It Takes Power to Talk About Power

This is the aphorism I mentioned paraphrased. I could have written it; it requires some knowledge to speak about knowledge in a meaningful way. Or even; one has to have at least a modicum of wisdom to speak wisely about wisdom, its acquisition and application.

For me personally these Toltec aphorisms are by nature profound and succinct. It would be relatively easy to expand each one of them up into thousands of words.

Take the alternative meaning of power, the one of positional or political power. Until one has had a modicum of this one does not know what it feels like to wield power. One is also unaware of the temptations posed by such power. One might even get caught snogging an aide in front of a security camera.

Power of this nature cannot really be speculated upon; it has to be experienced. There are many people who might seek power but then when they have it be unable to use it or wield it. They may not like the flip side of “responsibility” which comes with great power as Spiderman alleges. The notion of power is one thing, its yoke quite another. There is another aphorism of my own writing.

“Power can do weird shit to people, man.”

When I started teaching it was before the days of PowerPoint. One used an overhead projector or old-fashioned chalk. I thought I was a smart young gun. That was until I tried to do a live chalk-based derivation of some rate laws in front of a hundred ultra-smart undergraduates. I nearly shit my pants when I had brain freeze and white out in front of the blackboard. Boy did I prepare well after that!!

Yellow chalk and black Levi’s are an interesting combination, be careful where you put your hands…

There is a strange quirk to my character that makes it difficult for me to teach other people. I genuinely have to understand it before I am comfortable teaching it. And for an INFJ that means understanding it on many levels and comprehensively. Others are able to confidently teach material without having to probe it, so far. Those that learn by rote to pass exams can teach by rote too. Because I don’t have a binary right / wrong orientation sometimes those brought up in a “I must pass exams” education system have initially found my methods lacking in confidence of delivery. They want to “know” the answer and I want to know even more questions. I want to fathom.

I had a break from undergraduate teaching for a long while. Then when I came to teach some of the material that I had done previously I started to find holes in the textbook derivations, too many shortcuts, wide generalisations. I found myself going back to square one and checking a whole bunch of stuff that I would have previously taken for granted.

There were some mistakes!!

I have had minor exposure to power back in the days of the start-up. Strange how I was more attractive to the ladies when I had board meetings and shares. At the moment in terms of material or temporal power I am powerless.

I can however say that powerlessness has its own special kind of power under certain circumstances. It takes powerlessness to speak on the power of powerlessness.

Having taught some material over a number of years, one can say that one’s understanding of that material changes with time. It is funny how a new facet and new insight can be had from the very same words. Even when we think we know, there is nearly always another level, should we be open enough to inquire.

One’s knowledge at any given time is just a snapshot of knowledge at that point in time, it is wise to acknowledge that this is all that it is, a fleeting understanding in our journey of evolution upon which there is no destination only travel.

If you think anything is absolute you are wrong.

Even the gospel of science evolves in time. There are many examples of scientists being adamant and later being proven inaccurate by the evolution of the knowledge base.

I am comfortable talking about knowledge, wisdom and power, because I have a modicum of experience of these things.

It is up to you to assess if I am bullshitting or not…

Do We Re-invent The Wheel?

This is prompted in part by my look into some Stoicism quotations yesterday.

If for example you were educated in the British public, or in other words private and fee paying, school system it is likely that you will have had considerable exposure to the classics, Latin, and Greek. As such because of this kind of programming you would be more open to the words of the Greek and Roman philosophers than say those originating in the Indian subcontinent or the far East.  You may even imagine that the Roman and Greek philosophers were presenting original ideas. It would not occur to you that they might, if stoic, be plagiarising Vedic or Buddhist thought. It would not occur to you that there has been a rebranding of someone else’s ideas so as to gain kudos and fame.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that those in Greece had exposure to the above ideas and Zoroastrianism as well. Yet there is a tendency to laud those who have geographic origin closer to home. The Greek philosophers were great!! What about the Persians, and dare I say it, Iranians?

I’ll posit that the basic philosophises of not being greedy, not getting angry, trying to understand that opinion is just that and that perception is that and not ultimate reality have run through history and are simply being recycled and rephrased time and again. Those unaware of their historical origins think these ideas are new, but they have been resident thought forms for millennia. It they are written down in Swedish or German or French they sound different, but the essence does not differ.

