one that can be used to leverage reliance. It is perhaps a desire of many to have friends but there is little true friendship. Much is by way of fragile alliance based upon conditional negotiation, where stock is kept of favour and shared secrets. Very few so called friendships are without condition or some kind of trading. Whilst one may have company, even a sense of camaraderie, rarely is that unconditional. More often there is convenience and expediency. For many it is better to have company, for whatever motive, than to face the singularity of being alone with oneself.  This being alone and without filling the time with pass times is terrifying to most. Because of this terror people will endure all kinds of things.

If you are to seek a freedom of any depth, then it is necessary to be comfortable in being alone. One could rewrite this all one. For it is in the space of no activity, no company and with time that one can face one’s demons, whatever they may be. It is not necessary to face demons if all one seeks is to be a little freer, but small endeavour leads to small reward. And I can say that unvanquished demons prey on equanimity with an unremitting hunger. Just when a small equanimity arrives a demon starts to gnaw, and balance vanishes in a puff of smoke.

As I have been at pains to point out we are dealing with the relative and not the absolute. I have used the allegory of demons to sum up all the things we do not want to face. I am not speaking of occult or satanic creatures, rather our own personal demons which follow us through life with a dogged persistence unless we turn and face them down. It is difficult to be free when your demons are stalking you.

To put it clearly and simply, if you cannot face being alone then there is always a lever which can be leant upon. This knowing, that you are alone, all one, means that societal negotiation and manipulation is far less effective which means you have choice and with choice, comes a freedom of a kind. This freedom is an availability of options, of possibilities or different ways of being and responding. It means less knee jerk reaction more considered and intelligent responding to life. In the absence of reflexive and reactive behaviour there is some sense of control which breeds equanimity.

In relative terms, what is the outer limit of freedom, to be fully free? Whilst corporeal there will always be some limitation on what your mind, your consciousness, can do, due to the very apparatus of living. The consciousness is as yet anchored therein. And depending upon your take on reincarnation you could say that the outer limit of freedom is the cessation of urge to reincarnate. One is done with all that planetary incarnation has to offer and seeks a discarnate existence thereafter. The shackles of form are ready to be cut once and for ever at death. I suspect that despite some idealism most are nowhere near this state of mind and it must sound abstract and unattainable. If you are not an adherent of this, then the limit is simply to move through life with as few hang ups as possible, easy and relaxed in choices and decisive therein. Because anyone who looks deeply senses an interconnection, this living is consequential and with wider appreciation it is not possible to condone undue damage. This kind of freedom, is a responsible one born out of a profound sense of knowledge that every act matters. Although one could be selfish and destructive, because in knowing self, one knows, one chooses not to act harmfully or recklessly.  It depends upon how each seeks to frame things in their own world view. Suffice it to say with freedom comes responsibility, and ability to respond to life and not simply react. This may seem odd to be free and responsible, yet there is no contradiction when sufficient freedom has been garnered. Until that time the notion of freedom is not fully grasped, it is perhaps adolescent and under developed.

Depending on sense of adventure and perceived need to belong, the journey towards freedom is individual. There is no summit per se. There are stages and phases, where one experiences a new-found sense of freedom, however transitory or long lasting. One may get to a point and that suffices, or one may feel the need to go further. There is no right or wrong, there is only what your heart tells you and what the innermost urge of your being demands. 

I do not believe that one can unpick freedom of mind from equanimity, they are entwined and cooperative. If you do not have the courage to strive for freedom of mind and in mind, you will not secure equanimity. Unless you own and can control your own mind, there will always be emotional weather, which seldom is serene. And in this context bliss too is of an emotional bent it, like a mirage, cannot last for ever especially whilst corporeal. Do not confuse equanimity with anhedonia, they are not synonyms. True equanimity has to it a tremendous depth of experience simply because it is free of mental noise.  Handling this depth of experience is initially unsettling and being able to manage enhanced perception is one of the hills which need climbing on the way to freedom. It is easy to taste the cake of phenomena and gorge thereupon for a long while, but a love of phenomena can breed an addiction which by definition, is not free.

Above I have given a high-level introduction; there are no hows, no strategies. What I have sought to do is to lessen ideal, to make relative and thereby chip away at a sense of the unattainable. For many the perfection, the absolute, provides an insurmountable barrier. Whereas freedom by degree does not evoke fear of failure to such an extent. Roll the world freedom around in your consciousness and see if it resonates there. Is it something however intangible it may be, that appeals? Is there an urge within that may seek this noumenon? If there is and you go in earnest search, then as a by-product you will acquire a measure of equanimity.

Some Dragon References from Blavatsky

In these she speaks about the Caduceus and a Yellow {golden?} dragon and she probably spoke with a Russian accent {see dream previous post}.

These are from Vol III of the Adyar Edition of “The Secret Doctrine” by H.P.B.



Yellow dragon mentioned above.

Ray Seven – Personality Integration

To my eyes there is little point in having a textbook for development and then not putting it into practise.

