The Sound and the Akashic Records – Patanjali

17. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver. By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.

This is one of the most important sutras in the book, and holds the key to the object of the entire meditation process. This is to reveal or to unveil to the perceiver or spiritual man, the true nature of the self, the second aspect, and the correspondence to the second aspect in all forms of subhuman life, as well as to put him en rapport with the second aspect in all superhuman forms. Thus it concerns the subjective side of all manifestation and deals with those forces which in every form constitute the consciousness aspect, which concern the Christ or buddhic principle and which are the direct cause of objective manifestation and the revelation of spirit through the medium of form.

This is the AUM. First the breath, then the word and all that is, appeared.

Just as long as the great Existence who is the sum total of all forms and of all states of consciousness continues to sound the cosmic AUM, just so long will the objective tangible solar system persist.

The following synonyms in connection with this sutra must be borne in mind if clarity of thought is to be achieved:

I. Spiritual Essence                           II. The Sound or Word                    III. The Object

1. Spirit                                                 1. The Soul.                                         1. Body

2. Pneuma                                          2. The Psyche.                                   2. Form.

3. The Father. Shiva                         3. The Son. Vishnu.                          3. The Holy Spirit. Brahma.

4. The Monad. The One.                4. The cosmic Christ.                       4. The vehicle of life and of                                                                                                                                          incarnation.

5. The eternal Will or Purpose.   5. Eternal Love-Wisdom.               5. Eternal activity and intelligence.

6. The great Breath.                        6. The AUM.                                       6. The Worlds.

7. Life.                                                  7. Consciousness Aspect.              7. Activity Aspect.

8. Synthesizing Energy.                 8. Attractive Force.                          8. Matter.

9. First Aspect.                                 9. Second Aspect.                            9. Third Aspect.

In the mind of man these three aspects are confused and that which is outward and objective is usually recognized as reality. This is the great maya or illusion and can only be dissipated when the perceiver can distinguish the three great aspects in every form, his own included. When the second aspect, the soul, the middle or mediating principle is known, the nature of the form is also known, and the essential nature of spirit can be inferred. The immediate field of knowledge, however, which the yogi has to master is that of the second aspect. He must arrive at the Sound or Word which brought every form into manifestation, and which is the result of the breath, the essence or spirit.

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by Him…” (John I, 1, 2.)

Here, in the Christian Bible, is the substance of the entire teaching, and in the significance of the three letters of the Sacred Word, AUM, lies the clue to the entire cosmic process. The meditation process when duly and correctly carried out reveals therefore the second or soul aspect, and the Sound, or Word (the Voice of the Silence) can then be heard.

Once heard and the work carried steadily forward, the realm of consciousness is revealed and the yogi is en rapport with the second aspect of his own nature and with the second aspect in every form. This is the basis of the whole science of the soul and leads a man to know his own soul or psyche and the psyche in every form of divine life. It is the foundation for the entire science of psychism, both in its higher and lower aspects.

When a man is a lower psychic he is aware of, and responds to the soul aspect of the material forms and the third or Brahma aspect (the body), dominates, for every atom of matter has a soul. This concerns all that is subhuman.

When he responds to the higher correspondence of this, to the reality of which the lower is but the shadow, he is in touch with the Christ consciousness, with the soul of his being which is one with the soul in all the superhuman kingdoms.

In connection with this, two things must be remembered. If he is a lower psychic he is in touch with the second aspect of the lower man, the astral body, the middle principle in the lower man, linking the mental body and the etheric. He is, therefore, en rapport with all that can be contacted on that plane.

If, however, he is a higher psychic he is en rapport with the second aspect of divine manifestation, the ego or soul on its own plane, mediating between and linking the monad with the personality, spirit with the body.

It is interesting here to note that a clue to the truth of this can be found in the manifestations of lower psychism such as are seen in the average mediumistic seance and the ordinary type of spiritualism. Contact with the astral plane is made through that great center, the solar plexus which links the higher three centers and the lower. It accounts also for the fact that flowers are such a feature in materializations at seances, for the vegetable kingdom is the middle kingdom of the three subhuman kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal. The explanation as to the prevalence of Indian guides is also found here, for they are the shells and powerful thought-forms left by the second of the three strictly human races, Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan. No Lemurian shells or thought-forms are left now, but many Atlantean shells are still to be found preserved through the use of certain forms of Atlantean magic.

By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between these aspects there will eventually come a hearing of the Voice of the Silence and contact with a man’s own second aspect. He will know himself as the “Word made flesh” and will recognize himself as the AUM.

