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

Are You Possessed By Your Possessions?

There are two additional questions:

Do your possessions have power over you?

What is the longest period of time that you can actually “own” anything from within the socio-political notions of ownership?

~ 120 years at a push…if you live that long.

The item which I am currently wearing on my left hand is likely to have the longest longevity of anything which I, according to human socio-political law, own. This is because it is a ring made from a non-reactive metal namely Welsh gold. My ring even has Celtic writing inside which says “cariad”. Unless it comes into contact with heat, pressure or mercury it will stay intact long after I have popped my clogs and done my bit to aid global warming with the fiery oxidation of all “my” molecules.

By flipping the question from do you possess your possessions to the title I have perhaps perceptually turned the world on its head. Many people are enslaved by their possessions. If there was a threat of loss many would be very unhappy and perhaps scared.

What would happen if you lost your house, your SUV or any other of “your” paraphernalia? Do you really own these items? Do you own “your” image and “your” kudos?

What exactly does “own” mean?

It is likely that your house will outlive you. So, when you die what happens to this notion of ownership?

People cling to their possessions and because of this, it is not unreasonable to say many are technically possessed by their imagined possessions. Whatever you cling to has power over you and something else, some other being, could use that clinging to leverage you. The metaphor of demonic possession by worldly goods is not so far from the truth for many.

This is why the “Precious” of Sméagol – Gollum is such a biting piece of satire on human obsession with power and material artefacts.

Power can possess one too. One can imagine that one is in control of one’s power. When in fact power itself has power over one. One starts to take on Gollum like thinking patterns.

“Nasty, sneaky hobitses…”

As a follow up question: which of your so-called belongings do you cling to the most?

What would happen if it/they were taken from you?

Causes of Obsession.

October 9, 1919

One of the activities ahead of the occult student is the study and the scientific observation of this matter. We have been told in various occult books that obsession and insanity are very closely allied. Insanity may exist in all three bodies, the least harmful being that of the physical body, whilst the most enduring and the hardest to cure is that of the mental body. Insanity in the mental body is the heavy fate that descends upon those who for many incarnations have followed the path of selfish cruelty, using the intelligence as a means to serve selfish ends and using it wilfully, knowing it to be wrong. But insanity of this type is a means whereby the Ego sometimes arrests the progress of a man towards the left-hand path. In this sense it is a disguised blessing. Let us deal first with the causes of obsession, leaving the subject of insanity for another day. These causes are four in number and each responds to a different treatment:

  1. One cause is a definite weakness of the etheric double, in the separating web, which like a piece of relaxed elastic permits entry of an extraneous entity from the emotional plane. The door of entrance which is formed by this web is not closed tight, and entrance can be effected from without. This is a physical plane cause and is the result of the maladjustment of physical plane matter. It is the result of karma, and is prenatal, existing from the earliest moment. Usually the sufferer is physically weak, intellectually feeble, but possessed of a powerful emotional body which suffers and fights and struggles to prevent entrance. The attacks are intermittent, and more frequently attack women than men.
  2. Another cause is due to emotional reasons. A lack of coordination exists between the emotional and the physical and when the man functions in the emotional body (as at night) the moment of re-entry is attended with difficulty, and opportunity exists for other beings to enter the physical vehicle, and prevent its occupation by the real Ego. This is the most common form of obsession, and affects those with powerful physical bodies and strong astral vibrations, but with weak mental bodies. It leads, in the ensuing struggle, to the violent scenes of screaming lunatics and to the paroxysms of the epileptic. Men are more subject to this than women, as women are usually more definitely polarized in the emotional body.
  3. A rarer kind of obsession is the mental. In coming days as the mental body develops, one may expect perhaps to see more of it. Mental obsession involves the displacement taking place on the mental levels – hence its rarity. The physical body and the emotional body remain as a unit, but the Thinker is left in his mental body, whilst the obsessing entity (clothed in mental matter) enters the two lower vehicles. In the case of emotional obsession the Thinker is left with his emotional body and his mental body but with no physical. In this latter case he is left with neither emotional nor physical. The cause lies in the fact of the over-development of the mental, and of the relative weakness of the emotional and physical bodies. The Thinker is too powerful for his other bodies and disdains their use; he is too interested in work on mental levels, and thus gives opportunity to obsessing entities to assume control. This, as I said before, is rare and is the result of lop-sided development. It attacks women and men equally; it principally shows itself in childhood and is difficult to cure.
  4. A still rarer cause of obsession is definitely the work of the dark Brothers. It takes the form of snapping the magnetic link that attaches the Ego to the lower physical body, leaving him in his emotional and mental bodies. This would normally result in the death of the physical body, but in cases such as these the dark Brother, who is to use the physical body, enters it and makes connection with his own cord. These cases are not common. They involve only two classes of people:

Those who are highly evolved and on the Path, but who through some wilful shortcoming fail for some one incarnation and so lay themselves open to the evil force. Sin (as you call it) in the Personality of a disciple leads to a weakness in some one spot, and this is taken advantage of. This type of obsession shows itself in the transformation that is sometimes seen when a great soul suddenly plunges on an apparent downward path, when he changes the whole trend of his existence and besmirches a fair character with mud. It carries with it its own punishment, for on the inner planes the disciple looks on, and in agony of mind sees his lower vehicle dishonoring the fair name of its real owner and causing evil to be said of a loved cause.

The little evolved, weakly organized, and so unable to resist.

The Kinds of Obsessing Entities

These are too numerous to mention in detail, but I might enumerate a few.

  • Discarnate entities of a low order awaiting incarnation, and who see, in cases one and two, their wanted opportunity.
  • Suicides, anxious to undo the deed and to again get into contact with earth.
  • Earth-bound spirits, good and bad, who from anxiety over loved ones, over their business affairs, or eager to do some wrong or to undo some evil act, rush in and take possession of cases one and two.
  • Dark Brothers as aforesaid, who avail themselves principally of the third and fourth cases already cited. They require highly developed bodies, having no use for weak or unrefined bodies. In case three the weakness is entirely relative, due to over-accentuation of the mental vehicle.
  • Elementals and subhuman entities of a malicious nature who rush in on the slightest opportunity and where kindred vibration may be felt.
  • Some of the lower devas, harmless but mischievous who, from sheer freakishness and fun, enter another body in much the same way that a child loves to dress up.
  • Occasional visitors from other planets who enter certain highly evolved bodies for purposes of their own. This is very, very rare…

Let me now give you some of the methods that eventually will be the first attempts at cure.

  • In the first type of cases, those due to physical plane weakness, the stress of the cure will be laid first on building up a strong physical body in both its departments, though especially the etheric body. This will be done in future years with the direct aid of the devas of the shadows (the violet devas or devas of the ethers). The strengthening of the etheric web will be aided by means of the violet light, with its corresponding sound, administered in quiet sanitariums. Coincident with this treatment will be the attempt to strengthen the mental body. With the strengthening of the physical body will come longer and longer periods of freedom from attack. Eventually the attacks will cease altogether.
  • When the cause is lack of coordination between the physical and the emotional vehicles the first methods of cure will be definite exorcism by the aid of mantrams and ceremonial (such as religious ritual). Qualified persons will use these mantrams at night when the obsessing entity may be supposed to be absent during the hours of sleep. These mantrams will call the real owner back, will build a protective wall after his re-entry and will seek to force the obsessing one to stay absent. When the real owner has returned, the work then will be to keep him there. Educative work during the day and protective measures at night for longer or shorter periods will gradually eliminate the evil occupant, or unwanted tenant, and in the course of time the sufferer will continue to procure immunity. More anent this can later be given.
  • Where mental obsession is involved the matter is more difficult. Most of the first cures achieved in the future will center around the first two groups. Mental obsession must await greater knowledge, though experimentation from the very first should be undertaken. The work will have to be done mostly from the mental plane by those who can function there freely and so contact the Thinker in his mental body. The cooperation of the Thinker must then be procured and a definite attack conjointly made on the obsessed physical and emotional bodies. During the night much of the work in the first two cases of cures will be done, but in the latter case the Thinker has to win back his physical and his emotional bodies as well, hence the exceeding difficulty. Death often eventuates in these cases.
  • In the severing of the magnetic cord naught can be done as yet.

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Excerpted from:

Letters on Occult Meditation – Letter V – Dangers to be avoided in Meditation.

By Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

The Present Problem of Youth {c.1947}

The world, as known to people over forty years of age, has crumbled and is fast disappearing the old values are fading out and what we call “civilization” (that civilization we have thought so wonderful) is vanishing. Some of us are thankful it is so. Others regard it as a disaster. All of us are distressed that the means of its dissolution have brought so much agony and suffering to humanity everywhere.