Once I was pretty certain that my personality was seventh ray, I set about using ceremonial magic to integrate it. This I did by making a pentagram with five lit candles at the points and lighting some incense on my fireplace. Then I constructed the thought form of the pentagram. I then entered the centre of the pentagram from the East, lay down on the floor within the pentagram with my head at one point and meditated whilst listening to Tibetan deep voice chanting. I did this ritual on average about five times a week for about half an hour each time, over a period of a year. When the session was nearing an end, I would exit the pentagram the same way I entered it and extinguish the candles in reverse order to the order in which they were lit.

In the day-time I would teach physical chemistry.

There is nothing like a well-executed ritual for setting intent.

I had a blog called the inside out which related to the last sentence below and was about me extroverting many of the things I had bottled inside. In a manner of speaking, I eviscerated my emotions and put them out in public.

This sentence spoke volumes to me.

 I love to see the forms emerge, created by my mind, and do their work, fulfil the plan and disappear.

Once I figured that I had integrated enough I then used the second ray technique of repulse as per the manual.


” ‘I seek to bring the two together. The plan is in my hands. How shall I work? Where lay the emphasis? In the far distance stands the One Who Is. Here at my hand is form, activity, substance, and desire. Can I relate these and fashion thus a form for God? Where shall I send my thought, my power the word that I can speak?

‘I, at the center, stand, the worker in the field of magic. I know some rules, some magical controls, some Words of Power, some forces which I can direct. What shall I do? Danger there is. The task that I have undertaken is not easy of accomplishment, yet I love power. I love to see the forms emerge, created by my mind, and do their work, fulfil the plan and disappear. I can create. The rituals of the Temple of the Lord are known to me. How shall I work?

Love not the work. Let love of God’s eternal Plan control your life, your mind, your hand, your eye. Work towards the unity of plan and purpose which must find its lasting place on earth. Work with the Plan; focus upon your share in that great work.’

The word goes forth from soul to form: ‘Stand in the center of the pentagram, drawn upon that high place in the East within the light which ever shines. From that illumined center work. Leave not the pentagram. Stand steady in the midst. Then draw a line from that which is without to that which is within and see the Plan take form.’ “

From Esoteric Psychology 2 by Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul

Vis Viva – Chapter 2 No Man

“No man is an iland intire of it’ selfe:
Every man is a peece of the continent;”

John Donne, Meditation XVII from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions.

So then what happened to this organism called Eric and why is he writing this, his own personal Chautauqua? His motives for this are not clear. Nor yet are his natures for there are many of these. All that he has told me is that there is in him a pressing need to express, to find a way to describe what was and is a most interesting path through life and onwards.

“It all started with Jason Bourne.” He tells me this is as good a point as any, from which to start. When Jason, after he realises the nature of what he has gotten himself into, refuses to submit to the programme he is forced, trained as an assassin and begins his missions. When asked to kill a man in front of his children something of the David Webb in him resurfaces, he botches the mission and is nearly killed as a result. He is then quite literally adrift on the sea of life not knowing who or what he is, with but a few clues to his past and a fog of amnesia surrounding him. He goes back to look at all the places and the people he once knew, trying to piece together what has happened.

Metaphor then is what it says on the tin, it is a transfer by linguistic connivance; a transfer from another reality or world into this one. It presupposes that this one is common. Of course it isn’t, yet it might be. In the use of metaphor Eric reckons that one can get a flavour or a taste of what he is trying to say and hint at the depths of the other worlds’ journey to Annwn in search of Awen, the inspiration of the vis viva. The breath which breathes life into all things, the breath that comes on the four winds and the moods they bear with them upon their shoulders, sometimes lightly and sometimes not. The Chautauqua then, is the search for a personal sense of Jesus, that sense of the divine potential incarnate in us all; where we are our own personal saviour, a sangraal quest for our inner being; the sense of at-one-ment with the world around us and perhaps the non mundane.

Eric came upon something quite by accident when he was a young man, caught up in all the hedonism of student life. It was a series of books starting for him with “The Journey to Ixtlan” written by Carlos Castaneda and so he heard of this thing called “the Warrior’s path”. He was rather taken by this series of books and read them all with a zeal, he was later to become famous for. When he talked about them with his flat mates it was rather clear that he had taken them seriously and they hadn’t. Something funny was going on and that year he was rather ill with many fevers. But he could not pretend he hadn’t heard, because he had. He did not know what he had heard but it was, something.

He got his degree and went on to study for a Ph.D. in chemical physics or “pissing about with lasers” as he liked to call it. The solitude of dark laboratories, expensive toys and the beauty of pure, coherent light, brought him much joy. After a while he twigged that he was pretty good at all this, he understood the theories and could make a laser sing. When he stood up to talk about his work, people listened, they even published his papers in scientific journals, what a hoot!

Later, when Eric went back to his school in Gloucestershire and walked around the sports fields, where he had snuck out during “lock up” to watch the fireworks of Guy Fawke’s night, made dangerous, secret, trips “out of bounds” for walnuts and ran and ran and ran. How many times had he done rounds as punishment? How great was that slip-slap-slip of his feet in rhythm with his breath. This was where it all began; one of his Jason Bourne moments, and it was at the hand of a well meaning man who in one sentence and in one act changed a life.

Eric had not settled in boarding school, his school work was messy and erratic reflecting his inner turmoil and his struggles to survive. Finally now at the age of 12 he sat his common entrance examination, though for him it was really another mock as he was due to be in the scholarship class next year. And there it was, on the English paper; write an essay inspired by any of the following. He chose:

“No man is an iland intire of it’ selfe:
Every man is a peece of the continent;”

John Donne, Meditation XVII from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions.

There it was his first quay off, off from the day to day and into the palace of dreams, it was the febrile stuff of a doorway into his inner world, shimmering, veil like, in the wind of his existence. There is someone else, after all, who had something of him.

Eric for once let it all go; he expressed all his inner loneliness drifting in a coracle from that Cape Town harbour, abandoned under the stars of the Southern Cross and without hope, until there, on the horizon was the first light of day. The master marked his essay and wrote of the poetry in Eric’s soul on his report card and then he did it. He read it out in assembly.

No man would write like that would they? After all the bullying on his sexuality, that was it, proof and in front of the whole school. There it was, never, never, never let it go again. How very attractive the science classes were after that. How easily he gained marks and passed the exams.

Eric says that it was a life that had two potentialities severed by a choice that was not really his, circumstance made it and his parents were now happy. His Nan though, was so proud of that comment, a poet in the family! When Eric saw the report card quite recently he could still smell the ink, a dark vivid blue, Parker’s Quink, written with a sloping italic nib. He experienced the same fear as he had done thirty years before. Eric had been here, here with the musty thin report book, charting his progress. He had held that book many, many times. Now though he could read between the lines, written by the teachers, having written many such things himself.

This was a node in his life, one of many. That world so precious and private to him had been taken out and with the best intentions, thrashed in public. Eric began to blend and here the chameleon was truly born. The twin Gods of should and ought began to take their hold on his psyche and he became the best sportsman he could be and the best scientist. He still did languages but kept them tight on a rein. He needed the marks for his exams.

Still and even on days like today when the rain caresses the ground he can remember the other country where people can be who they are; and all those water bottle windows gazed through; day dreaming in the foothills of that other country; the one that seems so far yet so close. And, again the window ledge is just wide enough to sit on, waiting for his parents who never came to rescue him. They weren’t of that other country so how could they possibly know what it was like. Nor was anyone it would appear.

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.

I Vow to Thee My Country, Sir Cecil A. Spring-Rice, 1918.

And that search for the other country was to continue for many years to come, always resident and poignant in his heart. Ready and fresh in his dreams yet as secret and as encrypted as it was possible to be. Buried deep within the layers of ice, the ice of a thousand tears cried in a silence of a song unsung and unspoken. No one knew what he thought and that gave him a sense of power. There, no one could harm him. There he was safe and he didn’t have to trust anyone.

When they let him read the lessons and the prayers he was very happy. Deep within him then the sense of the sacred was sanctuary and he did not mind that the others had their parents with them and that his were five thousand miles away. He and all the other expat boys got to ring the bells too!

Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de Votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l’amour.
Là où il y a l’offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l’union.
Là où il y a l’erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l’espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette Votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.

Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant à être consolé qu’à consoler, à être compris qu’à comprendre, à être aimé qu’à aimer, car c’est en donnant qu’on reçoit, c’est en s’oubliant qu’on trouve, c’est en pardonnant qu’on est pardonné, c’est en mourant qu’on ressuscite à l’éternelle vie.

Par Saint François d’Assise

Later in life it was another rose that sneaked into his life and turned partially in the mortice to release the first seeds of an efflorescence that was to take him deep into Annwn and Awen; there again to offer him the proof that he was different and yet ultimately, the same.

Eric tells me that until you have been touched by the fingers of death there is no real concept of life. That you cannot begin to conceive life itself and that living is more of a going through the motions of existence. There is no fecundity in living and the organism which is the vehicle remains only partially awake, until the organising indwelling thing catches the breath of the vis viva and is inspired. Before this can happen the form side of life needs tended. The weeds and brambles that adorn the island of existence are pruned and hacked back; all that is unwanted is bagged up and taken to the re-cycling centre. Only then can the form side of life settle in the sea of floating things and allow creativity to stream forth un-abated. And it is the fingers of death that encourage the danse macabre of transformation, for it is only in the theatre of death that man can see his true script for this, his sojourn on the stage, where he is player for us all.

Eric says that he is lucky in that death has touched him three times now, and that the archetype of le mort should be welcome as it brings with it true change, for only then can man touch the very outer limits of his potential and truly, dance the edge. It is the universe’s way of showing the glory of incarnation and if we chose to see it, the pettiness of our doings and the darkness, which is so very often of our own making.

That island is crammed full with stuff, thoughts, should and ought. Filled with words that are not ours, choc-a-bloc with ideas put there by others, aspirations and ideals that have precious little to do with you; a veritable Shinjuku station at rush hour in time lapse photography where wave after wave of gripes and moans chant the koans of consumerism; the must have and the “if only” of the realms of the hungry ghosts.

“You know that people are rarely truly silent.” He says.

“True silence is what people fear the most. There and then, is the no-thing-ness of existence and it is primordial. It is before and will be after us and that is where the creative power of the void can be found, echoing out the very first sound into the darkness of manifestation; a single word which breaks the silence. It is this connectivity with the in-finite that man fears, insisting that it is only he and his island. He is lost in the sea of life, that he is one and has already separated from the zero.”

Eric likes to call the organising thing that animates the form the power within, as all the other words are now second hand. He distinguishes between the power within and the power without for clarity only. They are all part of the same awareness. He says that this distinction is a hangover from his sense of individuating identity and helps keep him sane, allowing him to tell all the stories that other people like so that they don’t panic or think him odd.

He says we all have a power within and it is the vis viva that animates this potential within us so that it incarnates. The one life chooses an aspect of awareness to materialise into form. This manifestation has an impact, it slows things down so that awareness becomes dream-like and foggy. It is just that so many people like the dream so much they aren’t willing to stop the world and wake up in the dream. The matrix of existence is so full of clamour and glamour that it straps people into a sense of reality that isn’t really there in the sea of the floating things. The folly of permanence and the arrow of time exclude the magic of being; after all we are all counter entropic beings are we not?

The incarnate matrix of existence has its stories and rules, by focusing intent upon their maintenance the world conspires to limit the potentialities to physical plane function whilst the organism and its thoughts keep the power within at bay with the brouhaha of social interaction and the relentless mind numbing noise of mass media and marketing. The voice of the power within remains unheard and talked over by the internal dialogue, often externalised, that convinces itself, at least partially, that the world of illusion is all that there is. This then is the sleight of hand that tells us we should be interested in what Manchester United are doing and whether of not Jennifer Anniston has found Mr Right; a sleight of hand that distracts us from perhaps our true purpose which is maybe, just maybe understanding the meaning behind why the vis viva animated the power within to incarnate so as to gain knowledge through physical plane existence and the challenges inherent in that.

Eric says that the irony is we dreamed this world into being yet most of us don’t even remember doing it and insist that this dream is real. Eric says that people have told him that he is a pretty powerful dreamer and he has no evidence to prove otherwise. He knows that for ten years of his life he did his very best to kill all of his dreams, he numbed them with chemicals and beer so that they would not speak to him at night. He says that coma is a good way to do this. The power within was wise to this and set him up with that visit to Negril, it had been silenced for too long and the sleeper must awaken. Eric didn’t realise it but he was in for a pretty rough ride after that.

Cooking “Haiku”

it is snowing outside

peeling sprouts,

the layers of a season


bashful potatoes blush.

their red faces

surrender to nakedness


twelve sausages

now in a pan

oiled with summer’s scent


these slippery elvers

flow over the weir.

an olive branch bows


the world needs

an ointment, a salve

something virgin, and new


soon they will marry

the butters, now churned

with a little pepper


peasant fare

on a winter’s night

a sample of, the simple


the log store

understands emptiness

and so replenishes


now for some fire

to make a meal

handsome out of it


the alchemist stirs

and out the cauldron

there is food!!

Who are you calling a pseudoscientist?

This is from Times Higher Education

{Better get my tinfoil hat !}

Academics need to think far more carefully about how they define and police the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate knowledge, argues Michael D. Gordin

If you try to picture a “pseudoscientist”, you might imagine an astrologer or a creationist. But that is not what practising scientists tend to mean by the term.

When I used to ask them at social events to describe a pseudoscientist, they would often say: “You see, there is this person in my field who has published this crazy result. I’ve pointed it out, in print and in person, several times, and he [it was always ‘he’] refuses to correct it.” I must have received some variant of this response at least a dozen times. It was easily the most common answer and it has something important to teach us about the way science operates within universities and more generally.

We can start with two significant points. The first is that the fringe beliefs most frequently associated with the term “pseudoscience” in public discussions – alchemy, extra-sensory perception (ESP), Bigfoot or Flat Earth – do not preoccupy practising scientists at the lab bench. Those particular denizens of the fringe had already been demarcated out of bounds and tacitly dismissed by my interlocutors as beneath notice.

Even more important, however, is the fact that when prodded to explore the boundary between science and pseudoscience, the scientists invoked not epistemological first principles but the rough-and-tumble context of scientific disputation and publishing. That is, they referred to research in their own fields as normally practised, but confidently demarcated legitimate from illegitimate approaches.

That is, when scientists think about “pseudoscience”, they no doubt include the exotic phrenologists and Lysenkoists, but at the forefront of their minds are the more humdrum colleagues arguing in bad faith. To be clear, I am not claiming that there is a continuity between the content of mainstream science and the demonised fringe – rather the opposite. If you imagine a spectrum running from excellent science through good science, mediocre science (most of it, by definition) and poor science to execrable science, then “pseudoscience” isn’t even on it. It is not “bad science” by another name; instead, it is an impostor, masquerading as legitimate knowledge.

What is often presented as a purely intellectual exercise of demarcation – sifting the scholars from the cranks – is actually a way of policing a contentious border area. As with all policing actions, the fundamental criteria regarding what is acceptable deviance (or innovation) and what is beyond the pale are political.

I claim that the very process of today’s mainstream science necessarily produces a host of discarded doctrines which can take forms that, under certain conditions, could be recategorised as “pseudo”. Since demarcation is inevitable and the edges of the scientific frontier are highly dynamic, universities and others who allocate resources to research should reflect explicitly on how these transformations can happen.

The process is an unintended consequence of the adversarial organisation of scientific research, dominant for at least the past two centuries. The way a scientist makes her reputation is by building on past findings, of course, but if all she does is confirm what everyone knew before, then her career stagnates. The pressures in scientific publication are to do something new, and that usually means refuting a claim associated with the consensus. Typically, this isn’t a challenge to a core tenet – electrons don’t exist! – but rather to a small or medium-scale position.

Credit in science is allocated for priority (being first) and for being more correct than your competitors investigating the same questions. There will always be winners and losers. Eventually, many of today’s winners will become losers, as their accepted positions are in turn displaced by new scientific research. This is the ordinary yet incredible dynamism of science that has elicited so many accolades.

Yet it also produces an instability about the nature of scientific claims. Pluto was a planet, until it wasn’t (and so on). At any one point in time, there is a mainstream scientific consensus, but there are also doctrines that are being displaced from it, shunted to the fringe, often by radical theories that came from the fringe themselves, such as that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs.

Some of these superannuated ideas become what we might call “vestigial” pseudosciences: doctrines that were once considered mainstream, or at least candidates for mainstream validity, but which over time are relegated to the dust heap by the consensus.

A good example is astrology. In 16th-century Europe, astrology was so far from being a pseudoscience that it was arguably the leading science. Based on an ever-expanding collection of empirical data organised through quite sophisticated mathematics, it made detailed predictions and enjoyed munificent support from wealthy patrons. Its status was always contested, but it took centuries before it faded away as a legitimate domain of elite natural philosophy. 

The pseudoscientific status ascribed to astrology, in other words, is not hardwired into its tenets, but a product of their interaction with the context of contemporary scientific knowledge (which always changes). A great many of the theories most frequently called pseudosciences – creationism, phrenology, eugenics – were at one point either mainstream or reasonable candidates for mainstream status. They were displaced by the confrontational attacks that are the mainstay of scientific debate.

Over centuries, this process is easy to observe, but it is harder to evaluate in the here and now, especially when the science is innovative and controversial. Nobody self-consciously decides to be a pseudoscientist. Those saddled with this label by orthodox scientists often see themselves as simply doing science, just on the more innovative fringe neglected by their stodgier, consensus-driven colleagues. Even in cases where the knowledge claims involved are arguably hoaxes or based on clear mistakes, there is still the potential for one of the discarded doctrines – should it garner enough adherents – to establish an existence on the fringe. 

Consider a classic example: cold fusion. Unlike astrology, the trajectory to the fringe took less than two months. On 23 March 1989, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, two electrochemists at the University of Utah, held a press conference to announce a revolutionary discovery. Using a very simple set-up of electrodes immersed in solution, they claimed that the palladium electrode – which highly concentrates hydrogen ions – had generated a huge heat spike. Their interpretation for these anomalous results was that they had succeeded in fusing hydrogen nuclei into helium. Since they produced much more energy than they had put in, the name given to this phenomenon was “cold fusion”.

If these results had been confirmed, it would have been the most important scientific result of the century, even the millennium. Cold fusion could easily satisfy all of humanity’s energy needs without carbon-dioxide emissions, without radioactive waste, thereby transforming the economy and the planet.

The University of Utah’s technology transfer office organised the press conference – something still unusual in 1989 while the peer-review process was ongoing – and then flew Pons and Fleischmann to Washington, DC to lobby Congress for funding to scale up cold fusion. It is worth underscoring that this was almost a textbook example of what contemporary universities are supposed to do: encouraging innovative science that pushes the boundaries of knowledge, especially cutting-edge work that can yield economic benefits.

And then the bottom fell out. At first, numerous labs leapt at the opportunity to replicate these amazing findings, but most efforts stalled, in part because the Utahns did not share information readily, pleading the sanctity of the refereeing process. The few confirmations that were announced were quickly retracted: a faulty neutron-detector here, a miscalibrated thermometer there.

It got worse. On 1 May, at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, a group of physicists and chemists eviscerated the central claims of the Pons-Fleischmann experiment. For example, to generate the amount of heat they claimed, Pons and Fleischmann would have been killed by the neutron flux. The two electrochemists moved to France, and the tempest quieted down. It’s a fascinating story, and I encourage you to read the accounts in books such as Bart Simon’s Undead Science: Science Studies and the Afterlife of Cold Fusion and Frank Close’s Too Hot to Handle: The Race for Cold Fusion.

What happened next might surprise you. A small group of researchers continues to this day to explore the Pons-Fleischmann approach to energy generation. Specialised journals emerged in the mid-1990s, and there have been dedicated conferences ever since. While mainstream nuclear researchers declare the phenomenon of palladium-induced fusion to be pseudoscientific, it has not simply vanished. It was a controversial idea that tried to move from the fringe to the mainstream and failed – but then retreated to a different part of the fringe, where it lives on. Sometimes, fields like this gain a foothold at universities and survive for longer than you might expect, like the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab at my own institution, which investigated the psychic manipulation of electronics from 1979 until 2007, when it moved off campus.

So my nosy questions at academic cocktail parties raise an important concern for everyone involved in science, especially in the resource-scarce conditions of today’s universities. We are faced with a gigantic number of claims to knowledge, and nobody has the time, energy or resources to investigate them all. We all necessarily engage in acts of demarcation, deciding which are worth exploring and which should be discarded as likely nonsense. We often use the consensus as a benchmark for reasonable investigation, but this is not foolproof. The consensus is not always correct, and what was tossed aside as mistaken or even “pseudoscientific” can turn out to be important.

It would be nice if we had a bright-line demarcation standard, such as Karl Popper’s falsifiability criterion, but we don’t (creationists make many falsifiable claims, for instance). The demarcation criteria we use in practice are more ad hoc, calibrated to fluctuating standards of how much of the fringe to tolerate. These can differ strongly by discipline, by institution and even by researcher.

I call this problem the “central dilemma”. We can set our standards for what seems a plausible knowledge claim extremely high, so that we only entertain small deviations from orthodoxy, but if we do so, we will strangle exciting breakthroughs in the cradle. (Neither relativity nor quantum theory would have earned a hearing.) So most of us allow some of the fringe into our inboxes and journals, hoping that new ideas will propel the adversarial mechanisms of science to a deeper understanding of nature. The problem is that there is no way to know in advance whether a radical claim is brilliant or nonsense – you have to take each on a case-by-case basis.

Every grants review panel, every tenure committee, every dissertation adviser is confronted daily with the central dilemma. If you want to brand your institution a maverick university that attracts outside-the-box talent, you’ll have to engage in more debunking and filtering. Without a bright-line solution, you have to work by rules of thumb.

One possible first step would be to divide the domains of research according to how potentially harmful fringe theories could be, or to work out how costly it would be (in terms of money or time) to debunk a proliferation of unconventional claims. Fringe theories in the areas of environmental pollution and public health, for instance, can have severe effects on people’s welfare. But we probably need more outside-the-box thinking in the former area than in the latter (where the orthodox principles generally work pretty well). So perhaps the bar should be set differently in those two cases.

As for the costs involved in filtering out the potentially credible from the false, scientists already make calculations based on the potential fruitfulness of new ideas and their own capacities. More explicit discussion of how those implicit criteria function would help decision-makers at all levels – including students – navigate the hazards of the everyday deluge of information. Demarcation is inevitable, and there is no shortcut.

This is why my interlocutors always found their pseudoscientists within their own disciplines, and not ranting in a tinfoil hat in the village square. It’s the right place to look.

The Path to Sirius

Excerpted from:

The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section One – The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation

4. The Path to Sirius

I have frequently hinted in my various books that the Sun, Sirius, is closely related to our planetary Life; much is known in the Hierarchy anent this connection, and the particular relationship of this fourth Path to humanity, the fourth kingdom in nature, but little can be communicated to the general public. I may, however, tell you certain things which may make your imaginative rangings (if I may use so strange a phrase) creatively profitable to you.

This great Sun which is to our solar Logos what the Monad is to the spiritual man, has a peculiar part to play where our Earth is concerned. It might be considered by those with a sound sense of occult proportion that our tiny planet with its planetary Logos (one of the “imperfect Gods” of The Secret Doctrine) would be too small to enter in the slightest way into the consciousness of that Supreme Illumined Entity Who is greater even than our Solar Logos.  Such, however, is the case. There is a relationship of very ancient date between our Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara, and the Lord of Sirius, and this exists in spite of the fact that our planet is not a sacred planet. It might be added that our planet is, in the immediate cycle, owing to the factors I have lately considered with you, rapidly passing out of this category, and on the inner planes and subjectively considered is a sacred planet; the effects of this transition from non-sacred to sacred have not fully demonstrated themselves objectively. The mystery of this relationship is partially revealed at one of the higher initiations and it is then realized by the initiates that there is a good and adequate reason for the relation and that the following esoteric events, relations and happenings are simply consequences:

1. The majority of liberated humanity, and therefore a large number of the initiates who have to make decision, choose this way to the cosmic center.