When this is the case he will then hear the word in other units of the human family, and will awaken to a recognition of the sound, as it is emanated by all forms in all the kingdoms of nature. The realm of the soul will stand open to him and this, when it includes recognition of the sound in all the four kingdoms, will lead him to know himself as Master. Soul knowledge and the power to work with the soul of all things in the three worlds is the distinctive mark of the Adept.

18. Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired.

The significance of this sutra is very great, for it gives the basis for the regaining of a knowledge of past experience. This basis is strictly mental, and only those mentally polarized and with the mind under control can regain this knowledge if they so wish. The power to see thought-images only comes through mind control, and the mind can only be controlled by the real or spiritual man. Therefore only egoically centered people can truly acquire this knowledge. It might be asked here what therefore do those people see who are emotional and not mental, when they claim to know who they are, and to relate the past lives of their friends? They are reading the akashic records and because their mental control and equipment are not adequate, they cannot discriminate nor ascertain accurately what they see.

The akashic record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon:

  1. The life experiences of every human being since time began,
  2. The reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom,
  3. The aggregation of the thought-forms of a kamic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time. Herein lies the great deception of the records. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.
  4. The planetary “Dweller on the Threshold” with all that appertains to that term and all the aggregations of forms which are to be found in its environment.

The trained seer has learnt to dissociate that which pertains to his own aura and the aura of the planet (which is in actuality the akashic record). He can distinguish between those records which are:

  • Planetary,
  • Hierarchical or pertaining to the work of the twelve Creative Hierarchies as they bring to concretion the plan of the Logos.
  • Imaginative forms, the result of the desire-thought activity of the myriads of men, animated by desire for some form of experience or other.
  • The historical record pertaining to races, nations, groups and families in their two great divisions on the physical plane and on the astral.

It should be borne in mind that every human being belongs to a physical family which constitutes his link with the animal kingdom, and also belongs to an astral family. Through that affiliation on the upward arc he is linked with his egoic group and on the downward arc with the vegetable kingdom.

  • The astrological record, or the forms taken on the astral plane under the influence of the planetary forces. These are in two great groups.
  • Those forms or pictures in the akasha produced by the inflow of solar force via the planets.
  • Those forms or pictures which are produced by the inflow of cosmic force from one or other of the signs of the zodiac, that is, from their corresponding constellations.

These points are enumerated to show how impossible it is that the majority of the claims regarding past incarnations can be true. They are the result of a vivid imagination and the assumption that the flashes of astral sight which reveal glimpses of the akashic film give that which pertains to the one who sees. This is not the case any more than the people and activities seen out of any window in a big city reveal to the onlooker his own relatives, friends and pursuits.

The knowledge referred to in the sutra comes in three ways:

  1. Direct ability to see the records if so desired. This form of acquiring knowledge is seldom employed except by initiates and adepts in connection with their pledged disciples.
  2. Through direct knowledge of the group activities and relations of a man’s own ego. This, however, only covers that cycle of time which began when a man stepped upon the probationary path. Experiences prior to that are relatively of no more vital importance than is a second in the life of an old man as he passes in retrospect his long life. All that stands out are events and happenings and not the individual hours and seconds.
  3. Through the instinctual life. This is based on memory, on acquired faculty and capacity and on the possession of those qualities which go to the equipment of the ego. The ego knows that the possession of the power to do thus and so in the three worlds, is the direct result of past experience, and knows too that certain effects are only to be achieved through certain causes. These he arrives at through concentrated meditation.

The thought images he becomes aware of are:

  1. Those in his aura at the time of his meditation,
  2. Those in his immediate environment,
  3. Those of his present family, group and race,
  4. Those of his present life cycle,
  5. These of his egoic group.

Thus through the process of elimination he gradually works his way through grade after grade of thought images until he arrives at the particular layer of thought impression which deals with the cycle about which he is concerning himself. This is not therefore simply a perception of certain aspects of the records, but a definitely scientific process, known only to the trained occultist.

19: Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent.

It should be remembered that the result of the eight means of yoga is to produce a yogi or trained knower. He is, therefore, one who concerns himself with causes and not with effects. He perceives that which causes the tangible to appear, that is the thoughts which start into motion the forces of substance and eventually produce the concretion of that substance.

The use of this power to read the minds of others is only permitted to the yogi in those cases where it is necessary for him to understand the causes, lying back of certain events, and this only in order to work out intelligently the plans of the Hierarchy and of evolution. The power here is analogous to that of telepathy but it is not identical. Telepathy entails the tuning in of one mind with another, and necessitates their being en rapport. This faculty of the trained seer is more in the nature of an act of the will and the manipulation of certain forces whereby he can instantly see what he wants in any aura at any time.

The subject of his investigation may be attuned to him or not; through intense meditation and the use of the will faculty thought images stand revealed. This power is a dangerous one to use and is only permitted to trained disciples.

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Excerpted from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

Towards Freedom – Fate

In this pamphlet I have discussed in general terms freedom, equanimity and balance, now there is this controversial idea of fate. Fate implies karma a concept that underpins eastern thinking, but which is less popular in the west. Nevertheless, cause and effect are a major part of scientific method. Newtonian mechanics are taught widely. There is a disconnect because we accept this concept in the world of things but are less comfortable in the world of people. The consequence of cause and effect is karma and the summation of karma is fate. It does not take too much to see how some acts, some words even, cause things in the world of people. There are consequences to our actions, so although not expressed as karma, karma it is. As a rule, people fail to acknowledge just how much interconnectivity there is, this is because responsibility tends to be avoided. There is some immature childish behaviour which suggests that so long as one does not get caught there are no consequences for the person acting. There may be consequences for the person acted upon, but they do not matter provided deniability holds.

It is convenient to imagine that God and sin do not exist and that there is no reckoning for indulgence, for enacting every whim as and when. If you look around this mentality can be found easily. Provided that there is some perceived advantage many do not care less what they do nor how it affects others. They inflict themselves, their wants, desires and ambitions in a willy-nilly fashion. Yet there it is unspoken, unacknowledged and ignored, cause and effect. If you don’t like the word karma, these will suffice.

What has fate got to do with freedom?

If you are reading this tract, then at some level the idea of freedom is of interest. The circumstances of this life and perhaps the others that went before, have lead you here, today, to this.  All the actions you have done, each cause has effected your life, so that as a consequence you are here, right now, reading this. It is your fate to read it. What you do subsequently is up to you. Fate has lead you here. You could argue that this is mere coincidence. But what has caused things to co-incide? Is it pure chance or has your education, place of birth and career made it possible? Has your life always been heading directly at this moment, however fleeting it may be?

Advocates of free will may put it down to choices made. But the summation of those choices has had the effect. At any point different choices could have been made, but they weren’t.

Without being specific if you are considering freedom then perhaps you were fated so to do, by your life experience. Otherwise you would be like many, unquestioning. What matters most is the next football match, the next soap opera episode or the “news” and gossip on Facebook. Somehow, you the reader have found yourself in an eddy in the stream, away from the current of modern living, with sufficient curiosity to be reading this. The odds against this are quite high. There are seven billion people on the planet yet here you are. For how long, who can say?

There may be a counter-intuitive problem with the very notions of fate and freedom. If something is fated, then it implies a lack of freedom. This is a kind of logic. Yet if freedom is your fate and you are fated to be free, then you have to follow that fate. There is freedom in evolving that fate in the general direction of freedom, one can’t avoid the fate, but one can be free in following it. This is as opposed to trying to shoe horn your existence into one of the available life templates extant in the epoch of your birth. Cutting a swathe through life which differs from the societally pre-ordained is much more liberating. Being able to think for and by yourself is less constrained and blinkered. Stepping outside of the hive to inhale the fresh air, if so fated, is fresh.

In order to get to a position where the tried and tested holds less pull, there has to be work on self, this is a cause and the effect is an increasing sensation of freedom. This is karma in action and the evolution of a fate, it is not succumbing. In various philosophies all that you do in this life is an effect of all that has gone on before in others. In this sense each life has a fate and the summation of all fates is your destiny. If it is your destiny to acquire more freedom, then surely that is the only acquisition worth anything in the long term; especially given the impermanence of the material and the social. One could say that of all the fates available, freedom is not a bad hand to be dealt.

Thus, we each of us contribute to our evolving fate by every single action, each thought and how we respond to life. If it is your fate to not yet contemplate freedom in a meaningful way, then you are not yet ready for freedom. Any act may do it, may turn you towards freedom and the quest of it. Freedom cannot be hurried, it can only come when one is prepared for it. If you are fated to start out on such a quest, then there is nothing that you can do to stop it. You can however stymie and hinder it by being stubborn. Pause for a moment and consider; is there any freedom in being stubborn? The only freedom is to express pig-headed mind, not an altogether free state of being.

If you discount the concept of fate, then within the logic of fate, you are fated so to do. We each have to learn. And such a discounting is an effect of your state of mind, your education and your peer group influences. These have caused your current mental make-up and operative world version through which you interpret the physical and social world. You alone have not made up your mind, others have influenced you, so free will isn’t as free as. Whilst we might like the ideal of free will, in practice no being lives and evolves in isolation. The only thing that one can hope to control in any sense of entirety is one’s own mind. It is not as easy as it sounds.

This urge to freedom comes as a response to life, largely when the dissatisfaction grows, and its illusory quality is sensed. Beyond this threshold there is a whole bunch of work and only if that work causes a deeper understanding can one effect, that is make real, a growing sense of genuine mental autonomy and freedom.

If it is your fate to seek freedom, then in time it must be also your destiny. To this end application to task must be unceasing, and unhurried. One needs to be mindful of distraction and avoidance, because some of the things needed to achieve freedom are both scary and at first difficult. Your fate will ask them of you and if you are to evolve your fate then best get on with it. You had better take responsibility for your words, acts and deeds so as to become an authentic being and as authenticity increases so does freedom. It is not a bad fate, nor an unworthy quest, this freedom thing.

Karma and Punishment

This excerpt is from my older blog “Karmic Destination”

It is a peculiar fascination of humanity, punishment. Where exactly this fascination has come from is difficult to say, yet it stretches back a very long way. People want to see misdemeanour punished and often severely so. This fascination is crowd pleasing and public punishment, a popular spectator sport. The concept of punishment ranges from the gruesome and capital down to the petty and malicious. The more public someones punishment, the better. Humans seem to like to humiliate each other.

Punishment can be corporeal, financial, sexual and psychological. Rarely is it motivated solely to educate. More often than not the motivation is wrathful and vengeful. Humans want to “teach someone a lesson!”. They want to get even and go one better for any imagined slight. People hold grudges for very long times and often wait to strike. Festering thus, they do not live.

So precious are some that even a hint of disagreement or differing opinion, calls forth punitive reactions. People are punished as a deterrent to relating, the hot oil is poured from the ramparts. They are punished for not doing exactly what someone wants. They are punished for doing exactly what someone wants. Some people simply punish life because they are pissed off about ever being born. Punishment takes on a myriad of forms, its basis is to hurt or wound another being. How this makes the world a better place, I do not understand.

The world has a big hang up about punishment.

Perhaps this harkens back to the Old Testament and wrathful Jehovah, but I suspect it predates that. Some people like to get punished because it then allows them to justify wrong doing. Some people enjoy being punished! People are odd…

Because people enjoy punishing others they project their fascination upon others. They think that others want to punish too. They cannot believe that other people do not act from the same orientation as them. Perhaps they project their punishment hang up onto God and even Karma.

Karma does not punish it simply shows cause and effect.

The emotional colouration that Karma is punishing people for past deeds, is a human invention. There is simply cause and effect. The universe is not an emotional punitive thing. It does not hold grudges, nor does it sulk.

Strangely being punished can cause a sense of camaraderie amongst the “victims” of punishment. It can bind people together against the “punisher”. People can bemoan that the universe, luck or fortune, has it in for them. They could also try to understand how they caused their present circumstance.

Many who are “punished” seek to pass this on. Punishment can cause more punitive behaviour. This is a part of the Karma of punishing, it is cyclic.

If one does not engage in tit-for-tat cycles of punishment this can cause bewilderment and an escalation of “punishment” until retribution is triggered. Bonkers!!

Justice, I hear you cry. Killing a murderer is a tad hypocritical.

I am not going to get drawn into social methods of government and law. What I wish to point at are the motives for punishment. People justify punishing yet this hides some pretty murky, often base and cruel, motivations. Behind the facade there is nasty stuff motivated by ire and bitterness. In order to be free people need to address and transcend this suffering which they have inside. That way they will cease to want to propagate it.

In many cases the punishment rebounds upon the punisher in some way or other. This is due to the intent behind punishment.

This is because the universe works via intent. If you intend harm with malignant motive, it reflects back. This way the universe balances itself. The universe is more often than not, simply a mirror. It does not colour what impinges upon it, it simply reflects it. The universe and Karma do not punish. The being, in effect, punishes itself.

In all journeys towards liberation, understanding motive, whether pleasant or otherwise, is a key to progress. If you can unpick and transform malignant motive, the world will be a better place and you will suffer less.

Do I like to punish others?

What are my motives for that?

In reality what have I ever learned through punishing?