A wheel remains a wheel whatever the name.

It does not take a brilliant logician to state that greed causes unhappiness and suffering and cannot ever be truly stated. Logically greed is not a good thing, yet the planet is positively swarming with greedy and avaricious people, who therefore by definition are also illogical.

The basic wisdom even at the level of common sense is ageless, it is just recycled and repackaged down the ages. This wisdom pertains to the human condition with all its peccadilloes. The knowledge of science and engineering grows, the wisdom pertaining to the quirks of humanity does not. This is because although our knowledge and intellect are on the move our behaviour as {anti} social beings is not evolving as fast and by a long shot.

So, when someone says something along the lines of,” the best kind of revenge is not being so petty as to seek revenge” it is not radical nor modern it is just recycled and rephrased.

Wisdom is wisdom even if it is over 2000 years old!

Yes, humanity does reinvent the wheel and by this I also mean the wheel of rebirth. In not learning the lessons one remains tied to the wheel of rebirth…. a wheel is wheel whatever the language.

The Phenomenon of Instant Experts

I’ll kick this off with a hypothesis.

Many people imagine that their depth of knowledge is more profound than it is.

What do think? Is this a sound hypothesis?

It seems to me that the phenomenon of instant experts is becoming ever more prevalent and this medium, the internet, has facilitated the pandemic of assumed expertise. Moreover, few check the provenance of their so-called knowledge. If THEY say it then it must be true. However, THEY say a whole bunch of things. We have a global game of Chinese whispers, which gives rise to some strange ideas.

I have been very fortunate in that many people over the years have felt that I needed the benefit of their wisdom. They never checked what I might know, being eager perhaps to soapbox or evangelise. By and large I have not argued the toss nor made an attempt to make them look foolish. I can usually tell if people are disinterested in listening quite quickly and because I am introverted, keeping quiet comes naturally.

Maybe the above hypothesis fits me?

Perhaps I am an arrogant being?

Having been a science academic it is easy to spot those who relied on rote learning or parrot wisdom, when they first tip up. Many want to know the answers and are not at all interested in understanding, they simply want a good degree. They want to know how to pass exams. So, there is a bit of a challenge, how to sneak some learning in under the exam orientation and grade fascination.

When I asked someone who new me in my previous metaphorical incarnation how good his Maths was, he was hesitant to respond because he knew the types of minds I was accustomed to working with. Other people may not suspect what I might have under the hood so to speak.

People place a lot of stock in being clever, brainy and top of the class. Parrot wisdom, “general knowledge” is not very deep.  THEY are not the font of all knowledge. Wanting to be seen as clever is a strange thing.

Is clever the same as wise?

Are “facts” the same as knowledge?

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

Do you agree that we have a pandemic of assumed expertise?


The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church – the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already forming – wherein the first initiation will become esoteric, in this sense only, that the taking of the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church, performed esoterically as one of the mysteries given at stated periods, attended by those concerned. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons. At this ceremony those ready for the first initiation will be publicly admitted to the Lodge by one of its members, authorized to do so by the great Hierophant Himself.

Four Words Defined

When we speak of Initiation, of wisdom, of knowledge, or of the probationary Path, what do we mean? We use the words so glibly, without due consideration of the meaning involved. Take, for instance, the word first mentioned. Many are the definitions, and many are the explanations to be found as to its scope, the preparatory steps, the work to be done between initiations, and its result and effects. One thing before all else is apparent to the most superficial student, and that is, that the magnitude of the subject is such that in order to deal with it adequately one should be able to write from the viewpoint of an initiate; when this is not the case, anything that is said may be reasonable, logical, interesting, or suggestive, but not conclusive.

The word Initiation comes from two Latin words, in, into; and ire, to go; therefore, the making of a beginning, or the entrance into something. It posits, in its widest sense, in the case we are studying, an entrance into the spiritual life, or into a fresh stage in that life. It is the first step, and the succeeding steps, upon the Path of Holiness. Literally, therefore, a man who has taken the first initiation is one who has taken the first step into the spiritual kingdom, having passed out of the definitely human kingdom into the superhuman. Just as he passed out of the animal kingdom into the human at individualization, so he has entered upon the life of the spirit, and for the first time has the right to be called a “spiritual man” in the technical significance of the word. He is entering upon the fifth or final stage in our present fivefold evolution. Having groped his way through the Hall of Ignorance during many ages, and having gone to school in the Hall of Learning, he is now entering into the university, or the Hall of Wisdom. When he has passed through that school he will graduate with his degree as a Master of Compassion.

It might be of benefit to us also if we studied first the difference or the connection between Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom. Though in ordinary parlance they are frequently interchanged, as used technically they are dissimilar.

Knowledge is the product of the Hall of Learning. It might be termed the sumtotal of human discovery and experience, that which can be recognized by the five senses, and be correlated, diagnosed, and defined by the use of the human intellect. It is that about which we feel mental certitude, or that which we can ascertain by the use of experiment. It is the compendium of the arts and sciences. It concerns all that deals with the building and developing of the form side of things. Therefore it concerns the material side of evolution, matter in the solar systems, in the planet, in the three worlds of human evolution, and in the bodies of men.

Wisdom is the product of the Hall of Wisdom. It has to do with the development of the life within the form, with the progress of the spirit through those ever-changing vehicles, and with the expansions of consciousness that succeed each other from life to life. It deals with the life side of evolution. Since it deals with the essence of things and not with the things themselves, it is the intuitive apprehension of truth apart from the reasoning faculty, and the innate perception that can distinguish between the false and the true, between the real and the unreal. It is more than that, for it is also the growing capacity of the Thinker to enter increasingly into the mind of the Logos, to realize the true inwardness of the great pageant of the universe, to vision the objective, and to harmonize more and more with the higher measure. For our present purpose (which is to study somewhat the Path of Holiness and its various stages) it may be described as the realization of the “Kingdom of God within,” and the apprehension of the “Kingdom of God without” in the solar system. Perhaps it might be expressed as the gradual blending of the paths of the mystic and the occultist, – the rearing of the temple of wisdom upon the foundation of knowledge.

Wisdom is the science of the spirit, just as knowledge is the science of matter. Knowledge is separate and objective, whilst wisdom is synthetic and subjective. Knowledge divides; wisdom unites. Knowledge differentiates whilst wisdom blends. What, then, is meant by the understanding?

The understanding may be defined as the faculty of the Thinker in Time to appropriate knowledge as the foundation for wisdom, that which enables him to adapt the things of form to the life of the spirit, and to take the flashes of inspiration that come to him from the Hall of Wisdom and link them to the facts of the Hall of Learning. Perhaps the whole idea might be expressed in this way:
Wisdom concerns the one Self, knowledge deals with the not-self, whilst the understanding is the point of view of the Ego, or Thinker, or his relation between them.

In the Hall of Ignorance the form controls, and the material side of things has the predominance. Man is there polarized in the personality or lower self. In the Hall of Learning the higher self, or Ego, strives to dominate that form until gradually a point of equilibrium is reached where the man is controlled entirely by neither. Later the Ego controls more and more, until in the Hall of Wisdom it dominates in the three lower worlds, and in increasing degree the inherent divinity assumes the mastery.


Excerpted from:

Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter II – Initiation Defined

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Types of Karma

We might here enumerate the different types of KARMA, even though we have not the time to enlarge upon the subject. A book by itself of vast proportions could not contain all that might be said. We should bear in mind that Karma is imposed upon the ensouling entity through the medium of matter or of substance itself (which is colored by it) and that this matter or substance is intelligent material composed of deva essence.

  1. Cosmic Karma – Imposed upon the solar Logos from outside of the system.
  2. Systemic Karma – The working out by the Logos of effects set in motion in previous Kalpas, and which influence His present type of Body.
  3. Planetary Karma – The individual karma of a Heavenly Man, which is just as different from that of another Heavenly Man, as is the karma of the different members of the human family.
  4. The Karma of a chain, which is bound up in the life experience of that entity who ensouls a chain, and is a center in the body of a Heavenly Man, in the same sense as a Heavenly Man within His scheme is a center in the body of the solar Logos.
  5. Globe Karma – The individual destiny of the entity who is a center in the body of the ensouling Life of a chain.

These five existences above enumerated, who are worked upon by karma, are all cosmic and solar Lords of Light, Who achieved intelligence, and passed through the human kingdom many kalpas ago.

  • Plane Karma – This is inextricably mixed up with the karma of the planetary Logos and of the Raja-Lord, and is dependent upon the interplay between these two opposite poles, – the masculine and feminine aspect of the Divine Hermaphrodite.
  • The Karma of a subplane, or the destiny of certain lesser entities who manifest through these planes.

In these two types of karma, we have what one might term the “Karma of the Hierarchies” as it has been brought about since the manifesting of the solar system. It is the result of the past of this system, and not so much the working out of effects originating in previous solar systems.

The Karma of the kingdoms of nature as we know them on our planet:

  • The mineral kingdom.
  • The vegetable kingdom.
  • The animal kingdom.

This is necessarily the karma of the different lunar Lords who ensoul these kingdoms, and who are working out their purposes through them. We must note that we have touched therefore upon cosmic, solar, and lunar karma. In the latter is hid the great mystery of the Moon, and her place in the planetary scheme.

The Karma of the Human Hierarchy 54, 55, 56 in its seven groups, and of the individual Monads. This in itself is a vast and intricate subject and – during the particular cycle of the Earth globe – can be divided into:

  1. World karma. (The seven root-races.)
  2. Racial karma, or the destiny and purpose of each root-race.
  3. Subrace karma, for each subrace has its own destiny to work out.
  4. National karma.
  5. Family karma.
  6. Individual karma.

All these different types of karma are intermingled and bound up in a manner inconceivable and inextricable  to man; even the adepts cannot untangle the mystery beyond that of the groups affiliated with them, while the Chohans of the higher degrees work with the karma of the larger groups (which are the aggregates of the lesser groups).


54 Karma and Reincarnation, the fourth and fifth doctrines of the Wisdom-religion. These two are, in reality, the A, B, C, of the Wisdom-religion. Karma is the sum total of our acts, both in the present life and in the preceding births. It is of three kinds:

    Sanchita karma,

    Prarabdha karma,

    Agami karma.

Sanchita karma includes human merits and demerits accumulated in the preceding and in all other previous births. That portion of the Sanchita karma destined to influence human life in one or the present incarnation is called Prarabdha. The third kind of karma is the result of the merits and demerits of the present acts. Agami extends over all your words, thoughts, and acts. What you think, what you speak, what you do, as well as whatever results your thoughts, words, and acts produce on yourself, and on those affected by them, fall under the category of the present karma, which will be sure to sway the balance of your life for good or for evil in your future development.”

– The Theosophist, Vol. X, p. 235.

55 Karma (action) is of three kinds:

    Agami: – The bodily actions good and bad – done after the acquisition of the discriminative knowledge. (Vide Shri Sankaracharya’s Tatwa Bodh, question 34).

    Sanchita: – The actions formerly done, serving as seeds to grow the countless births; the store of former actions preserved. Ibid., question 35).

    Prarabdha: – The actions of this body (i.e. birth) which give pleasure or pain in this life alone. (Ibid., question 36.)”

– The Theosophist, Vol. VIII, p. 170.

56 Karma. “It must be remembered that in every action of man the influence of his prior karma constitutes an important element. For the accomplishment of every action, says, Shri Krishna, we need five essentials:

  1. The actor.
  2. The determined will.
  3. Implements for committing the act, such as hands, tongue, etc.
  4. The exercise of these implements.
  5. The influence of antecedent conduct.

The work which a man does with his body, speech or mind, whether it be just or unjust, has these five essentials or factors engaged in the performance. (Gita, XVIII, 13, 14, 15.)

These five essentials of karma are divided into 2 groups in the Mahabharata:

  • man’s present action (including the first four essentials) and,
  • the result of his past action (which forms the fifth essential).

“At the same time it must be remarked that the result of human existence is not the work of a day or even a cycle. It is the aggregate sum of actions committed during innumerable previous existences. Each action may in itself be as slight as can be conceived, like the minutest filaments of cotton, – such that hundreds of them may be blown away by a single breath; and yet, as similar filaments when closely packed and twisted together form a rope, so heavy and strong that it can be used to pull elephants and even huge ships with, so the articles of man’s karma, however trivial each of them may be in itself, would yet by the natural process of accretion, combine themselves closely and form a formidable Pasa (rope) to pull the man with, i.e. to influence his conduct for good or evil.”

– The Theosophist, Vol. VII, p. 60.


Excerpted from

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Div. B – Manas as a Cosmic, Systemic and Human Factor

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Water Quotes

Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.

Muhammad Ali


For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.

Lao Tzu


If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge.

Napoleon Hill


The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

Rabindranath Tagore


You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!

Sai Baba


Water is the driving force of all nature.

Leonardo da Vinci


The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.

William Blake


One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.

Lao Tzu


I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

Emily Bronte


I feel most at home in the water. I disappear. That’s where I belong.

Michael Phelps


Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants and trees – should be your teacher.

Morihei Ueshiba


Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.

B.R. Ambedkar


Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.

James Taylor


The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and earth. In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang.

Morihei Ueshiba


This land, this water, this air, this planet – this is our legacy to our young.

Paul Tsongas


The fall of dropping water wears away the Stone.



The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.

Daniel D. Palmer


If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.

Loren Eiseley


No water, no life. No blue, no green.

Sylvia Earle

The Dweller on the Threshold

In the deadly nightshade of digitalis dreams

the pupils closed so atom tight

n’er to let a single photon pass

to live a life in camera obscura


Where nefarious necrophiliacs line all the tombs

to languish lurid in gloom and shadow

each sepulchre tainted by the ochre fading sheath

which sheds the mamba skin scales

both as autumn leaf and lost leper’s fingers


Blessed with those primordial cataracts

in the labyrinth subterranean tunnels

ever to walk the fateful string in the penumbra

lest the retinas are scarred by even faintest light


By chance the weary Dweller stumbles on

tripping toe-wise onto some carved out stairs

harsh cut deep and in the cavernous wall

a sense of archway, doorway, door

how did he sense the Angel’s spoor?


The umbilicus of the vampire darkness

sucks the belly blood fast from him

the succubus’ pull of the old familiar

whispers warnings close his ear

“Step not beyond your cloying fear!!”


Sweet honey wafts winsome in the wind

borne hummingbird happy on busy wings

where golden dapples the translucent,

faint feathers of a mountain stream trickle

far from the land of morbid doom and her sickle


One more step through that golden gate

and the snap of tripwire seals his fate

a trumpet calls the amphorae of the Gods,

the pilgrim takes a diamond dusting shower

he washes wet in radiance of an infinite hour


Far beyond the spectrum of man’s open eyes

he feels that subtle shine of wisdom wise

soothed and healed and now soothed again

he hangs for aeons in the gap between

for dark he knows and light is as yet, unseen


The Dweller takes yet more a single pace

to earn the crown of olives, for his race

his heart now facets rainbow light delight

and into the utter radiance quiet easy strolls

the magma of white magnificence does him, now enfold


The mellifluous melody of ecstatic shining white

washes the cobwebs and decay of the Lord of night.

He the Dweller is yet a boatman too

he has been both vessel and its crew

between the clashing rocks, the portal

has squeezed him self, a simple mortal


Yet further the now enlivened Soul

he marches onwards to his goal

in the pure and white, white radiant stream

at last he has fulfilled his dreams.

The clear-spring clarity now does him fill

he has gained this by both his act and his will


Bows before the triumphant triangle, golden ore

he waits as the rod strikes a new lightning sight

it sears his being deep into his very abstract core.

He has earned this most rare and Holy rite

the Rod of Power him has total changed

and all his atoms are most re-arranged.


There is The sacred emanation font

where source of stream it can be found

There is not much that needs or wants

for he has sought the simple and the sound

his heart hears what others fail to see

the only block knows he now to ever be


The Dweller was always him

and he had sat on the Threshold for,

 … … an endless


… … …eternity.