2. The relationship as it expresses itself is between the Hierarchy and Sirius, and not between Shamballa and that stupendous Sun. The energy evoked in response to this relationship enters the Hierarchy via the Heart of the Sun, creating as a consequence a triangle of spiritual energy of enormous potency. You have, therefore:

Sirius, The Hierarchy, Heart of the Sun

3. As progress is made in the course of taking the higher initiations, it becomes apparent to the initiate that two major streams of energy enter our planetary life:

  • A stream of energy coming from the cosmic mental plane and from that focal point which is to Sanat Kumara what the egoic lotus, the soul, is to the spiritual man; it carries the life principle of our planet and centers itself in Shamballa. From there it is dispersed throughout all forms upon the planet and we call it Life. It must be remembered that this life principle embodies or is impregnated with the will and purpose of That which over-shadows Sanat Kumara as the soul over-shadows the personality.
  • A stream of energy coming from the sun, Sirius; this enters directly into the Hierarchy and carries with it the principle of buddhi, of cosmic love. This, in a mysterious way, is the principle found at the heart of every atom.

The life principle follows the line of, whilst the buddhic flow follows the line of 2.4.6. Thus atma-buddhi becomes the blended reality which is brought to full unfoldment as evolution proceeds. The energy of Sirius by-passes (to use a modern word) Shamballa and is focused in the Hierarchy. Its effect is not felt until after the third initiation, though the Masters use this energy whilst training disciples for the second, the fourth and the sixth initiations.

4. The entire work of the Great White Lodge is controlled from Sirius; the Ashrams are subjected to its cyclic inflow; the higher initiations are taken under its stimulation, for the principle of buddhi, of pure love (i.e., love-wisdom) must be active in the heart of every initiate prior to the initiation of the great decision; it is therefore only initiates of the fifth, sixth and higher initiations who can work consciously with the potent buddhic “livingness” which permeates all Ashrams, though unrecognized by the average disciple.

5. This Sirian influence was not recognized, and little of it was definitely focused in the Hierarchy, until Christ came and revealed the love of God to humanity. He is the expression, par excellence, of a Sirian initiation, and it is to that high place He will eventually go – no matter what duties or hierarchical obligations may take Him elsewhere between that time and now. The Buddha was originally to have chosen the fourth Path but other plans confront Him now and will probably claim His choice.

6. Sanat Kumara is not on the Sirian line but – to speak in symbols, not too deeply veiled – Lucifer, Son of the Morning, is closely related, and hence the large number of human beings who will become disciples in the Sirian Lodge. This is the true “Blue Lodge,” and to become a candidate in that Lodge, the initiate of the third degree has to become a lowly aspirant, with all the true and full initiations awaiting him “within the sunshine of the major Sun.”

7. None of the above facts indicates divergence of view between Shamballa and the Hierarchy, nor do they signify cleavage or differing aims and goals. The whole subject is reflected in such minor relations on Earth as those between:

  • The Spiritual Triad and the Personality.
  • The mental unit and the manasic permanent atom.
  • Atma-Buddhi.
  • The Christ and the Buddha.

The above somewhat uncorrelated items of information will give you a general idea of the significant connection between our unimportant little planet and that vast expression of divinity, the Life which is manifesting through Sirius; it is an expression which is organized and vital beyond anything man can vision and which is free to a completely unlimited extent, again beyond the power of man to comprehend. The principle of freedom is a leavening energy which can permeate substance in a unique manner; this divine principle represents an aspect of the influence which Sirius exerts on our solar system and particularly on our planet. This principle of freedom is one of the attributes of Deity (like will, love and mind) of which humanity knows as yet little. The freedom for which men fight is one of the lowest aspects of this cosmic freedom, which is related to certain great evolutionary developments that enable the life or spirit aspect to free itself from the impact, the contact and the influence of substance.

It is the principle of freedom which enables Sanat Kumara to dwell on the Earth and yet stand free from all contacts, except with Those Who have trodden the Path of Liberation and now stand free upon the cosmic physical plane; it is that which enables the initiate to achieve a state of “isolated unity”; it is that which lies behind the Spirit of Death and forms the motivating power of that great releasing Agency; it is that which provides a “pathway of power” between our Hierarchy and the distant sun, Sirius, and gives the incentive towards the “culture of freedom” or of liberation which motivates the work of the Masters of the Wisdom; it is that which produced the ferment and the vortex of conflict in far distant ages and which has been recognized in the present through the results of the Law of Evolution in every kingdom in nature; this is that which “substands” or lies under or behind all progress. This mysteriously “exerted influence,” this “pulling away” from form (as we might simply call it), emanates from Sirius and for it we have no name; it is the law of which the three cosmic laws – the Laws of Synthesis, of Attraction and of Economy – are only aspects. None of these three subsidiary laws imposes any rule or limitation upon the Lord of the World. The Law of Freedom, however, does impose certain restrictions, if one can use such a paradoxical phrase. It is responsible for His being known as the “Great Sacrifice,” for (under the control of this law) He created our planetary life and all that is within and upon it, in order to learn to wield this law with full understanding, in full consciousness, and yet at the same time to bring release to the myriad forms of His creation.

The Law of Economy affects humanity as a whole today throughout every phase of its life; the Law of Attraction is beginning to gain some control, particularly in the work which the Hierarchy undertakes to do; and many initiates and senior disciples are becoming aware of the significance of the Law of Synthesis and are reacting to its impact. Later on, when moving to one of the seven Paths, the Master will work with the Law of Freedom. This is not, as you may well surmise, its true name, for in the last analysis, freedom and liberation are effects of its activity. This unique and mysterious law governs the Life and the Lives upon Sirius, and it is to that unknown “sphere of functioning and intelligent activity” what the Law of Economy is to our planet – the lowest of the laws controlling existence in planetary form.

This Law of Economy includes, as you know from my earlier writings, many lesser or subsidiary laws; it might therefore be stated that this Law of Freedom also does the same. Until more divine attributes are realized as existing and recognized as aspects, it is not possible for the name of the law which embodies the Law of Freedom to be given, for there is no word in our language adequately available. The above information will, however, link Sirius and our little planet, the Earth, in your minds.


Excerpted from:

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Three – Division B – The Nature of the Cosmic Paths

Path IV. The Path to Sirius

This path is of all the Paths the most veiled in the clouds of mystery. The reason for this mystery will only be apparent to the pledged initiate, though a clue to the secret may be gained if it is realized that in a peculiar and esoteric sense the sun Sirius and the Pleiades hold a close relation to each other. It is a relation analogous to that which lower mind holds to higher mind. The lower is receptive to, or negatively polarized to the higher. Sirius is the seat of higher mind and mahat (as it is called, or universal mind) sweeps into manifestation in our solar system through the channel of the Pleiades. It is almost as if a great triangle of mahatic energy was thus formed. Sirius transmits energy to our solar system via that

“…sevenfold brooding Mother, the silver constellation, whose voice is as a tinkling bell, and whose feet pass lightly o’er the radiant path between our worlds and hers.”

Within the solar system there is an interesting correspondence to this cosmic interplay in the relation between the Venus scheme, our Earth scheme and the Venus chain in our scheme.

Curiously enough it will be through a comprehension of the human antahkarana, or the path which links higher and lower mind and which is constructed by the Thinker during the process of evolution, that light on this abstruse matter will come. There is (in connection with our planetary Logos) just such an antahkarana, and as He builds and constructs it, it forms part of the fourth Path, and permits the passage of the bulk of our humanity to this distant objective, and this without obstruction. A clue to the nature of this Path and as to the reason why so many of the human Monads seek this particular stream of energy lies in the right understanding of the above suggestion.

The initiates who tread this way are primarily those of the fourth and the sixth order. As earlier pointed out, this is the Path that the “lords of compassion” most frequently follow, and at this time the Egyptian Master and the Master Jesus are preparing Themselves to tread it. The mystics of the Occident who have come into incarnation during the past one thousand years are a peculiar group of Egos whose impulse is towards this type of cosmic energy. In this system they have developed certain basic recognitions and the “ecstasy” of the occidental mystic is the germ, latent within him, which will some day flower forth into that cosmic rapture for which we have as yet no name.

Cosmic rapture and rhythmic bliss are the attributes of the fourth path. It is a form of identification which is divorced from consciousness altogether. The reason also why the majority of the sons of men follow this Path lies in the fact of its numerical position. These units of the fourth kingdom, the bulk of the fourth Creative Hierarchy on this fourth globe of the fourth scheme in a solar system of the fourth order are innately compelled to seek this fourth WAY in order to perfect themselves. They are called the “blissful dancing points of fanatical devotion.” This is as near as we can get to the true description. They have also been described as the “revolving wheels which turn upon themselves, and find the open door to perfect bliss.”

The energy of Path IV reaches us from Sirius via the Sun. This must be understood as a blind behind which one of the signs of the zodiac veils itself.

The hierarchies concerned with this specific type of cosmic force hide themselves under the numbers fourteen and seventeen. This will serve as a complete blind to the average reader, but will carry to the pledged chela the hint needed to produce illumination.

The method whereby the adept fits himself to pass upon this path is termed that of duplex rotary motion and “rhythmic dancing upon the square.”

The symbol, which is first given to the pledged disciple to study but which may, however, be described, is a duality of interlocked wheels revolving at a great pace in opposite directions, and producing a unified whole. These wheels are portrayed as manifesting electric blue flame, rotating and revolving with great rapidity around an equal-armed Cross. The Cross is pictured in orange fire with a deep emerald green circle, flaming at the point in the center where the four arms of the Cross meet. The symbolism of these colors links this fourth path to the solar system preceding this one. In that system the Sirian influence was more potent than in the present one.

It is not possible to add more to this beyond pointing out that the quality gained by the adept who treads this path may not be revealed. He comes under the concentrated influence of the energy which is identified with the planetary antahkarana. It is not permitted, therefore, to state what its specific quality may be, as it would convey too much information to the intelligent reader as to the nature and the objective of our particular planetary Logos.


  • Attributes – cosmic rapture and rhythmic bliss.
  • Source – Sirius via the Sun which veils a zodiacal sign.
  • Hierarchy – veiled by the numbers 14 and 17.
  • Method – duplex rotary motion and rhythmic dancing upon the square.
  • Symbol – two wheels of electric fire, revolving around an orange Cross, with an emerald at the center.
  • Quality – unrevealed.