Civilization might be defined as the reaction of humanity to the purpose and the activities of a particular world period and its type of thinking. In each age, some idea functions and expresses itself in both racial and national idealisms. Its basic trend down the centuries has produced our modern world and this has been materialistic. The aim has been physical comfort; science and the arts have been prostituted to the task of giving man a comfortable and if possible a beautiful environment; all the products of nature have been subordinated to giving humanity things.The aim of education, generally speaking, has been to equip the child to compete with his fellow citizens in “making a living”, in accumulating possessions and in being as comfortable and successful as possible.

This education has also been primarily competitive, nationalistic and, therefore, separative. It has trained the child to regard the material values as of major importance, to believe that his particular nation is also of major importance and that every other nation is secondary; it has fed pride and fostered the belief that he, his group and his nation are infinitely superior to other people and peoples. He is taught consequently to be a one-sided person with his world values wrongly adjusted and his attitudes to life distinguished by bias and prejudice. The rudiments of the arts are taught him in order to enable him to function with the needed efficiency in a competitive setting and in his particular vocational environment. Reading, writing and elementary arithmetic are regarded as minimum requirements, plus some knowledge of historical and geographical events. Some of the literature of the world is also brought to his attention. The general level of civilized information is relatively high, but it is biased and influenced by religious and national prejudices which are instilled into the child from his earliest years, but which are not innate. World citizenship is not emphasized; his responsibility to his fellowmen is systematically ignored; his memory is developed through the impartation of uncorrelated facts – most of them unrelated to daily living.

Our present civilization will go down in history as grossly materialistic. There have been many material epochs in history but none so generally widespread as the present or which have involved such untold millions. We are constantly told that the cause of this war is economic; that is surely so but the reason is that we have demanded so much of comfort and of “things” in order to live “reasonably well”. We require so much more than our forefathers needed; we prefer a soft and relatively easy life; the pioneering spirit (which is the background of all nations) has faded, in most cases, into a soft civilization. This is particularly true of the Western hemisphere. Our standard of civilized living is far too high from the standpoint of possessions and far too low from the angle of the spiritual values, or when subjected to an intelligent sense of proportion. Our modern civilization will not stand up to the acid test of value. A nation is today regarded as civilized when it sets a value on mental development, when it puts a premium on analysis and criticism and when all its resources are directed towards the satisfying of physical desire, towards the production of material things and towards the implementing of material purposes as well as towards dominating competitively in the world, towards the amassing of riches, the acquiring of property, the achievement of a high standard of material living and towards the cornering of the produce of the earth – largely for the benefit of certain groups of ambitious and wealthy men.

This is a drastic generalization but it is basically correct in its main implications, though incorrect where individuals are concerned. For this sad and dire situation (entirely of humanity’s own making) we pay the penalty of war. Neither the churches nor our educational systems have been sound enough in their presentation of truth to offset this materialistic tendency. The tragedy is that the children of the world have paid and are paying the price of our wrongdoing. War has its roots in greed; material ambition has motivated all the nations without exception; all our planning has been directed to the organization of the national life so that material possession, competitive supremacy and individual and national selfish interests would control. All nations, in their own way and degree, have contributed to this; none has clean hands and hence war. Humanity has the habit of selfishness and an inherent love of material possessions. This has produced our modern civilization and, for this reason, it is being changed.

The cultural factor in any civilization is its preservation and consideration of all the best the past has given, and its evaluation and study of the arts, the literature, the music and the creative life of all nations – past and present. It concerns the refining influence of these factors upon a nation and upon those individuals in a nation who are so situated (usually financially) that they can profit from them and appreciate them. The knowledge and understanding thus gained enable the man of culture to relate the world of meaning (as inherited from the past) to the world of appearances in which he lives and to regard them as one world, but one existing primarily for his individual benefit. When, however, to an appreciation of our planetary and racial inheritance, both creative and historical, he adds an understanding of the spiritual and moral values, then we have an approximation to what the truly spiritual man is intended to be. In relation to the total population of the planet, such men are few and far between, but they guarantee to the rest of humanity a genuine possibility.

Will cultured people realize their opportunity? Will our civilized citizens embrace the chance to build afresh – not a material civilization this time but a world of beauty and of right human relations, a world in which children can indeed grow into the likeness of the One Father and in which man can return to the simplicity of the spiritual values of beauty, truth and goodness?

Yet, facing the worldwide reconstruction demanded and the well-nigh impossible task of salvaging the children and youth of the world, there are those today who are engaged in raising funds to rebuild stone churches and restore ancient buildings, thus demanding money which is sorely needed to restore broken bodies, to heal psychological wounds and to produce the warmth of love and understanding among those who believe that such qualities do not exist!

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Problems of Humanity – Chapter II – The Problem of the Children of the World

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul